Hello, friends of St. Paul. This Sunday we celebrate the Pentecost miracle – when the Holy Spirit rested on a large group of believers and gave them the ability to testify about God in many different languages. The readings for Sunday are Numbers 11:24-30; Acts 2:1-21; and John 7:37-39. Pentecost (so named because it occurs “50 days” after Passover) dates back to the Old Testament (see Deut. 16 and 26) and is an early harvest festival. The highlight of this festival was a gift-giving ceremony at the temple. Farmers would bring their baskets of freshly harvested grain to be offered as gifts before God’s altar. Gift-giving is still a part of how we celebrate today, but it can be complicated. Not every gift we give is offered in spirit of generosity. Sometimes we give only grudgingly. Not every gift is received with gratitude. Sometimes we are jealous for what others have gotten instead of us. Thankfully, God’s gift-giving is not like this at all. In His giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost God was extravagant. He does not hold back. He pours His Spirit out on all believers, equipping each one of us in a unique way to represent Christ in the world. Today, think of a gift God has given you and thank Him for it.