Come, Lord Jesus, send us your Spirit. Renew the face of the earth.
These song lyrics and others like them will resound in churches throughout the world this coming Sunday as we mark the great Feast of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church.
We will hear the account of the first Pentecost event when the Holy Spirit penetrated the locked doors of the upper room where the disciples were gathered in fear. In a rushing wind the Spirit blew open their hearts, transforming them from cowardly believers into followers afire with faith in Jesus and with zeal for the Gospel.
Like those first disciples we, too, are filled with the Spirit. The Feast of Pentecost, then, serves to remind us of the Spirit’s dwelling within each of us and among all of us who form the family of believers. At the same time, the feast offers us the opportunity to pray together for our world, one that stands in desperate need of the Spirit’s energy and movement.
In our Pentecost prayers and hymns, then, we invite the Spirit to renew the face of the earth. We pray that God’s love, which is powerful enough to transform even the hardest of hearts, might touch us and animate us to bring that same transforming love to the world through people and situations we encounter each day.
We pray also that the breath of the Spirit might enliven us and energize us, and through us breathe new life and new spirit into a dispirited people and world. We pray, finally, that the mighty wind of the Spirit might blow through our land, so that goodness and love might grow and flourish.