3rd/4th June 2017
A New Language
Language is a great tool of communication. Language of itself is not enough to bring people together. In fact as someone once said, ‘words are a source of misunderstanding’. Just because we speak the same language doesn’t mean we are one. There may still not be a meeting of minds and hearts.
But the opposite can happen too. People may speak different languages they may be strangers to one another, yet a bond can be created among them so that they become brothers and sisters. On a day of great joy, or great sorrow, or great danger for community or a country, differences of language are swept aside. We stand shoulder to shoulder. In the recent terrorist attack in Manchester, nations around the world shared words of concern and care to Manchester and to all of England. We find ourselves of one mind and one heart.
In the gospel account of Pentecost we find two powerful symbols – wind and fire, both symbols of energy.
Still language is hugely important. We are told that on Pentecost day everyone understood the apostles. The spoke in ways we are familiar with, with words which alas, we tend to forget or leave unused. What is this new language?
It was the language of peace rather than of war; the language of reconciliation rather than conflict; the language of co-operation rather than of competition; the language of forgiveness rather than that of vengeance; the language of hope rather than despair; the language of tolerance rather than bigotry, the language of friendship rather than of hostility; the language of unity rather than of division; the language of love rather than of hate.
This ‘new’ language gave rise to a new community, the community of those who believed in Jesus – a community of faith and love. According to the Acts of the Apostles, the first followers of Jesus were ‘one in mind and heart’.
Through the gift of the Spirit, people of many languages learned to profess the one faith, to the praise and glory of God. That is the real miracle of Pentecost. And it is a miracle which, thankfully, still happens.
Let us pray:- Lord send us your Spirit that we may renew the earth and may the Spirit of God’s Love and Peace be with you all.
Kind wishes and congratulations to all receiving the Sacrament of confirmation this weekend.
We welcome Bishop Patrick O’Regan DD Bishop of Sale.
Take Care – Dean Peter.