Happy Easter! Happy Pentecost! Happy Birthday Church! (by Adam Stein)

The Apostles were all gathered in Jerusalem for the birthday of the Law, the Jewish celebration of Pentecost. This feast celebrated God’s gift of His Law, given to Moses and the entire Israelite people 50 days after the Passover. The law was a sign for them of God’s presence in their everyday lives.
So, here, in this scene, with this feast as the backdrop, the Apostles are together. They are celebrating God in their life through the gift of the Law. They are also still mourning the loss of God in their life in the person of Jesus. He had just ascended into heaven, and left them again, just 10 days ago (or seven days ago if the Diocese moves the Solemnity of the Ascension to a Sunday as does ours, and the rest of the United States). They are holding on to the promise Jesus gave them, and, in this upper room, Jesus’ promise is fulfilled. He did not leave them orphaned. Through the Spirit, God is now with them, and, this time, always.
Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, God is present, alive, and working in our lives still. Pentecost began a new birth for the church. In the Spirit, we are one with Christ and we are called to be Christ’s body; God’s presence to the whole world.
The words of this weekend’s psalm are refreshed and reawakened in our own lives as we celebrate this feast; “Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.” And, since we now embody the Spirit, we should ask ourselves, “Where are we being sent? What can we help renew?”
The Easter season comes to a close today, but it remains alive in us, through the Holy Spirit. Alleluia!
– adam.