Variations on Pentecost

Variations on Pentecost
Day of Pentecost; John 20:19-23, Acts 2:1-21
To some the Spirit comes as breath to breath
that wakens us to risen life in Christ.
We know him and rejoice, receive his peace.
Assured that we are sent as he was sent,
we venture forth, commissioned to forgive.

Our Pentecost may be a bolder scene:
the Spirit like a wind that fills our space,
or tongues like flame that flare within our heads.
This sending out is full of drama too,
as different ethnic groups can hear the Word
in languages they know (Babel reversed),
and someone who denied finds he can preach.

Contrasting tales do not negate the truth,
but prism-like draw rainbows out of light.
The Spirit that can animate the words
and send us forth empowered to speak or hear
is known in ways diverse as rainbow hues,
communicates beyond all cultures’ bounds,
and Spirit gifts can lead beyond what’s said.

Let those who feel the stir of Spirit breath
be moved like branches dancing in the wind.
Let sparks ignite their dreaming and their song,
though words fall short of what was felt in awe,
and metaphors, though many, only trace
vague shapes suggesting some transforming power.

I have experienced Spirit like a flame,
a radiant energy of warmth and light.
Sometimes a violent wind will shape my growth,
or breath will stir me, intimate as kiss.
There’s peace and joy but also risk and fear
in daring to believe that we are sent
with words from hidden depths that touch the deep
beyond what we can try to know or say.

We wait and pray; sometimes our doors are locked,
but still he comes among us with his wounds,
and breathes upon us with the breath of life;
no safety in his promise, but there’s peace.
The Spirit comes as advocate and guide
so we are never orphaned or alone.
	Barbara Messner 22/05/2023


5 thoughts on “Variations on Pentecost

  1. I kept reading a verse and thinking, “Oh, that’s wonderful!” – and then reading another verse and thinking, “Oh, that’s wonderful!” Wonderful and wonder-filled. I keep coming back to,

    “Let those who feel the stir of Spirit breath
    be moved like branches dancing in the wind.”



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