All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” (Acts 2:12, NRSV)
Pentecost itself is a season of transition. If it had been written then, I’m sure the disciples would have been listening on repeat Bob Dylan’s song “The Times are A-Changin.'” A little over a month ago their entire lives were thrown into chaos: their leader was arrested and executed, then miraculously he came back appeared to some and then to all, then he left them with specific instructions to stay put and wait.
And so here when the rest of their countrymen and fellow Jews are celebrating a Festival to rival any state fair not named the Iowa State Fair, the group of Jesus-followers hunkers down in their safe confines. I wonder if they stayed there the entirety of their time in Jerusalem. Maybe they were afraid and it was just as well to stay in the safe confines of their room.
The disciples aren’t alone though. Their relationship with the divine is changed as well. Though they had access to Jesus when he was alive, he’s no longer there. Instead, they are given the Spirit. And through the Spirit, the disciples transition to apostles. They transform from middle management to upper leadership. They get promoted from Triple-A to the Majors.
And the transition isn’t done there either because though Jesus initiated the beginning of God’s realm here on earth, it’s not complete. God worked through Jesus, but now God transitioned to work through these apostles, the first persons of what we call the Church. It’s an amazing idea, God works through the Church. That means God works through us, we who are the Church.
God works through you. Think about that for a second. You bet it can be a scary proposition, “God relies on little old me?” I’m sure that same question was going on in each of the apostles’ heads as they dealt with the confusion of trying to understand each other.
But the quick answer is, “yes.” God relies on you. God relies on me. God relies on us. Because that’s the final transition of Pentecost. Through the outpouring of the Spirit both then and each time one of us is baptized, “me” transitions to “we.”
Through the Spirit, we are united together. Through the Spirit, we are the Church. Through the Spirit, we are God’s People. I guess that means we should probably act like it.
May it be so this day.