I suspect that we have all had the experience of being really excited and just a little bit terrified at the same time? I have had this experience on many occasions. On my wedding day, awaiting the birth of my children, before my ordination, stood at the top of the steepest ski slope in the Alps.

I think that in some ways as we think about Pentecost the same feelings might just occur. What if the Holy Spirit were to come amongst us today, as he did at the first Pentecost? How would we feel? What would our reaction be: would it be to celebrate in His arrival, or would we stand on the sidelines, as some did at the first Pentecost, and sneer? My fervent hope is that we would celebrate the presence of the Holy Spirit with us. Surely we want to be the sort of Church that speaks to all in a language, or vernacular, they understand? Surely, we want to be the sort of church that says with boldness and confidence:

'Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'

This is our hope, isn't it?

So, how do we become this sort of church, a church which is truly charismatic and evangelical in the best sense of these terms; a church where the presence of God is real and tangible? Or put another way how do we become the sort of church where the Holy Spirit is demonstrably alive and active? Well, the Gospel points us towards the answer:

'If you love me, you will keep my commandments and I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.'

So the way to become a truly charismatic is to be obedient to Jesus' teaching, to keep his commandments but above all to love Him. If we do this then the Holy Spirit will be given to us. We  can't earn the gift of the Holy Spirit, we can't demand the presence of the Holy Spirit, but we can expect to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit if we keep our eyes fixed firmly on Jesus, if the deepest uttering of our heart is 'Jesus we love you…'

It is an amazing thought that God's greatest gift is Himself; the gift of the Holy Spirit amongst us, to sustain us, to keep on leading us into all truth, is testimony to God's desire to keep on giving day-after-day, week-after-week, year-after-year.

So we need to allow ourselves to be drawn into the greatest of all love stories, the story of God's love for us. And as we give Jesus our love he gives love back to us, and he broadens our horizons, he shows us that the love of God is to be shared amongst all people.

But, the Holy Spirit does something else. He leads us in mission. At the very first Pentecost he confirmed the Church in its mission, and he gave to the Church the language and resources it required to fulfil its task. The Holy Spirit, as Advocate and Sustainer continues to do this today. He gives us all that we need, equipping us to to say to all, with confidence, in a language relevant to each and every person:

'Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'

So let us keep a short period of silence during which we say to Jesus:

'Thank you,' and, 'we love you,' and let us pray to the Lord for the spiritual renewal of this Church, Amen.