June 11, 2020

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A Reflection on the Pentecost in this Time of Isolation

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Pentecost Sunday Reflection

Bless the Lord, my soul!          
Lord God, how great you are,
How many are your works, O Lord!
The earth is full of your riches
(Psalm 103)
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2.4)
Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth (Psalm 103)


We who have looked upon the closed doors of our Churches in recent weeks should take heart and be excited by today’s feast of Pentecost, and in particular the Gospel.

If this Gospel was being written today, it could have said, “In the evening of the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Coronavirus.”

But as in the Gospel, as well as our lived experience over these past two months, Jesus came and stood among them anyway, despite the closed doors. His life giving presence cannot be held back by circumstances.

That is the message of Pentecost.

Our challenge has been to recognise new ways to bring the same life-giving message of Jesus to the world, given our traditional ways of doing this through open Church doors and welcoming community gatherings have not been possible.

Just like the friends of a paralysed man in Luke’s Gospel (5.19) who couldn’t get into the house via the front door to get their friend healed, so they went up on the roof, removed the tiles, and lowered him down. They were not to be defeated by the present circumstances.

It has been exciting to see the many and varied new ways that people, inspired by the same Spirit, have found the same creativity and ingenuity in bringing Jesus to the world.

A bit like the sower in Matthew’s Gospel (13.4-9), we have scattered the seed of Jesus’ word ‘virtually’ and – instead of landing on the edge of a path, on rock, thorns and good soil, sometimes to take root and bear fruit, sometimes not – we have used Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube to go beyond the closed doors of our Churches in order to continue sharing Jesus’ life giving message.

We don’t know where these seeds scattered in faith will land, but we keep posting them out on a daily basis, hoping some take root and grow. As we celebrate the feast of Pentecost, and the life giving presence of God's Spirit alive and active in our world today, we pray:


May God give us the wisdom
To recognize the work of this Spirit
In all that is good in the world
And the courage to act in an inspired and creative way
To help build the Kingdom of God
In new and exciting ways.

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