We start in this period between the Ascension of Jesus and the descent of the Holy Spirit. A time of waiting that started out full of hope and joy but them turned. We find the apostles and disciples at Pentecost hiding in the upper room afraid of the Jewish authorities. What happened? Was it because they were in the Temple very often? Were they preaching to enthusiastically about Jesus as the Messiah? Were the scribes and Pharisees getting worried about them getting too much support? Were they complaining to the Romans about their support for the “criminal” Jesus who had been crucified?
In one sense their faith was not yet strong enough to face the anger of the authorities but when they received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost they got amazing courage and despite persecution they spread the Gospel of Jesus, not only in Jerusalem but out to the whole known world. Let us pray that we will also have the same faith and courage to witness to Jesus Christ in our homes, where we work, in our neighbourhoods and to all we come in contact with.
The Jubilee weekend, where we celebrate Pentecost, is also the celebration of the Queen’s 70 years on the throne. An amazing achievement and one that shows a wonderful and abiding commitment, throughout all the earth shattering changes during that period. She has shown herself to be a woman of integrity, strength, and humour. I hope that all the celebrations will bring the people of Britain together and help us to work together for a better world.