God's Spirit breaks down the barriers between nations, the barriers of culture, and the barriers of language. Being drawn together, being one, does not mean being identical. It means transcending the barriers that separate us, holding together our diversity in the power of the "breath of God's voice". This is a pronounced and profound experience of communication. And it is through this great "communicative act" that the disciples are able to communicate "God's deeds of power".The full text is here.
Still, if Pentecost is a profoundly "communicative" experience, it is also a profoundly "ecumenical" experience. At Pentecost in Jerusalem, representatives are gathered from "every nation under heaven", in other words, from the whole inhabited world, or, in Greek, from the oikoumene. It is at Pentecost that God's Spirit descends upon the oikoumene, gathered at this great ecumenical assembly in Jerusalem. So, Pentecost as the foundational event of the church is both communicative and ecumenical. Through God's embracing and inclusive Spirit we can comprehend the oikoumene in all its fullness, one in which that which was scattered is gathered together in a unity that transcends the economic and political divisions of the world. In our spirit-filled ecumenical existence, communication is at the very heart. It is through communication that we can become one - not despite our diversity, but in our diversity; not as an end in itself, but to speak about God's deeds of power.
Today I offered a meditation in the Ecumenical Centre to mark Pentecost as the great festival of communication. Here's an extract:
Posted by Open Source on Tuesday, May 25, 2010