Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pentecost.- Happy Birthday Church.

The day of Pentecost, when Jesus' promise of a counsellor , the divine presence with us was fulfilled. A day of fire and wind.

The temperatures in Cebu at the moment are 30C and more , consequently we long for and appreciate any tremor of breeze and the slightest lift of air brings momentary refreshment. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word used for the Spirit of God was 'Ruash' - wind; it is a beautiful metaphor for the Holy Spirit who brings fresh air and movement to our spiritual lives. He blows reason and love through our hot headed, egotistical thinking and sets our course regardless of our own plans and expectations. He brings drama and excitement but can also perturb us !

Birds are another metaphor used for the Spirit; in the bible He is also a dove - gentle, loving, a bird of sacrifice. To the Ancient Celts He was a goose - strong and fearless. Teresa Morgan , in her book Seasons of the Spirit , describes Him as a swallow- 'a shrieking, playful dart of joy' who cannot be held but only received with gratitude. Reading this made me think; what sort of  bird do I see the Spirit as?

For me, the Holy Spirit is a like a swan; it is He who makes life elegant and seamless.  The swan glides effortlessly , graceful and gentle in it's movements, yet, it is a bird of strength and power, and somewhat unpredictable.

Our Pentecost celebrations are usually red and fiery. We decorate with doves, flames and streamers on the fans. We eat red food and wear red clothes. This years menu will include:
Chicken Cacciatore
Rosy Potatoes( potatoes with paprika)
Red and Yellow pepper salad.
Dessert is always a special Pentecost birthday cake, cherries represent the fruit of the spirit, sugar roses the gifts and candles for the tongues of fire.

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