Tomorrow we celebrate Pentecost Sunday. I’ll let these words from Robert Benson help prepare you:
Easter does not last long but it is better than the mere twelve days we were given to celebrate Christmas if you ask me. Even so the fifty days of Easter seem hardly enough time to take in the Paschal mystery.
But ready or not, Pentecost comes this Sunday. The name simply means fiftieth, as in the fiftieth day. The day was originally a harvest festival that took place on the fiftieth day after Passover. The notion of “harvest” seems right somehow for the season after Easter. It is a day of great celebration, the celebration of the giving of the Holy Spirit to the disciples, and then to us. And a portion of the harvest will be celebrated in some communities with baptism and confirmation.
Come Sunday, in the Story that was first told in the pages of the Book and now is told to us by the Church calendar as well, the Spirit is about to be given to us, again. Which begs new versions of the same old question — What is the Holy Spirit up to these days, in our days, yours and mine, these days given to us in our generation? And how are we being called to we help with that work? To what are we being drawn by the Spirit — Lord, have mercy, to what is Robert being drawn by the Spirit — in this next season of the journey home? What new thing is the One Who made us trying to do in us and with us and through us on the other side of Pentecost?
“Be attendant upon that come Sunday,” I say to myself, “be attendant upon that.”
At the very least, I am drawn to an old prayer for this new season —
Grant that we may perceive the ways in which You are calling to us,
and then grant us strength and courage to pursue those things and to accomplish them;
in the name of the One Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.