The Spirit, the Languages, the Kingdom

The Spirit’s role in a theology of Revelation also needs to be picked up at this point because without proper exposure of the work of the Spirit in Revelation, we will have divorced Christ from the ongoing work being carried out in His Spirit. The Spirit is the unveiling presence that instructs us in the time that Christ is still hidden from sight as the world’s true lord. Between cross and eschaton it is the Spirit that leads us into the continued dialogical relationship of God’s Word and the People that Word calls and shapes under its form.

Pentecost is the beginning of an event that continues to take place until the day of consummation. In the Spirit of Pentecost the Church reveals what must finally come to take place and makes apprehensible in some tangible forms the final and perfect end of all things. Pentecost isn’t a past event, based on a narrative hermeneutic of continuity, it is the event by which we remember the day the Lord poured the Spirit out on us and charged us to go out in power making disciples with boldness and in the power of the reign of the last day.

The epiclesis is not just an invitation to witness a miracle in the mass, it is the form of the Church’s ongoing plea that the Word might be made flesh in her midst. It is the call out to God, that the Church’s life might throw into question the powers that be and shape her life to be an advance sign of the coming kingdom.

The giving of the Spirit in the book of the Acts of the Apostles is not just a religious event, it is the calling out of a people and an advertisement to the world about the nature of the people being called into the kingdom. It reminds us of the thunderings of God at Sinai, where some in the tradition have translated thunderings as languages. This is by no means an authoritative interpretation, but one that presents itself nonetheless. These languages, the xenoglossia, the glossolalia, and the hearing of the gospel in native languages is a sign of the Day of the LORD.

The Spirit is constantly teaching and affirming the Truth to our hearts, but also empowering us to challenge the empire and reminding us that we have the first-fruits of God’s conquest over death, the down payment of the Spirit who resurrected Christ will act in and through us, as the body of Christ to continue to manifest the kingdom. In our appeal to live the eschaton, to be the people of new creation, we will continue to be the kingdom that presents itself as an alternative to the violence that the world calls peace. We will be that people who in their very existence challenge the powers and be that community which is in the Spirit of Him Who Unveils the Truth of the Worlds.

At Pentecost, the people saw the anticipation of the fulfillment of the kingdom, this caused many to leave their homes behind and join the community at Jerusalem. So too, the Spirit instructs us in the way of Christ and is the continued revelation to us in Sacred Scripture’s interpretation through the Holy Tradition. A proper theology of revelation unites Christ and the Spirit in the work of revelation, and sees the singular event as the climax of an ongoing dialogue between God and His people.

The Church Herself is a spoken word of the encounter between God and Humanity at Sinai. Pentecost is not an historical event with no continued significance, it is the unfolding of the Church’s manifold witness. The power of the Spirit not only retains the teachings of the apostolic witness, but continues the ongoing dialogue between God and His people for the world to see.

When we are the community that Christ has called, the world sees a community shaped by the work and call of God. The world sees the overlapping of heaven, namely true Justice, Peace, Faith, Hope and Love, as well as its own failure to produce these. The world sees a form of Christ in the world, as fits our witness. The Spirit consistently renews us into the Christ-form as the Church. Pentecost is the ongoing work of the Church to be the apocalyptic connection between heaven and earth.

The Spirit retains the Church in the life and work of Christ, and makes manifest the ongoing work of God’s people to bear witness to the world about the Kingdom we claim is true. The epiclesis is not just a liturgical form, it is the life and prayer of the Church in her rightful place, elevating Christ that she might receive the blessed miracle of His sacrifice.


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