Pentecost Sunday

Acts 2:1-21; Psalm 104:24-34, 35b;
Romans 8:14-17; John 14:8-17, (25-27).


In the Acts reading, God uses the most spectacular ways to make his presence known: Violent wind, fire and of course the promised Holy Spirit which had finally come! So often in our lives we ask God to speak with clarity, to reveal himself clearly, to show us the way. We long for the proverbial ‘writing in the clouds’, or ‘writing on the wall’, we earnestly ask God to reveal to us that which we are asking for. And yet, God so seldom, if not rarely, maybe never, works as we request. We don’t hear a loud voice, we don’t see the writing on the wall, we remain unsure of the way forward, and often we even wonder if we have heard the voice of God. Then we remember the instruction contained in Psalm 46:10a to ‘be still and know,’ we recall how often Jesus went alone to a place to pray, we recall those words of Jesus to go into our rooms and pray (Matthew 6:6), and all this so we can hear.

It is often the ‘gentle whisper’, that ‘small still voice’, that we then hear. Somehow the Holy Spirit does not come to us in loud spectacular ways. The fact is, we have to be still, remain patient and listen for the Holy Spirit that appeared at Pentecost. What is amazing to me are the words in Acts 2:3 ‘tongues of fire….that came to rest on each of them’, here we are reminded that nobody was excluded. What good news for us. We all get to experience the Spirit of God. The promised Holy Spirit, the powerful Holy Spirit, the comforter, the ever present Spirit of God is always with each one of us, even it not in a spectacular way. This inward presence reminds us of who we are and encourages us daily with the love of God (Romans 5:5) reminding us that we are God’s children (Rom 8:16). Come, gentle Holy Spirit!

– Rev Michelle Black, Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa


Holy Spirit, come and rest on each of us. Come Holy Spirit and fill our hearts with the fire of your love. Holy Spirit guide us and comfort us. Spirit of God, be poured out within us so that we might testify about you. Come Holy Spirit and renew the face of the earth. In Jesus powerful name, Amen.