By the time you are reading this, the Church will have recently celebrated Pentecost. For the rest of the summer we will mark time based on which Sunday after Pentecost it currently is. Pentecost marks the coming of the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that Jesus promised would come after his departure. The Holy Spirit came with a sound like the rush of a mighty wind, and tongues as of fire rested on each disciple as they were filled with the Spirit and spoke in other languages (Acts 2:1-4). The book of Acts begins with Jesus promising the Holy Spirit’s arrival and instructing the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the Spirit comes. We do not know how much time elapsed between Jesus’ ascension and Pentecost, but we do know that there was waiting and down time. I wonder what that was like for these followers of Jesus. They did not know what the arrival of the Spirit would look like, only that they were to wait. The Spirit’s movement leads many travelers who were visiting in Jerusalem to become baptized in Jesus’ name. It is no wonder that many churches celebrate the birth of the Church on Pentecost, some even throwing birthday parties!
Pentecost takes place at a time when Jesus’ disciples are asking: “in light of all that has taken place, what do we do now?” We, Jesus’ disciples, are pondering similar sorts of questions. The Church then
and the Church now
navigating how best to love God and one another in current circumstances. Some churches are deciding to wait longer until meeting in person again. Others have already resumed in-person worship. Either way, the Church never really “closed.” “Closed” implies that operations have ceased, which they haven’t. We are still worshipping God online and through the radio broadcast. We are still praying for one another. God is still working in and through us. This is not the first time that God’s people have prayed: “Lord, we are not sure what to do right now.” In the time after Pentecost the Holy Spirit led God’s people through. I believe the Holy Spirit can and will guide us through our current circumstances, too.