Can you imagine this … The United Nations has gathered as whole to hear about the problems of the world, war, famine, religious difference; the leaders of North and South Korea, the USA, Israel and Palestine all are in the one room, and as they gather and the interpreters begin their work of translating the vast numbers of different languages, a mist fills the building and when it lifts, it is slowly realised that all the delegates can understand each other. They have an understanding and respect that is beyond mere speech. Not only do they appear to be speaking the same tongue, but they can really understand each other’s perspectives and dreams. Into the crowded chamber comes a feeling of real wonder and awe and a profound sense of hope.
We are in the Christian season of Pentecost and in this Season, Christians are reminded that the Spirit of God seeks to draw us closer to each other and to God. At the first Pentecost, there was a strange sort of event, where people from all corners of the then known world found themselves speaking in the same language. Though they were different, they understood each other.
This is the sort of community that God wants and this is the activity of the Spirit of God; to draw us closer to each other; to make the stranger a friend and to love the neighbour, who may well be different to us. But this sort of Spirit love does not always come easy or cheap. When those around you are telling you to hate it takes a divine power to move towards love.
The work of Pentecost is one of profound miracle and hopefulness. It is a dream of a Spirit that can draw us closer, can assist us to truly know each other’s pain and dreams, and can draw us closer to a vision of a compassionate world, and to believe this despite what we may see in the news and hear around us. Let us pray for the gift of such a Spirit and know her presence in our midst.