The Pentecost story in Acts 2 begins with this sentence: They were all together in one place.
The they is the disciples and other followers of Jesus, and the time is 10 days after Jesus had disappeared into the clouds. I can imagine the Jesus-followers were sad, confused, and a bit frozen-feeling. But what did they do? They gathered, all together in one place, to pray.
Every time I hear the Pentecost story read aloud, I have a hard time getting past that line. They were all together in one place. To me that is pure poetry. What would it look like, today, if the followers of Jesus were all together in one place?
Because we’re not — we’re far from it! We’re all over the place! Theologically liberal and conservative, of every stripe and denomination! And I don’t think those divisions are going to magically end. They seem to be intensifying. And most of the time, I am fine with the divisions. After all, there are so many different kinds of people in the world, how can one church/belief system/worship style work for them all? I believe the Holy Spirit works in many ways and venues and moments.
And yet there have been times when I’ve been all together with other believers, if just for a moment, and oh my goodness, isn’t that sweet? That is the experience of the communion of saints, that unity in spirit.
That, my friends, is what I think heaven will be!
And I do love the fact that the Presbyterian logo has red flames. Come Holy Spirit! It gives me hope.
Happy Pentecost, everybody!