This is a message for general distribution and intended for anyone enquiring about 'Pentecost'. It is part of an initiative called 'Speaking to the Seasons'.
Please distribute widely.
Press Release Date: 5th June 2014. For immediate release
For General Distribution to Press, twitter, Member Churches, Churches Together Groups, church web sites
RE Pentecost Sunday
'The world doesn't have to be as it is'
On the day of Pentecost the gift of the Holy Spirit was given to the Church. This same Spirit had brooded over the chaos waters at the time of creation, inspired the prophets, poets and kings of the Hebrew people, and descended on Jesus at his baptism. Now the Spirit fell like fire on the Apostles of Jesus so that his message of God's kingdom of love, justice and hope might reach the ends of the earth.
On the Day of Pentecost, the gift of the Spirit brought understanding, for all found they could understand each other's languages. In our divided world we pray for that gift, that there might be understanding between divided nations and conflicting ideologies, that the unreconciled might begin to walk the path of reconciliation.
Artists often depict the Holy Spirit as a dove. Doves have come to symbolise peace. This Pentecost, amidst conflict and tension in the Middle East, parts of Africa, and on the edges of Europe, we pray for all who are suffering, and for all who work patiently to lessen tension and fashion peace rather than war.
Pentecost is an announcement that the world doesn't have to be as it is. God offers us a different way. The Bible speaks of the fruit of the Spirit as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22) - those are some of the qualities which create and sustain good societies. Christians don't have a monopoly on those qualities, but they do know that they are evidence of the Spirit's presence and activity. They also know that the power of the Spirit enables them to do the will of Jesus, so our prayer this Pentecost is that all Christians everywhere will live out their love of Jesus by working to build good and healthy societies where all may flourish as God intends.
To find out more about the Christian faith visit www.christianity.org.uk
To find out more about ‘A good Society’, visit http://agoodsociety.org/
Archbishops of Canterbury and York initiative for Pentecost: www.usewords.org