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Some thoughtful questions about flames, zebras and a rope—Pentecost Sunday 2018

Reading: The story of Pentecost, Acts 2:1-21
ADDRESS Some thoughtful questions about flames, zebras and a rope—Pentecost Sunday 2018
Today is Pentecost Sunday and, in most churches, the event it commemorates will simply be marked as if we have a clear idea of what it is we are celebrating, namely, the passing on of the Holy Spirit to the first disciples fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection and thence, through the millennia, the passing on of the (exact) same Holy Spirit on to us. However, as I sat down to write this address I realised the need to confess that I have never known what this really means and I still don’t know today.

Oh, to be sure, I’m perfectly able to weave interesting and, at times perhaps, even moderately persuasive, metaphorical, metaphysical sounding addresses about the Pentecost event but, as I looked back this week at the ones I have written for you over the years all of them seem, in the end, to speak more of my own basic lack of clarity and ignorance than anythi…

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