The Story Behind “It’s Pentecost”

True story.

About a week after our “Easter is Coming” video went sort of viral – or perhaps I should say, “viral” for us 🙂 – the President of the seminary said to me, “So what are you going to do next?”

Truth be told, we had no “next” in mind. But prompted by the implicit challenge in the question, Ben Cieslik and I went back to the drawing board and decided to experiment with how we might bring out a new dimension of Pentecost. This time we found inspiration from something Pete Rollins said: “We all have holes we want filled, but more times than not, God doesn’t just fill those holes, God makes them bigger.” (Or something like that. :))

Which got us thinking, particularly with regard to Pentecost: we tend to think that the coming of the Holy Spirit was a good thing. And of course in a lot of ways it was. But to those who first experienced it, it was also a really hard thing. The easy response would have been to retreat from Jesus’ promises, to head back to the lives they knew, or to chalk up their experience to the wildness of youth. But instead, the Spirit comes, convincing them it’s more true than ever and turning their lives upside down.

Before long they’re going places they have no right to go, saying things they shouldn’t be saying, to people they wouldn’t formerly have dreamt of encountering, let alone challenging. All because of the Spirit we call Holy.

Which got us thinking again: are we the same way? That is, I think we often look to the Holy Spirit to solve our problems, when maybe the Spirit wants to create some new ones, some big ones, some better ones. Problems that draw us out of our preoccupation with ourselves and into active concern for the welfare of our neighbor.

The Spirit also equips us, I believe, to live into those problems that we may not just survive but flourish, but before the new life comes struggle and challenge.

Out of these musings came the video, “It’s Pentecost” – I wrote a text; Ben did his amazing work with animation and editing and sound; and then we cut and cut until we had something short enough that people would watch. The result is below. As before, feel free to share it, use it, or whatever.

Have a blessed Pentecost. But, be careful, because you never know quite where the Spirit will take you!

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