THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD GOD is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners – Isaiah 61.1

Thus spoke the prophet Isaiah, looking towards the Christ who later, in the form of Jesus of Nazareth, quoted him! – in company with millions since.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me. This is what it means to be a child of God. This is what it means to be religious:

Sent to bind up. Sent to bring and to be good news. Sent to speak of freedom. Sent to open the jailer’s gate. Sent and Anointed to anoint.

All’s well and good then, we might say, or even pray: the Spirit of the Lord is upon “me”.

But what makes this good news? – for the oppressed, or for the broken- hearted, or for the imprisoned, as well as for “me”?

Pentecost gives us our answer. The Spirit of the Lord God is upon “me”, certainly, but also upon every other human person:

Here we are “Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia” – Acts 2.9

Rather like one of Pope Francis’ sermons, the Spirit of God, Creator and Christ, rests upon everyone and wanders where She wills.

Pentecost, the new life, the multi-lingual, multi-racial, multi-religious, universal life makes Divine appeal to all the world.

The Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Jesus of Nazareth, recognised as being at work in all persons, in every time and place, opens the jailer’s gate.

Cue for the critics: “They’re drunk! – At 9 in the morning. They’re histrionic. Take no notice. Stick with the old rules”

And the critics are still around. But so’s God’s Spirit – now and ever shall be, world without end. Blessed be God!

Happy Pentecost – for all the world.


  1. Ah Simon, your picture was transportive – I love it!! And then I got to your words…and read them with a smile, for I could have sworn I heard your voice.

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