With eight days to go to the feast of Pentecost perhaps we should reflect on what the feast means. Jesus asked the apostles to wait in Jerusalem until they recieved power from above. He was talking about the Holy Spirit coming alive in their hearts. The Spirit would then open the minds and hearts of the disciples to all that Jesus had said and done. For us, with 2000 years of Christianity behind us, we find it hard to understand the newness of what Jesus taught. During the Roman empire, human life was very cheap. People died of disease, poverty, wars and the poor were totally expendable. Jesus came and gave every person dignity. That was the message of Jesus. How radical was it? In a land where slaves were commonplace, the Church was the only community to offer equality to all. Slave, freeman, slaveowner, could all come to the table of the Lord. Life was now social, a gift from God and God himself had walked among us to show how special we are. In these few days before Pentecost reflect on what Pentecost would really mean to the early Christians. In a land where people were killed at the whim of a soldier, where girl children were laid out on the mountain to be taken by wolves and foxes, where men were conscripted without consent to fight wars, think of what being a special child of God would mean. And then ask yourself "would I have accepted this new religion?"