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God’s breath or spirit is what animates all of life.

Pentecost, fifty days after Easter, is the day we celebrate the Holy Spirit descending on the disciples sounding something like a mighty wind and looking something like tongues of fire. The Spirit inspired Peter’s first proclamation of Jesus’ resurrection, and even more astonishing, everyone gathered in Jerusalem could hear the message in their own language.

Before the Fire by Lisle Gwynn Garrity

This is the beginning of the disciples’ mission and ministry into the world. The rest of Acts couldn’t happen without Pentecost and the arrival of the Holy Spirit.

 

So, Pentecost is meant to be a grand celebration!

 

We celebrate Pentecost as a memory of something God once did. Because it was on Pentecost that the Spirit transformed a ragtag bunch of followers into bold and courageous witnesses to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Disciples who would ultimately travel to the ends of the earth with that news.

 

The celebration of Pentecost reminds us that the Spirit once called those disciples to move, to change, to become the people God was calling them to become. The Spirit called the disciples forward into the new thing God was doing and empowered them to be part of it.

 

But the thing is, we celebrate Pentecost not just as a memory, but as an invitation. Pentecost is a chance to look back and see how the Spirit has been at work, and it is an invitation to look forward and imagine how the Spirit works today.

 

With that invitation in mind, on Sunday we turn not to the traditional Acts 2 story, but to Psalm 104, a glorious description of creation and God’s continued work in creation. It’s a psalm that celebrates the abundance of God’s creative work.

 

But the psalmist doesn’t just imagine a clockmaker God that created the world, then disappeared leaving creation to fend for itself. Instead, the psalmist imagines a God who provides. For God “gives drink to every wild animal” (v. 11), “waters the mountains” as well as the trees (vv. 13, 16), and even provides prey for the “young lions” (v. 21).

 

The point, creation is absolutely dependent upon God.

 

The psalmist drives the point home, When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. When you send forth your spirit, they are created” (vv. 29-30).


God’s breath or spirit is what animates all of life.

 

The same Spirit who showed up on Pentecost, breathing life into those disciples, sending them out into the world.

 

The same Spirit who shows up today, breathing life into us, sending us out into the world.

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