The readings of Pentecost are full of new life. This is truly a birthday. Without Pentecost, Christ’s work would have been incomplete. His death may have proved his love for us, but it would not of itself improve our lot. We would be able to admire him at a distance. But there would be no effective following of him, nor the right to call Christ “brother,‘ or God ‘Abba.‘ It is the Spirit of Pentecost that makes all of that possible. But today’s celebration is not just personal; it is communal as well. Today the church was launched on its mission. It celebrates two millennia of life. And the church is the mother who accompanies us from the cradle to the grave.
Unity and diversity – both are so pronounced in today’s readings. In the Acts of the Apostles, there is a clear foretelling that an open door policy will be followed. The church is open to all people. There are to be no distinctions of race, gender, nationality or social status. We find our unity in one Lord one faith and one baptism. But unity does not mean a measured marching to the same tune. There are many ways in which life is lived and service is rendered in the church. We have diverse liturgical expressions in the church, different approaches to theology, different forms of government. All of this goes hand in hand with a unity in faith. Conformity is not necessarily a virtue. The Spirit breathes where and as it wills. Pentecost reminds us of that.