Sunday, we celebrate Pentecost. This celebration of new institutional life started long before Jesus’ time. Pentecost was a harvest festival and a time of plenty. Therefore, the people of Israel were used to the idea for centuries before the time of Jesus. Jesus brought the same concept back into the forefront of the people’s memory by sending the Holy Spirit on that day when the people were remembering their blessings.
It is easy for us to see new life sprouting all around us during this season of the year. New life is a constant reminder to us that Pentecost is all around us, all the time. If we water plants regularly, they will flower and fruit. If we take time to generate life, it will start blooming and change the world around us. The Holy Spirit has been present to us for centuries, for that matter, from the beginning of time. But She will only be visible to us when we take time to feed the Spirit within us.
The Spirit of God became a flame of fire when the community gathered in Jerusalem. The power of God manifested in ways beyond human comprehension when the people put aside the fear of the other. Pentecost is calling us to set aside the fear of others. It is calling us to water the ground of new life for a new community. It is calling us to stand up against tyranny and untruthfulness. Pentecost is yet another chance to claim our past and embrace our future. It is a call to become a new Israel.