…there came a sound like the rush of a mighty wind… Acts 2:2
The Day of Pentecost, fifty days after Easter, comes like another church holiday. We can rehearse the history of it in the Jewish calendar, in the Christian calendar, but if we never get the meaning within it, the history is empty and meaningless. We might as well just make up the history. Sometimes I do that, just for fun.
Pentecost is a day of the elements of earth–fire, wind and water. It is also a day of human creativity and imagination, of culture, science and commerce, all pursued through language, written and spoken. It is a mysterious day, a strange day, the day dedicated to the holy spirit. It is a day of prayer, because we pray in the spirit and also for the spirit. Every Christian prayer is a pray for the spirit. Come holy spirit. That’s our prayer before communion. The holy spirit, stirring up faith in our hearts, makes a bite of pita and a sip of Chardonnay into the bread of life and the cup of salvation for us.
Come holy spirit. Blow away the evil spirits all around us, the greedy, jealous, frightened, vengeful, resentful, impatient, violent spirits. Come holy spirit. That’s the Pentecost prayer, the central prayer of the Christian church.