Pentecost – the explosive power of the Spirit

Equipment: Popcorn and Popcorn Maker

Sometimes the best way to think about something so complex and multilayered as the action of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost is to use a really, really simple analogy.

Here in my hand I have a few small corn kernals: they are closed, tight, hard. You can fit them in a small space.

They remind me of the first disciples: although they had witnessed the resurrection, encountered the risen Christ and seen first hand the power of God, they remained small, frightened, unsure and (literally) dis-spirited.

We place them in a small place, a small upper room (put them in the popper) a room where they might re-enact a meal, a ritual of when he was there.

To these small items, we add something powerful: the word of the Holy Spirit: a mighty wind (turn on the popper) and we begin to see a transformation: we cannot see the Holy Spirit herself, but we can see the action she has on the disciples.

(The corn begins to pop) An explosion of energy! A rapid expansion! Beyond the confines of the upper room and into the world, the disciples are no longer tight, hard, withdrawn, but open, fluffy, delightful!

Some are spread far and wide into the world (making a mess on the altar floor). It transforms the ritual of bread and wine from a simple memorial to a living reinactment – as the Holy Spirit brings Christ present in our midst and the body and blood of Christ feeds the dynamic, living, blown apart world of faith.

My dear friends, the Holy Spirit is here with us today, and can transform you in equally dynamic ways; the Holy Spirit can take that inner hardness, reticence, fear and doubt and help you to be open, fulfilled, released into the world to make a difference.

The Psalmist wrote “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps 34:8), for it is through experience, not deduction or logic that we know this to be true. Taste and see my dear friends, and you will know that by the work of the Holy Spirit, we are transformed, we are like those first disciples, we are bursting with the energy and the love of God.

(Eat popcorn) We have tasted, and we know. Come Holy Spirit. Come. Yummy. Amen.