This Sunday we celebrate the day of Pentecost for the Church. In Acts 2:1-21 the day of Pentecost is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit so that everyone within earshot of Jesus’ disciples, on that day, suddenly find themselves hearing a proclamation of God’s presence, spoken directly to them. People from all around the Mediterranean world hear a word of God spoken in their primary language. Whether they understand the proclamation is up to the individual. Or as Matt Skinner says in his commentary from Working Preacher, “backwoods Galileans speaking foreign languages attract attention among the other Jews of Jerusalem – both residents and pilgrims celebrating the Feast of Weeks.”
This Sunday at second service, we will confirm 3 of Prince of Peace’s youth who have finished their confirmation studies. To do this we will use a rite called Affirmation of Baptism. During this rite, they will reaffirm and say yes to God’s claim on them in their Baptism. They will say yes to God’s unconditional yes to them. Then together as a congregation we will witness and pray the Holy Spirit’s presence and guidance for their lives and that they will continue to grow in faith.
These marvelous young people have each created their own individual faith statement. Each one is unique and shows how each person is both claiming and trying to put their faith into action in the world that they live in as they understand it. As they understand it now. If you get a chance to read them, you will see the Holy Spirit at work.
So what about the rest of us? How is the Holy Spirit working in us? In my experience the Holy Spirit is not a one-time experience, but something that happens again and again as I grow in my relationship and understanding of God/Jesus/Spirit in my own life. I pray the same for you.