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Wednesday Reflection for Pentecost

Wednesday Reflection written by James Robertson

Last Sunday we celebrated the Christian festival of Pentecost. This is to mark the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus. We may assume, therefore, that those followers looked up to witness and experience this descent. And, in so doing, they became aware of something beyond themselves. Just over two weeks ago some of you may have witnessed and experienced the aurora borealis; often referred to as the northern lights. It was reported that people who did observe this phenomenon felt a sense of being one very small part of a vast and unknown universe; that when they looked up they became aware of something beyond themselves. Looking up is perhaps a habit we should cultivate. As I write this, I am looking down towards a screen; similarly, as you read this you are most likely looking down towards a screen. Looking up helps our posture and gives us a sense of our place in this world. And when we look up, we look out; might the ‘outernet’ be more fulfilling than the internet? Perhaps it is when we look up and look out that we most meaningfully reflect on something beyond ourselves.

But if you must look down, then have a look at this. (see link below) It is a piece of choral music written by the Norwegian composer, Ola Gjeilo. It is called ‘Northern Lights’ and was inspired by his witnessing of the aurora borealis one Christmas night in Oslo. We may not have been present at the first Pentecost as written in the book of Acts; and we may not have witnessed the aurora borealis. But we can still look up and, in our own time, think our thoughts.