The Day of Pentecost: Pentecost is the moment when God’s physical presence on earth shifts from the earthly body of Christ to the global Body of Christ. That moment was ten whole days long.
Until today, many churches still have Jesus on the cross in the worship space, but as we celebrate the day of Pentecost, where is Jesus now? In an episcopal parish church in Missouri, Jesus can be clearly seen above the cross, in a beautiful stained glass tryptic, depicting him ascending into heaven.
Sometimes, we may wonder why churches have that kind of an image of Jesus. Why did he have to disappear into the clouds and leave us here without him? His disciples at the time wondered that, too.
But here’s the thing about the Incarnation—about God becoming one of us and dying and rising as one of us: It is the most powerful work God could have done to save us. And yet, if Jesus had remained on earth afterward, as a human, he would have been painfully limited. If he had stayed, God-in-the-flesh could only ever have two eyes, two ears, two hands, two feet.
But here we see the risen and exalted Jesus, calling us into himself – to be his body. His hands and feet. His millions of hands and millions of feet. That is why we call the church the Body of Christ.
The Holy Spirit did not come down until Pentecost—the fiftieth day after His resurrection. In between, the disciples were instructed to “remain in the city” and wait. To have faith, like Noah building an ark, like Abraham leaving his home, like Moses addressing Pharaoh, in the good gifts that God has in store for those who believe.
Prayer: Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Revised Common Lectionary. Resources are from the Anglican Church of Canada and Sermons that Work.