Rev Bernard Walker reflects on the meaning of Pentecost in today’s world

Rev Bernard Walker is one of the leaders of our Night Prayer on Zoom Sundays 8pm. Bernard’s day job is Associate Professor of Leadership and Organisational Sciences, University of Canterbury.

An increasing part of my Leadership Development work is orienting people for working in a new context of uncertainty and rapid change. It’s called the ‘era of complexity’ where there are no simple answers to the major world challenges – from pandemics to global warming to war in Ukraine. 

Our whole society is changing at hyper-speed, with accelerating technological change; work is ‘intensifying’, while new generations think and act very differently. Often, old routines no longer fit in this new world.

As Christians, our faith is more relevant than ever, but our old systems for ministering and reaching people aren’t always effective. We have to find new ways to live and share that faith. It’s an environment that none of us has experienced before; we are dealing with ‘unknown unknowns’, issues that we often can’t even foresee.

For me, Pentecost is a reminder that we are like the early church, letting go of our old routines and giving birth to new ways. 

The Holy Spirit, Wairua Tapu, is alive, is with us and will guide us, even if we can’t see all the details of the road ahead. We have to learn to live with uncertainty, and cultivate the skill of listening carefully. For us as a church, the ‘era of complexity’ is also the ‘era of the Holy Spirit’ as we practise being open and super-attuned to the Spirit’s leading.

To join Bernard and the rest of our Night Prayer team, see our Services on our homepage and click the black Zoom button. 

By Bernard Walker