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  • Writer's pictureRick Wadholm Jr

A Pentecost Shaped Life

Pentecost Sunday is upon us. But it is so much more than simply the “birthday of the Church” as some have liked to say. Pentecost is our story as the Church. We live out of and into Pentecost. Pentecost shapes our very lives as God’s people.


What do I mean by this?


I mean that Pentecost is the testimony of the enthronement of Jesus as King at the right hand of our Father in Heaven. It is the testimony that the Resurrected One has not only been vindicated in his life and death but is glorified with God. King Jesus, the Spirit-baptized One, is now the Spirit-baptizer of us all. He is the promised Son of David filled with the Spirit and overflowing with the Spirit upon all flesh, giving gifts, and leading his victory train in triumph over death and the grave (in anticipation of that final victory to come).


Pentecost was always the point of God’s creation and redemption. We were not meant to only be forgiven our many sins (though we most certainly need that too) as we forgive others. We were not mean to only be rescued from all that undoes God’s good creation and opposes his reign on earth as in heave. We were meant to receive and live into the overflowing life of God in and by his Spirit. From the creation his Spirit has brooded over all creation, gives life and is life. This super-abounding Spirit makes all things new and was always meant to cover the earth like the seas. Pentecost is God’s life in and for and to and through all who call on the name of the Lord.


Pentecost is our past, present, and future. Pentecost is the foretaste of God’s kingdom come and coming. While we enjoy his presence, the presence of the enthroned Lord Jesus and our Father in heaven, we long for the day of the kingdoms of this world to become the kingdom of our God. That is the day the outpoured Spirit points to and moves us toward as his witnesses. Jesus is coming again and the Spirit and the en-Spirited Bride say, “Come quickly!” And the Spirit opens and assures for us that coming reign (in testimony now; in fullness when the Son comes again) when all things will be set right. In that day our bodies that have known only in part his goodness will be so filled with his Spirit that they will transformed into conformity with Christ in all ways.


As we celebrate the Spirit as God’s gift given by our Spirit-baptizer, let us give ourselves more and more to living into and out of Pentecost as our story and the story meant to shape the world for the reign of God.

—Rev. Rick Wadholm Jr., PhD, Canon Theologian of Missio Mosaic and the Anglican Mission, Associate Professor of Old Testament at AGTS

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