Exploring the Sunday Gospel -Pentecost


Today is Pentecost or Whit Sunday. It is Luke who provides the foundation account for the Day of Pentecost through his narrative in the Acts of the Apostles.  The Holy Spirit came to the apostles with a sound like a mighty rushing wind.  In today’s Gospel reading, John has a somewhat different account of Jesus breathing on the disciples and saying to them ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’ The three ideas of wind, breath and Spirit were all very closely linked in Hebrew thought.


For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during the preceding week, I invited reflection on the image of wind. In today’s picture from his book, The Windy Day, Teddy Horsley feels the wind push him along in his boat.


Lord God,

you gave the Holy Spirit to your people,

like a mighty rushing wind.

Inspire our hearts with the same Spirit,

that we may love and serve you

all the days of our lives;

we make our prayer in Jesus’ name.



Next Sunday is Trinity Sunday. In the doctrine of the Trinity the Church affirms that God has been made known in the world in three characteristic ways, as Father, as Son, and as Holy Spirit. The image to help prepare for the theme of Pentecost is waterfall. You can find out more about that theme by looking at the Educational Resources and the Preparation Resources.


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