What makes you energetic? What brings you joy? What are you passionate about? These are the questions of Pentecost. These are the source of not only our inspiration in life but what we are willing to devote precious time and energy to. So let me share with you my passions, my joys, and what gives me energy. I am passionate about bringing the Bible to life for people. I am passionate about the word of God in the everyday experiences. It brings me joy to share in the lives of others and to care for other people. I am so passionate about this that it is a part of my everyday life and has been since I was in high school. Either I am reading something new about the peoples of the Bible, learning about the scriptures, sharing my knowledge, helping people ask the right questions that help make the scriptures relevant to their lives, or helping people to find ways to live into God’s compassion.
When I am inspired by something I become energetic about it. I am excited about it. I talk about it; I study it; and I think about how to apply it to life. But how do we make that leap from the feel good emotions of inspiration to actions that have a real effect on the world? This is what Pentecost shows us. I have been asked about why we hear about the apostles, their ministries, and their deaths on Pentecost Sunday. The apostles went from inspired disciples learning at the feet of Christ to gaining the Holy Spirit that helped them to transform their inspiration, their enthusiasm into God’s work, into work that brought compassion and love into an a violent world ruled by tyrants and bullies.
This was Christ’s gift to the people after his ascension. This was how Christ let the Apostles and the people of the world know that he hadn’t left permanently and that Christ’s call was to more than learning but rather to a way of life, to work that would leave its impact on the world and in the lives of those in need. It is the call to use our passions, our gifts, our inspiration to leave an impact on the lives of others. Howard Thurman, a 20th century theologian, wrote, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive”.
So what makes you come alive? This is the question we are called to contemplate because what inspires life in us, what inspires excitement of the soul, that is the work of the Holy Spirit coming alive in us and it is up to us to let that Spirit work in our actions, in our outreach to those in need, and in the way we interact in the world. It would be easy to just keep our joys, our talents, and our gifts to ourselves but that is just not what followers of Christ do. We should always be seeking to share those passions and touch the lives of others. Remember the day of Pentecost and how in the midst of threats, loss, and grief, “All of the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability”.
No matter the challenges, the fears, or the judgments of others the Spirit moves us all to action. The Spirit wants us to take our passions, our gifts, and our inspiration and to turn it into something that will remind the world that God is good, that God is love, that God is peace, that God is in this world working to make life better, urging humanity to live into his healing love. So go forth into the coming week inspired by the faith and work of the Apostles, feel the Spirit alive in you, and do something to make someone else’s life just a little easier. This is the call Christ on our lives. Do you feel it?
 Howard Thurman, 20th century theologian.
 Acts 2: 4, NRSV.
(based on Acts 2: 1-21)