A Moment with our Ministers – Pentecost 2024

Pentecost was the start of a new story for a changing church – a story that still goes on in our time …

Dear Friends
This month the church celebrates Pentecost, the day the Book of Acts says the Spirit came to empower the disciples. One of the things that happened on the day of Pentecost was the Spirit enabled people, from many different countries who spoke different languages, to understand the speech Peter delivered. They were different people—with different perspectives, expectations, backgrounds, and abilities – but they all understood in their own language. As they listened, the Spirit made them one.
A celebration of Pentecost is a celebration of a church that is full of a variety of people, all enabled to be one by the Spirit. Pentecost celebrations are also a celebration of God’s unfinished story. In his poem ‘Narrative Theology’, Padraig O Tuama ends with this line: ‘The answer is in the story and the story isn’t finished.’
Pentecost is the beginning of a new story for the disciples. In Acts and the Epistles of the New Testament, we watch them grow from a confused band of people whose leader was murdered to a new community, a church. We watch Peter, and others, grow into leaders. We watch them expand their understanding of who is welcome as a follower of Jesus. God’s story wasn’t finished when Jesus died or even when he was resurrected, but continued through the disciples, those gathered at Pentecost, and down the generations to today.
God’s story isn’t finished yet. It is now evolving through us and others who seek to follow Jesus. We wonder how you might describe the church today and how those descriptions would fit or be different from the description of the early church or even those who gathered as church 100 years ago. Perhaps we would use words like loving, caring, non-judgemental, accepting, listening, open, forgiving, honest, and welcoming. The use of new descriptors for the church, different metaphors for God, the development of new programmes, all point to God’s unfinished story.
The gift of the Holy Spirit enables God’s story to evolve. For us that may mean work on eco-church. It may mean a continued commitment to Christian Aid. It does mean being part of a pastorate and sharing ministry. How else can you see God’s story evolving in our context?
God’s story is as unfinished in our world as it was for the first disciples. Sometimes the evolving story of God’s work means there are changes in us. Perhaps there are changes in how we are called to serve God personally. Perhaps there are changes in how we understand God or see God at work in our lives. These changes may be influenced by what happens in our world – like wars or rumours of war–or they may be related to the personal changes we experience – like the loss of loved ones, change of job, difficult personal circumstances. God is so much more than we can imagine, so the evolution of our understanding of God may help us navigate the challenges life throws at us. ‘The answer is in the story and the story isn’t finished.’
As we celebrate Pentecost and mark Christian Aid Week, may we remain open to the Holy Spirit’s work in and around us; may we grow with each other, and may we allow God’s story to evolve.
Peace, Martha and David

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.