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Pentecost for Introverts: Pentecost 2022

Sunday, June 5, 2022:
Acts 2:1-21

On this day, which included the baptism of Everleigh and Colter, Fr. Kieswetter gave a somewhat unscripted homily (available on our YouTube page) about Pentecost, reconsidered in ways that might be helpful for Anglicans.

a) Pentecost as a manifestation of the creative Spirit of God at work in the world. Just as the Spirit (or breath, or wind) of God animated the human being in one of the creation stories, here we have that same Spirit animating the community of the Church; a new sort of humanity/community, following the ‘re-creation’ of the world that was the Resurrection.

b) Pentecost as harvest festival. We don’t always realize or remember that Pentecost was a Jewish (and perhaps Canaanite) festival with its own history and meanings. One of them was that it was a celebration of the end of the wheat harvest. So perhaps we can look at the Acts 2 Pentecost as a sort of harvest. Think about how Jesus ‘planted seeds’ in his stories, teachings, and actions. His followers didn’t always get the point. (Actually, they rarely did!) So here Pentecost is a sort of harvest in which the believers are given a new sort of maturity. The seeds that had been planted have sprouted up significantly.

c) Pentecost as celebration of the Law. The other meaning of the Jewish Pentecost festival was that it was connected to the receiving of the Law on Mt. Sinai following the escape from Egypt. In a sense, our Pentecost is a celebration of the receiving of God’s Law, though not on stone tablets, but written on (i.e. the Holy Spirit at work in) the human heart.

So even if you are a formal, reserved, introverted Anglican (or any variation of those things), Pentecost is important! It’s not just about charismatic, strange powers (e.g. the speaking in tongues), but about the Christian community transcending divisions and following God’s path of peace and reconciliation, rather than our divisive, selfish tendencies.

© 2022 The Rev’d Matthew Kieswetter