Celebrating the Feast of Pentecost

Dear Friends,

On Sunday, we’ll celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, as the Great 50 Days of Easter draws to a close. In that first Pentecost of the Church, the Holy Spirit came in the form of wind and fire to people gathered from many places, and divided by language, culture, and experience. When the Spirit arrives, divisions are overcome, so that everyone may receive Good News about God and become community to embody that goodness together.

Pentecost is often called the birthday of the church, because as people were united by the Spirit, a scene of God’s dream for the Church was manifested and made real. The work of the Holy Spirit continues in our day, dismantling dividing walls between peoples, giving voice to hope, and opening ears to receive the right word at the right time.

This is at the heart of our life together as St. Michael’s. The Spirit is wind to move us and fire to power us as we endeavor to be Church as we are called to be: a people of love.

Way back on Maundy Thursday, we heard Jesus’ command to “love one another.” We heard it again just a couple of weeks ago, to love one another “that your joy may be complete.”

I love these words from the English priest and poet Malcolm Guite, reminding us that the language of the Spirit is love, and that love is what calls us and binds us together.


Today we feel the wind beneath our wings
Today the hidden fountain flows and plays
Today the church draws breath at last and sings
As every flame becomes a Tongue of praise.
This is the feast of fire, air, and water
Poured out and breathed and kindled into earth.
The earth herself awakens to her maker
And is translated out of death to birth.
The right words come today in their right order
And every word spells freedom and release
Today the gospel crosses every border
All tongues are loosened by the Prince of Peace
Today the lost are found in translation.

Whose mother tongue is Love in every nation.

With you,
The Rev. R. Scott Painter, Rector