Pentecost (9 Jun)

Pastor's Summary of  Acts 2:1-21

The day of Pentecost has come; it is now fifty days since Easter. The way Luke puts it shows that Pentecost is a milestone in the story of salvation: recall Luke 2:6, "the time came for her to deliver her child..." and Luke 9:51, "When the days drew near for him to be taken up...." These two are milestones, and the language is similar. Other translations have had been fulfilled for "came"--the coming of the Holy Spirit is fulfilment. Look at the manner in which the Holy Spirit comes: the sound is "like the rush of a violent wind" and then, "divided tongues, as of fire". Luke attempts to describe the event in human terms, but it is never possible to explain a divine mystery: all we can do is say what it is like. The coming of the Holy Spirit is the gift inaugurating the final stage of the salvation story (or history); this era leads up to the end of time. His arrival is in fulfilment of Christ's promise, recorded in 1:8 ("...you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you....").