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By MARGIE ADAMS
As momentous and meaningful as the Feast of Pentecost is, it has not taken on the commercialism and money-making of Easter and Christmas.
There’s no Tongues of Fire basket or Mighty Wind festivals; no giant dove grants wishes to little kids. For this I am so very glad.
Pentecost holds so much meaning for me. It is the moment when we were sent out into the world, responding to the unconditional love of God. This is a love story — pure and simple.
The story is amazing. Read Chapter 2 of the Book of Acts. There we find a frightened and discouraged group of friends who have been through a painful and bewildering time, trying to find their way and make decisions together. And suddenly an extraordinary moment enfolds them, and their lives will never, never be the same. They are changed, transformed. And so are we.
Once again, God turns toward us with a sign of immense, boundless and nonstop love. We have an image of the apostles fortified and grounded. In confidence and courage, they are infused in the Spirit — a tremendous wind and tongues as of fire. A wonder and a sacred mystery to behold.
This was just the beginning — Pentecost is not a one-time feast. It is from here we are sent out to do the work God has given us to do — to love and to serve.
Jesus modeled the unconditional love he wanted us to learn and showed us how to live in community because relationships are key to living together in Christ.
Pentecost is a most special time for the Church — known as the birthday of the Church. The followers of Jesus were awakened and filled by the Holy Spirit. Now inspired and fired up, they “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” That sounds like Church.
The power of the Spirit — life-giving and energizing — is like a magnet that pulls us closer and closer to God and each other.
At least for today — since we are people who easily forget — we should mark the day and deeply know that the Spirit continues in our lives. The crowds heard the apostles speak to them in their own languages. The Spirit gave them the words to say — the words of encouragement and of God’s language of love. The Spirit was poured out to all people. All people. And not only were thousands awakened to Christ, they were witnesses to remarkable deeds and signs.
This is a day of renewal. Not just for once a year. The power of the Spirit is in each moment. Allow yourself to feel the arms of God holding you in love and surrounding you in body, mind and soul.
The Spirit is the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ.
Margie Adams, MA, is the staff chaplain at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center.
Perspectives is a regular column sponsored and written by members of the Ketchikan Ministerial Association.