A rushing wind, like the very breath (pneuma) of God fills the first followers of Jesus in a stunning act of new creation just as the Spirit first breathed life into Adam. Tongues of fire rest on their heads harkening back to Mt. Sinai when God descended as fire establishing a covenant with God's people to bring them out of slavery into the Edenic Promised Land. Their spiritual eyes are illumined, their hearts are converted, and their souls are filled with power. They finally know exactly Who Jesus Christ truly is, and their words reveal this new knowledge when they boldly begin to preach the gospel.
But this isn't just an ordinary sermon. For the crowds gathered that day celebrating the Jewish Festival of Shavu'ot from all different cultures and ethnicities, heard it in their own language! The Spirit of God now unfurled in the world in humankind. Christ burning in their hearts. An outpouring of gifts of the Spirit. And the stunning movement toward all people and all cultures in the beautiful diversity of creation.
Pentecost means we have been given this breath of God, this Spirit of new creation. We have been inspired—a word that literally means “breathed into.” The mighty rushing wind has blown the Spirit into us. And if we are filled with the Spirit, if we are inspired, that means the mission of the redemption of Jesus Christ is at work in us. Every part of us is being bought back from exile, set free from slavery.
This is the stunning news of the gospel and the culmination of the Easter season. Now, new creation is unfolding in and through us, awakening us to Life, freeing us from the malformed addictions of our false selves, liberating us from fear and cultural captivity, and empowering us to step into our God-given vocations to be a part of the Spirit's work of renewal and reconciliation on the earth.
by Jessica Ketola