Fifty days after Easter, we celebrate Pentecost. It is very different in different Christian cultures – in much of Europe, the Monday after is a public holiday. It is considered the beginning of summer for some. In Eastern Orthodox traditions, it is a 3-day holiday, coinciding with the Trinity. In Western Christianity, the color red is used throughout the churches.
The symbols, images used for the Holy Spirit, are multiple: fire, wind, dove, and multiple languages. The association with speaking in tongues tends to make liberals uneasy, for its history of being misused. But the Spirit is also the way in which the feminine is incorporated into divine images. And the Spirit is spoken of as Wisdom, which is another spirit image we embrace.
So I say let's not shy away from the Spirit. The images of God's presence in nature – wind, dove, flame – and the inclusion of many languages, which also means many cultures, and the feminine Divine, are beautiful ways of thinking of God in gentle and inclusive terms. Let's all be open to a spirit of Wisdom filling us this Pentecost.
Posted on Sat, June 8, 2019
by Brenda Wheelock