This weekend’s celebration of Pentecost is a beautiful feast. Scripture tells us that over two thousand years ago the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles, accompanied by miraculous signs of mighty winds and tongues of fire. The descent of the Spirit is the final act of our salvation which God had promised. From Old Testament times there was an expectation that God would send his Spirit to his people. So, the coming of the Holy Spirit reminds us that God fulfils his promises, even if it takes time!!
The sound of the wind and the flame that accompanies the Spirit represent the creative breath of God and fire was also associated with the purifying presence of God. The wind and the fire tell us that God is about to do something ‘new’ or even that God is creating something new. The experience of the Spirit this weekend changes what is old and stale within us to something new.
Why does God send the Holy Spirit to us? God sent the Holy Spirit to his followers because the early Church needed God’s Spirit. The first disciples were in hiding after their experience of the crucifixion of Jesus. They were terrified that what had happened to Jesus would happen to them. Only the power of the Holy Spirit would get them over their fear.
In answer to their prayer, God sent the Holy Spirit, to embolden them to go out and preach the story of Jesus and to remind the people of the love of God. Pentecost reminds us that God will fulfil his promises, even if it takes time. His presence this weekend is powerful and re-creates the old into something new as he responds to our needs today. So, let us all pray, Veni Sancte Spiritus, Come Holy Spirit.