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Jesus taught: “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth”. John 14: 15-16
Pentecost in Acts 2 is recognised and recalled as the coming of the Holy Spirit. The believers gathered in anticipation and in prayer. The Spirit came amongst them;
“They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them”. Acts 2:3
There are many who see this day as the beginning of the Church. It was an extraordinary day.
The day of Pentecost, a Jewish festival celebrating the wheat harvest, is known as the “Ingathering” or the “Harvest Festival”. It has been traditionally also called “The Feast of Weeks”. Today, it is celebrated as the day of the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Who is the Holy Spirit? For the majority of Christians, the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Spirit was there at the beginning of Creation. “And the Spirit of God hovered over the waters.” Genesis 1:2.
The Spirit is recorded through Scripture as ever present. Jesus spoke clearly of the Holy Spirit, “Counsellor, teacher, comforter, provider, helper, spirit of truth...”. The Spirit will fulfil what Jesus taught.
The Holy Spirit is present in the world, and is present in you and me. In the resurrection narrative, as Jesus came amongst the disciples, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”. John 20:22. In baptism, we are baptised in, “The name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. Matthew 28:19.
The Spirit of God is present to complete the work the Lord Jesus started, in each and every one of us. Jesus said, “The Counsellor will be with you forever”. John 14:16.
My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, Pentecost is about the Holy Spirit. It is about Jesus’ teachings. We are Christians because we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. We are baptised into the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But what is crucial, every day, is to be in love with Jesus. And you and I will hence obey his commandments, and the Spirit of truth will be in you and I, all the days of our lives.
Jesus said, “Abide in me as I abide in you”. John 15:4.
Blessed Pentecost, for you and for your loved ones
Right Reverend Fakaofo Kaio
Moderator Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand