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Pentecost – Out of the Ordinary

 The Reading: Acts 2:5-14

“All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’” (v.12) RSV

There was a poet called Swinburn who was singularly unimpressed with Christianity. He felt it had sucked the lifeblood out of life – rather like the Dementors in Harry Potter. He penned the lines: “Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean. The world has grown grey with thy breath.” Chilling words. But is it true? Does Christianity make us dull, goody goodies, who lack spontaneity and boldness?

Robert Louis Stephenson wrote that he had been to church and had come out “not depressed”. Dullness and depression was what he normally derived from Christianity.

There is a real danger that our Christian faith is not full of vigour and the unexpected but rather it is safe, predictable and somewhat bland. This was never true of the life of Jesus. He was full of the unexpected. This was never done to cause effect nor was it contrived. But he lived the creative life of God in our midst. He said the unexpected and did the unimagined.

The Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost to perpetuate that same life in, and through us. Let us be led by him into creative daring and difference. This is not to impress or be ‘with it’, but simply that God’s life is never dull and predictable.

Think today what you as an individual or your church could do or say. Maybe people would also be amazed and say “What does this mean?” If they do, then perhaps you could tell them!

Lord, forgive me if I am dull and safe. Make me brave enough to challenge and to change things around me. May my life be a bold and vibrant witness to your presence. Amen 

Explore More

1 What sort of things did Jesus say and do that amazed people?

Matthew 12:22-23, Mark 12:17, Luke 2:47

2 Can we be changed to become ‘amazing’ and unpredictable?

Ezekiel 36:25-27, Acts 2:17

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