We are just a few days away from Pentecost. The Feast of Pentecost is sometimes called the birthday of The Church. I don’t know about you, but when I was younger I got very excited as I waited for my birthday. Part of the excitement was the anticipation around possible gifts I was hoping to receive and what the party would be like. I also looked forward to the cake as I had a bit of sweet tooth then, to be honest I still do.
Some Churches that I attended in the past have had a party with a cake to share after the Pentecost Sunday service. I am sure that this tradition will happen again, though people blowing out candles on the cake may be a practice of the past.
This year we are unable to gather in person for Pentecost, but this does not stop the joyous celebration. It is still the birthday of the Church. Even though flames being extinguished on a cake will not happen, we will still recount the coming of flames of the Holy Spirit that descended on the disciples. We also remember that we too have received the gift of the Holy Spirit through our Baptism.
Our Baptism is a rebirth, as in Baptism we turn towards the new life that Jesus invites us into. To describe our life after Baptism or the life of the disciples after Pentecost we could use phrases such as “the new normal”. We are hearing such phrases as our communities are “re-opening” or talking about it.
I personally do not like the phrase the “new-normal”. I believe it does not fully describe the true reality that we are moving into, or even what we are experiencing today, whether that be school, work or the Church.
Over the past few weeks as the phrase “new-normal” has be used I have been reflecting on what that means for the Church as a community. The phrases that have come to my mind over and over are: re-birth, renewal and resurrection.
These phrases are not “new”, but they certainly are “normal”. The Holy Spirit is still at work amongst us. The gifts that have been bestowed upon us by God have been shown in old and new ways. The new life that Jesus has invited us into, is still the message that we have to share.
I continue to give thanks for this Church Community as you serve with love the wider community and pray that continue to be transformed by the Holy Spirit.