Pentecost didn’t happen only once.

The noise intensified. The joy palpable. Community present.

A community that had just met.

A community that came from different countries and different walks of life.

A community that spoke a multitude of languages.

A community of young and old.

A community of people wandering and people searching.

A beautiful glimpse of the kingdom of God.

We all came together for one night while embarking on a longer journey. We came together in flesh. In food. In presence. In song. In bread and wine.

We were pilgrims along the Camino de Santiago in Spain. For this one evening we found a common bond in cooking together and gathering for a meal.

Throughout the 500-mile journey across Spain to reach the town of Santiago de Compostela and the cathedral housing the relics of St. James, pilgrims along the way spend the night in a variety of places. Hostels, hotels, campgrounds and religious institutions.


We all came together for one night while embarking on a longer journey. We came together in flesh. In food. In presence. In song. In bread and wine.


One community in particular is known for its generous hospitality. It’s a community run by brothers from the Taizé community. Every night they invite the pilgrims to prepare and cook dinner. Pilgrims from all over the world chopping, prepping and cooking together. While cooking, stories are shared, lives opened, journeys compared and secrets released. Sometimes the quiet is interrupted by Taizé chants.

When the meal is cooked, everyone gathers at the table to feast. Prayers are offered around the table in the multitude of languages. Toasts shouted loudly as well.

I remember this evening vividly. I remember the fullness of the night—a fullness of hope, food, cheers and spirit. I don’t think I’m wrong to believe that the Spirit flourishes in those dinners. That the Spirit binds the people gathered together. That the Spirit offers peace and hope. That the Spirit speaks through us in words and silence.

A multitude of people and languages. Coming together to feast. Coming together to understand one another and to be understood.

That dinner was a Pentecost experience for me. A creating of a community. A sending of a community. A community filled with the Spirit to go out in this world. A community full of the good news that’s meant to be shared. A community inspired by the Spirit to bear hope and to witness to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Pentecost didn’t happen only once.

It’s still happening.

It’s still coming.

The church being brought forth in each of us.

The Spirit working in our lives and bringing us together.

The Spirit wanting us to feast, eat and be filled.

I can’t go back to that meal. And even if I did walk again and find myself spending the night there, it would be different. Although no less holy.

The same Spirit that met me in a tiny Spanish village meets me wherever I journey, giving me glimpses of God’s kingdom here and now.

Kimberly Knowle-Zeller
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, Mo. Her website is kimberlyknowlezeller.com.

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