Every Pentecost I'm reminded by the liturgical calendar that it is also called Whitsunday, but I've never taken the time to look up what that meant. It's Pentecost, who cares. But as I struggle to find the words to speak to St. Paul's this weekend, I'm grasping at straws, looking for where the Spirit is lurking, waiting for me to find her.
I googled Whitsunday today and found an interesting article about it on wikipedia. (Don't tell the Board of Examining Chaplains) In reading the article, especially this quote from 15th century Canon, John Mirk, "Good men and wimmen, this day (Dies Penthecostes) is called Wytsonday by cause the holy ghost bought wytte and wisdom into Crists dyscyples, and so by prechying after in all Cristendom and fylled him full of holy Wytte" I all of a sudden came to realize the real meaning behind the second collect for the day:
O God, who on this day taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit is made manifest in the life giving breath of God.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit is made manifest in tongues as of fire and a mighty rushing wind.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit is made manifest in wisdom and discernment.
I think too often people think the are lacking the Spirit in their lives because they don't do miracles or speak in tongues, but honestly, the Spirit is most often present in the everyday decisions of life; those moments where the choice is between self and other. When we make those right judgments, we can be assured the Spirit is at work within us.