Pentecost flame

At Pentecost, the spirit of God was poured out. Tongues of fire descended upon those in the upper room, and they began to speak in other languages.

This was not a bestowal of giftings for individual self-actualisation. This was not about an emotional catharsis or a spiritual high. This was not empowerment for a person’s ‘best life now’.

This was an invitation to walk across the room.

It is an invitation to let go of self-interest, self-obsession, and self-centredness, and instead be filled with something much greater.

It is an invitation to look outwards, to cross language and cultural barriers, and to understand God’s love for those who are different from us. It is an invitation to see things differently. To see the image of God in all people.

It is also the retelling of the creation story, where in Genesis God breathed his spirit into the dirt, creating humanity. Dust and divinity, earth and heaven, temporal and eternal, come together making up what it is to be an embodied human being.

Now the Spirit once again hovers over us, brooding with creative potential. We are breathed into and reanimated by the ruach (breath) of God. This recreative action brings us to life once again, and reconstitutes a new humanity, formed from every tongue and tribe and nation.

This Pentecost, when you ‘walk across the room’ to show love to someone who is culturally or politically different from you, you are participating in Christ’s work to redeem, restore, and reconcile ‘all things’ (Col 1:20).

You are walking across the room in the power of the Holy Spirit.