Sunday, May 23, 2010


On this day Pentecost is commemorated in the Christian tradition. Pentecost is when the Holy Spirit came to earth - fifty days after Pascha.

In the times of the Old Testament, people of Abraham’s descent conceived of God as one entity. With the advent of Jesus the novel idea emerged that God had a Son.

And when that Son ascended into heaven after his death and resurrection, He let people know there was actually a third component of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit. Moreover, Jesus promised to send back this Holy Spirit to continue His divine work on earth:

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me” (John 15:26).

Contemplating these things while standing in church today, I wondered what the Apostles might have felt when the Holy Spirit descended upon them for the first time. Acts 2: 1-11 says,

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

"And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God."

Obviously it was a tremendous experience, but did the Apostles understand what was happening? Maybe the Holy Spirit gave them the gift of wisdom as well as the gift of tongues, but the Bible doesn’t say so.

They might have been thinking, “Hey, I’m talking in languages I don’t even know! What is going on????”

After all, the Bible makes it clear they weren't always on top of their game. Peter couldn't even walk on water without someone holding his hand.

Maybe such things occur to me because that's how I feel most of the time . . . sort of dull and dim-witted.

But unlike those early Christians who spoke freely and changed the world, my tendency is to shut up and be quiet.

In the face of the confusion and unknowing so evident in my life, it feels pretentious to say much of anything.

So why do so now? Because on this day when the Apostles spoke words they'd never spoken before and probably didn't even know, a friend encouraged me to have another go - to try to communicate on this blog.

The synchronicity was noticeable even to dull me.


  1. Welcome Home Count.
    I missed your communications on this blog.

  2. "The synchronicity was noticeable even to dull me"
    Because you speak in our Comforters tongue.