Home Sermon Pentecost: A future with incredible possibilities

Pentecost: A future with incredible possibilities


By Canon Grace Kaiso

The Story of Pentecost is about how the Spirit of God took ordinary people caught up in difficult circumstances. With a lot of uncertainty about their future, God enabled them to break out of the mould of guilt, self-pity, and despair.

The crisis brought about by the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and their betrayal left the Apostles dejected, with a bleak future, forcing them to opt to return to their previous trade.(John 21:3). The circumstances we face even today have a way of pushing us into a corner, leaving us reminiscing about the past glorious days and contemplating what the future might hold.

The Covid-19 pandemic has left most of us engulfed by a sense of confusion and uncertainty about tomorrow.
Parents, having lost their jobs, keep wondering how they will fulfil their responsibilities. Students have lost the rhythm with the disruption of their school calendar; while those in leadership are facing unprecedented challenges of providing guidance, keeping their institutions a float and maintaining the hope of those under them.

Canon Grace Kaiso (Photo/Olum Douglas)

Holy Spirit our helper
Religious leaders are struggling to interpret the signs of the times and to offer effective pastoral care. Like the Psalmist wrote (Psalms 121), the chorus is “where will our help come from”?

The Holy Spirit helped the disciples to look beyond their circumstances towards a more promising future.
They were energized, gained boldness and spoke confidently about the fresh hope brought about by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Even Peter, timid as he had been, became courageous and hopeful (Acts 2:14).

The change in the circumstances of the disciples, brought about by the Holy Spirit, impacted many others who were open to it (Acts 2:37-47).

It transformed not only their lives, but also their relationships with others; they gave up greed and begun to share whatever God had blessed them with (Acts 2: 42). The Spirit helped them to overcome prejudice and welcomed the Gentiles who were then regarded as second-hand citizens in the Kingdom of God (Acts 10:34).

It gave birth to a new community that was intent to walk and serve together towards a new future (Acts 4:34, 10, 16:11-40). The Holy Spirit is what enables transformation. The power of the Spirit reset the journey of the Apostles from despair to hope, incredible possibilities and a fresh purpose (Acts 4:18-20).

They were brought into the realm of limitless possibilities despite their limited educational experience (Acts 4:13).
They spoke across cultures with ease (Acts 2:7-11), they engaged the rulers of the day with truth and at great cost (Acts 4:19-20), and maintained a remarkable resilience in their ministries (Acts 5:1712:1).

The Spirit of Pentecost was not available only to the early Church; it still exists today. Many today wonder about the source of hope in the midst of rampant deaths, loss of livelihoods and the socio-economic upheaval.

As was at creation, the Spirit still brings order out of chaos, life out of death, transforming and renewing whoever and wherever it touches.

Confronted with the true uncertainty of human existence and the true vulnerability of human life through the Covid-19 pandemic experience, we are being enabled by the Spirit of God to re-examine our choices and priorities; to appreciate the values of repentance, humility, compassion, preparedness, collaboration and solidarity. Many are beginning to reflect deeply on God’s call upon all of us at a time like this.

The Spirit is changing
During this pandemic, the Spirit prods us out of despondence, whispers God’s reassuring promises and offers fresh re-imagination about our future.

A future that is inclusive and sustainable, characterised by forgiveness, hope, justice, peace, care and sharing.
It seeks to awaken us about the possibilities of this more promising future and challenges us to think, act and live differently in order to make that future a reality (2 Corinthians 6:1-13).

The Spirit also enables us to look at things with a different perspective or lenses (through the eyes of faith) 2 Corinthians 5:7: “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

With these eyes of faith, we perceive that we are never left alone whatever the circumstances we face; as it was with Elisha when his servants’ eyes where opened to behold the heavenly army that was on their side (2 Kings 6:17).
We also come to the realisation that we are one with Jesus Christ who walked where we are walking.

The Spirit-empowerment enables us to take on another disposition where we now dwell in the hope realm.

The writer is a retired Anglican priest and overseer of Faith and Science Publications.


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