30 May 2004 | Faith & Society

Pentecost, the Jewish festival on the fiftieth day after the second day of Passover, was a celebration of God’s self-revelation through the giving of his Law to his people Israel. It is celebrated by Christians for the self-revelation and giving of God as Holy Spirit to his people (Acts 2). It is followed a week later by Trinity Sunday, which celebrates God the Father, God the Son and the God the Holy Spirit, one God.


An icon in words for Pentecost:

Eventually Pilgrim abandoned the torch. The night climb was fierce; a free hand was much more use in warding off gashes and bruises. It was June but he reached the top of Pentecost hill sufficiently before dawn to shiver in the chill.

As the first pink streaks appeared, he made out the cross on Easter hill due east. How far away was impossible to say: perhaps 2,000 years. Cosmic distances beyond, the sun was now rising rapidly. When Pilgrim’s eye, the Easter cross and the nuclear fire of creation came into line, the cross was haloed in exploding light.

As to what happened next, Pilgrim had been warned but it was still quite confusing. A gust of wind blew past, slamming his eyes shut and sucking the air out of his lungs; the ground shook; and he saw tongues of fire. And after the wind, the earthquake and the fire, an incredible sensation which afterwards he could only describe as – as – well, a caress.


May we accept again today the Divine Gift from the Creator who gives us our own expression in existence, and from God Incarnate who gives us his own expression in Jesus. May the one indivisible God lift us to see visions and to dream dreams; to know more of the truth than previously we could bear; according to Jesus’ promise, to do even greater works than he did; and more than these things, to know love.


Just a second