This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, the day we remember the gift of the Holy Spirit given to those first disciples. It can be easy to relegate Pentecost to a once-off event, something that happened once upon a time, to some other people, in some other place. We remember it, and then we carry on with life.
But Pentecost is about so much more than remembering an event, it is about a new reality, our new reality. The new thing God was doing in that place, God is also doing in this place. And just as the Spirit was given to those disciples, so the Spirit continues to be given to us today.
In the passage in the book of Acts that tells of the rushing wind and the tongues of fire, we read that they were 'altogether in one place'. On Thursday, the Women's Auxiliary held their annual open day, and once more the people of God were 'altogether in one place', gathered from different churches throughout the Dolphin Coast. This afternoon, there will be a combined circuit service at the Stanger Methodist Church, and once more in the Spirit of Pentecost we will be 'altogether in one place'. Next weekend is our annual district Synod, where Methodists from around the province will gather 'altogether in one place'.
The joy of Pentecost is that even in our togetherness, our gift is our diversity. When the Spirit came, the work of the Spirit was not to make everyone the same, but to celebrate the Good News that through the Spirit of God the message reaches everyone. And yes, it did feel a little bit like chaos – diversity can feel chaotic. But the Spirit at work celebrates our diversity, not by making us the same, but by bringing us together even though we are different.
How can you connect with others this week? Where can you experience Pentecost by being 'altogether in one place?' And in what ways can you affirm and celebrate God's good creation, in all of its chaotic diversity and difference?
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