The church marks the Day of Pentecost as the birthday of the church. Some congregations mark the day with a birthday cake, something the children take to readily.
Still, if the presence and power of the Holy Spirit at that first Pentecost marks the beginning of the church, the Spirit’s work was not finished on that day, since it is the Spirit who creates the church in every new generation.
For example, it is the Spirit that makes our meal of bread and cup more than a remembrance of a crucified Jesus, but a celebration of the living Christ still present among us. It is the Spirit who makes Jesus our contemporary.
Just as at that first Pentecost, when foreigners without a common language could all understand each other, it is the Spirit that gathers the church out of all sorts and conditions of people.
The church early on recognized that the Spirit that created the church on Pentecost was the same creative life-giving Spirit that hovered over the waters of chaos at the creation.
God’s Spirit was there at the beginning and has never ceased God’s work of enlivening and inspiring. This same Spirit “spoke through the prophets.” And still speaks through a variety of people today.
So let us celebrate the birthday of the church on Pentecost, but let us also discern where God’s Spirit is moving today, both in and outside the church, giving life, creating what is new, renewing what is old, and restoring what is outworn. Let us never stop praying the ancient prayer of the church: “Come, Holy Spirit, Come!”
Prayer: O God, keep sending your Holy Spirit among us, reviving us again and again!
((This is my United Church of Christ Daily Devotion for Pentecost Sunday, June 4, 2017. To see the original go here. To subscribe to the UCC Daily Devotional and receive it every day by e-mail go here.)