May 28, 2023

A27: The Day of Pentecost, Year A (2023)

Kristin Adkins Whitesides

Rev. Dr. Kristin Adkins Whitesides, pastor of First Baptist Church, Winchester, Virginia, begins today’s Pentecost sermon from Acts 2:1-21 with a story of the church in the Middle Ages. The celebration of Pentecost was one of the great holidays celebrated in the cathedrals, many of which were built with this celebration in mind. The ceilings were intricately painted and there were trap doors in the ceiling made specifically for Pentecost. Live doves were released through these trap doors, symbolizing the presence of the Holy Spirit. Rose petals were dropped on worshippers to symbolize tongues of fire. Whitesides says, “In the midst of a hard existence of working hand-to-mouth, you can only imagine that this sort of extravagant beauty seemed almost like a miracle. A reminder that when God comes into the church something surprising, beautiful, and wonderfully unexpected almost always happens.” This is what happened on the first day of Pentecost, and Whitesides wonders: “Do we still believe in a God who acts like that? Do we still believe that God looks at us and sees people he can work with?”

Manuscript available: click HERE