The Common Good

Pentecost and the Freedom to Be in All the Wrong Places

Last Sunday, the Church concluded the 50-day Easter season with Pentecost. Pentecost celebrates the giving of the Holy Spirit and reminds us that our story isn’t static but dynamic, alive, and unfolding. It reminds us that we are a people marked by both what has happened and what is happening. It reminds us that our primary work isn’t to defend and isolate ourselves from the world around us, but to move into it as ambassadors of hope and reconciliation. In the same way that the disciples moved out from Jerusalem after Pentecost, we are to move out of our places of comfort and complacency as we join God in the world he is making.

Sneakers on asphalt road and "Do Not Cross" sign. Image courtesy igor.stevanovic
Sneakers on asphalt road and "Do Not Cross" sign. Image courtesy igor.stevanovic/

Related Reading

Take Action on This Issue

Circle of Protection for a Moral Budget

A pledge by church leaders from diverse theological and political beliefs who have come together to form a Circle of Protection around programs that serve the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world.

We are no longer captive to fear, but enlivened by our freedom: freedom to love the outcast. Freedom to listen to those we disagree with. Freedom share tables with those of different faith traditions. Freedom to encounter violence with creative alternatives. Freedom to love our enemies. 

We don’t have to fear what “bad” might rub off on us. Instead, we live in the freedom to move forward with both humility and confidence that the Holy Spirit does her best work when we intentionally move into the places she is already present.

Often, those people and places don’t fit into any of our tidy categories. Whether hanging out with friends in my gay basketball league, discussing the reality of God around a backyard bonfire in the West Bank with a collection of Christians and Muslims working for peace, sharing an Iftar meal with my Muslim neighbors during Ramadan or helping my undocumented neighbor sort through my recycling, I am more convinced than ever that the Holy Spirit was already present — she just needed me, and the church as a whole, to join in the work already underway.

If we are content sticking around the comfort and certainty of Jerusalem, our doctrine and dogma will suffice. If we take seriously our call to Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth, then we must embrace the glorious mystery of the Holy Spirit and join her in participating in the healing of a broken world. 

Jon Huckins is the Co-Founding Director of The Global Immersion Project, Missional Leadership Coach with Thresholds, family man, speaker & author of Thin Places & Teaching Through the Art of Storytelling.

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories


Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)