Principal's Report - A message for Pentecost
This Sunday, 28 May, is the Feast of Pentecost.
The broad story of this Feast is captured in the Acts of the Apostles, which is attributed to Luke. The word Pentecost is Greek for 'Fifty Days' and occurs that long after Easter Sunday. Luke writes of a time when many Jewish people from outside of Jerusalem had returned to the city for the Feast of Weeks, and the Apostles found inspiration to speak to all of them about Christ's message. It is the turning point from Jesus's Apostles leaving fear behind and becoming evangelisers. Much of the imagery (wind, tongues of fire and doves) remains with it as symbols of faith, particularly around Confirmation.
For our students today, the story of Pentecost could inspire a time to leave fear behind. Growing up today has more pitfalls and challenges then it did even ten years ago, and working in schools gives a very direct sense of the demands on the time and emotions of our young people, of all ages. Simpler issues regarding peer relationships and education are now made much more complex by social media and the need to be always 'on'. The pressure of mass media and a beauty industry, aimed now at boys and girls, that sets unattainable goals and expectations and brings an overbearing pressure.
As adults helping them navigate this world, we must walk with them but also encourage them to leave fear behind them. The Apostles were inspired by the presence of God, manifested as the Holy Spirit, which, according to Luke, swept through a room as a strong wind and settled tongues of fire/sparks around them. Our job is to help our young people realise that the tongues of fire are always there for them - the confidence and strength they need are within them and we must draw it out to help them navigate a complex world.
Mr Chris Gabbett