• Fr Robert Randall McDonald Bagwell

When the Fire Fell

Today is Pentecost! It is 50 days since Easter. It is the Jewish Feast of Weeks (or Shavu´ot) seven weeks of seven days since Passover--50 days after the first-fruits ceremony. On this day the Jews celebrated the first fruits of their crops the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses (Torah) and on this day the Church of Jesus Christ as we know it today was born. St. Luke even places it in the same sequence as the birth of Jesus in his Gospel so that the birth of the Church in the Book of Acts parallels the birth of Jesus in Luke.


Pentecost is the resurrection poured out on, shared with, and infused into the life of the Church. Why did Jesus go through all of this incarnation, teaching, suffering, dying, and resurrection anyway? Have you ever really wondered why? The answer is to pour out the Holy Spirit upon the Church. To give us that joy, that peace, that ability to persevere. The Holy Spirit! That wonderful, wonderful, the fearful, the often seemingly elusive, often forgotten or ignored member of the Holy Trinity! However Holy Spirit was there from the beginning. GenesWhat was this Coming of the Holy Spirit like? It was dramatic! - First there was a sound of wind. The same breath that said: Let there be and the world came into being. The powerful creative breath of the Spirit of God that Jesus said goes where it wills and you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.


What was this Coming of the Holy Spirit like? It was dramatic! - First there was a sound of wind. The same breath that said: Let there be and the world came into being. The powerful creative breath of the Spirit of God that Jesus said goes where it wills and you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.


Then there was a flame of fire, or at least it appeared to be one. It divides and takes the shape of tongues one resting on each person in that Upper Room. God is sharing the fire of His Spirit with both them and us to make us preachers or “sharers” of His word to give and with others tell of Christ Jesus. For the disciples, Jesus who they had known as a person was suddenly living inside of their souls. He was really with them. As the old protestant hymn says “You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.”


To experience the Holy Spirit is the purpose, power, and realization of what it means to be a Christian. The covenant made with each of us at Baptism and Confirmation is about the Holy Spirit! In fact no sacrament exists without the Holy Spirit! One writer said we have it backwards. We think Father, Son, and Holy Spirit but of the three the Spirit is the most discernible member. We experience the Holy Spirit! You can feel the Spirit’s presence in a company of real believers. It is the Holy Spirit that opens the Gospel to us!. Long before theologies of Jesus or the Trinity were constructed the Holy Spirit made the Church alive!








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