Celebrating the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
Pentecost is celebrated by Christians globally because we want to remember Jesus’ promise that the Holy Spirit would come and work in the world. We also celebrate Pentecost because we want to remember that the Holy Spirit is at work in us as followers of Jesus.
In today’s world, anxiety charts at record levels in younger students. A 2000 American Psychological Association study states that the average teen has higher levels of anxiety today than did psychiatric patients in the 1950’s; the levels of stress exhibited by teenagers continues to rise. The Holy Spirit at work in the world and within us is a powerful reminder of God’s faithfulness and the intimacy we can share with God as followers of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit at Work in the World
Sometimes we fail to notice the Holy Spirit faithfully at work in our lives and the world. Pentecost creates a natural pause in our liturgical rhythm and reminds us that the Holy Spirit is present and at work all around us. Part of the Christian tradition is to examine the world and identify the places we see the Holy Spirit at work, along with the people the Holy Spirit is using to do the work. That dedicated practice reminds us and helps us to understand that while the world may make us anxious, we have hope because God’s Spirit is at work and that hope helps us build spiritual endurance and keeps us moving forward in faith.
The Holy Spirit at Work in Us
Similarly, we need to remember that the Holy Spirit is working in our individual lives. Sometimes it is difficult for us to recognize in ourselves what others around us see—the fruit of the Spirit. The result of the Holy Spirit’s work in our personal lives is often hidden from us. Pentecost is a reminder to take a break, examine our lives, and notice where the Spirit is teaching, guiding, encouraging, and convicting us.
Question of the Day: Who is someone whose life you’ve seen changed by God?
Focal Scriptures: Acts 2:1-13, 37-47; 1 Corinthians 12–13