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WCC presidents on Pentecost: “Waves of despair, tongues of fire”

WCC presidents on Pentecost: “Waves of despair, tongues of fire”

“The church was born in tumult yet emerged from the chaos with a potent, indeed life-changing, message relevant to all cultures and contexts” Photo: Marcelo Schneider/WCC, Fiji 2020

30 May 2020

In a message on Pentecost, entitled “Waves of despair, tongues of fire,” the regional presidents of the World Council of Churches reflect on the mighty presence of God.

“The church was born in tumult yet emerged from the chaos with a potent, indeed life-changing, message relevant to all cultures and contexts,” reads the message. “As at the first Pentecost, so it must be again today.”

A silent, invisible, lethal natural force has landed, reflects the message. “The novel coronavirus has upended the whole world, instilling terror and chaos, causing millions to fall ill and hundreds of thousands to die,” reads the text. “The pandemic has wreaked havoc on economies, upset families and community life, eluded the most sophisticated systems of global and local healthcare, tested the mettle and efficacy of governance, and caused outbreaks of hunger.”

Yet this Pentecost, across the centuries and around the world, Christians are linked to each other and to those earliest disciples to proclaim, as they boldly did, that the God of Life is with us still. “The Spirit of God lifts our hearts in prayer and longing,” the message reads. “The Spirit instills in us courage to face grief and suffering.”

Pentecost message from the WCC presidents 2020