Submitted by Jan on Tue, 10/05/2016 – 09:43
Year A (2016-2017)
Bible Book: Acts (of the Apostles)
Verse: 1 – 21
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place….they were filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Ron Rolheiser gives us a lovely reflection on Pentecost which I would like to share with you.
If you’re someone who’s at all concerned about community, family, church, justice, education, culture, or civic issues, you will, no doubt, find yourself at a lot of meetings.
We meet a lot. Indeed we do. We come ‘together in one place to find solutions to our needs and problems’. There are an endless variety of issues that call for our participation in group discussion and community discernment: church issues, gender issues, health issues such as HIV and AIDS, moral issues, social issues, and cultural issues. It’s a bottomless well and all those meetings can seem like a huge waste of time and energy, a distraction to real work. Moreover, at a point, we can’t help wondering too: “Are all these meetings changing anything? Would life be any different if we stopped having all these meetings?” It’s easy to grow tired, discouraged, and cynical about all the meetings we’re asked to attend.
But we should keep something in mind: Pentecost happened at a meeting! One of the central events that shaped Christian history and history in general, happened not to an individual off praying alone or to a monk on a mountain-top or to a solitary Buddha meditating under a tree. None of these. Pentecost happened at a meeting and it happened to a community, to a church congregation assembled for prayer, to a family of faith gathered to wait for God’s guidance. Moreover it happened in a common room, a meeting room, in one of those humble, church- basement, type of rooms. It can be helpful to remember that. Our search for God’s guidance on our work, should take us not just into private places of quiet and contemplation but, equally, into meeting rooms, where we pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We are praying for Pentecost to happen every time we pray at a meeting.
Meetings are privileged experiences of God that can be had only in a group, in community or in family. That can be helpful to keep in mind when we tire of meetings, despair of their effectiveness, or resent that they pull us away from important private endeavors. The fact that Pentecost happened at a meeting can also be helpful in keeping us focused on why we are going to all these meetings in the first place.
And so we need to go to continue to go to meetings. We need to spend time together waiting for God, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, waiting for a new outflow of heavenly fire that will give us the courage, language, and power we need to bring change to the issues such as HIV and AIDS, Gender Based Violence and wellness in general.
To think about: Let us remember the next time we pray at a meeting, that we are truly asking for the Holy Spirit to guide us, and that we are asking for Pentecost to happen.
Written By: Ms Judith Turner, Trained Churches Channel of Hope Facilitator,
Author: Turner J (Ms)