Pentecost was written for a particular school situation described in Background. Its purpose was specifically to present some of the teaching of Jesus about the Holy Spirit prior to reading about the events of Pentecost and the Acts. A simple gesture by Matthias towards the congregation heightens the effect of his words, "That means the Holy Spirit isn't just coming into us who have been meeting here for prayer. He's already at work out there!"

The annual day of Pentecost had arrived. Already, crowds of people had gathered in Jerusalem. The followers of Jesus had been meeting daily for prayer. They had selected Matthias to fill the gap left in "the Twelve" by the death of Judas. We picture Matthias and Miriam (one of the Mary's) arriving early for the prayer meeting...
MIRIAM:So glad you're early, Matthias.
MATTHIAS:I wanted to be early, Miriam. Even though I wasn't one of the twelve Jesus picked at the first, I still feel very deeply that Jesus has chosen me to be an apostle. Today seems - well - an extra special day. Almost as if - as if something extraordinary might happen.
MIRIAM:Strange you should say that, Matthias, because others have made the same comment. Somehow, during these days when we have been meeting for prayer, the presence of Jesus has been so real, even though we don't see him now, just as he said.
MATTHIAS:You know, Miriam, I've been thinking about what Jesus said - how in not many days we would be baptised in the Holy Spirit. I'm still not sure just what that means, but I've given up puzzling over it. I just think something's going to happen!
MIRIAM:The Spirit is the wind, coming and going as it wills. Jesus told us he said something about that to Nicodemus, didn't he?
MATTHIAS:Yes, Spirit, wind - they're the same in our language. And when John the Baptist spoke about the Spirit he also spoke about fire. Perhaps that means that all the things in us that aren't right will be burnt up, done away with. And then, what was it about Jesus' baptism?
MIRIAM:I wasn't there. But it's said that, when John baptised Jesus, the Holy Spirit came down like a dove. A dove, so different from the wind and fire - a dove, speaking of God's peace.
MATTHIAS:Wind - fire - dove. They seem so different, yet they are all telling us something about the Holy Spirit, reminding us that God is here and that he is at work in so many different ways.
MIRIAM:That's right, Matthias, and when the Holy Spirit comes as Jesus promised, there's no saying what God will do through us - only I have a strong feeling that he will be doing so much more, and that it will be more of his goodness, love and power and less of our fumbling mistakes, more of his positive purposes and less of our - fear. I don't know one of us who would be game to say anything about Jesus just at the moment.
MATTHIAS:I agree, Miriam. And yet Jesus said the Holy Spirit, the Helper - I like that word, "Helper" - he said the Helper will teach us the truth of all his teachings and that he would do something to bring other people to see that they were wrong in not believing in Jesus, that he really is alive and that they had better do something about it. Jesus seemed to be saying that it is the Holy Spirit who brings people to be sorry for their sins and to believe in Jesus as their Saviour.
MIRIAM:Wasn't there something else Jesus said to Nicodemus? "You can't enter the Kingdom of God unless you are born of water and of the Spirit." If the Holy Spirit brings people to believe in Jesus, then they are born of the Spirit. The Spirit does more in their lives, too!
MATTHIAS:Hey! That means the Holy Spirit isn't just coming into us who have been meeting here for prayer. He's already at work out there! That's terrific!
MIRIAM:Here come some of the others now.
MATTHIAS:It's the day of Pentecost, a kind of harvest festival. Lord, what are you going to do with us today?
Well, what did the Lord do with them that day? We read about what happened next in Acts chapter 2. But it is a question for us to ask, too. Lord, what are you going to do with us today?
Reader:Acts 2.1-4.

From Between the Lines. Dialogues for Worship by Peter J. Blackburn published by Testimonium Fellowship 1992, © Peter J. Blackburn.
Permission is given for copying of this document for local use with this copyright notice intact. For any other proposed use the specific permission of Peter J. Blackburn must be sought.

Back to Dialogues for Worship