We celebrate Pentecost this week. Our reading in worship comes from Acts 2 in which the gift of the Spirit descends on the disciples in Jerusalem. We commemorate this event as a day of new creation in which we are made new by the Word and Breath of the living God.
Pentecost is originally a Greek word meaning 50th day and the early church patterned its fifty-day celebration of the Easter season on the ancient harvest seasons beginning with the barley harvest to the end of the wheat harvest. That season, Shavuot marked the giving of the law to Moses at Sinai, and influenced the thinking and discussion of Paul about the law and the Spirit.
The same Spirit dwells among us today. It provides gifts that are experienced in the healing touch of those in medical professions; the gift of wisdom in those who teach; the gift of leadership and vision in those who govern and lead. It is present among us also in the act of touch and embrace; the kindness spoken and shared; the patience and love we receive and give.