In the minds of many people, the church exists as a place of solemnity, seriousness and formality. And there is a place for that – but not all of the time.

Worldwide, the Christian church has just celebrated the feast of Pentecost, when the church was born in an atmosphere of excitement and exuberance.

So much so that those who witnessed it thought that those present were drunk!

I don’t think that allegation could ever be laid at the door of those who depart their place of worship Sunday by Sunday.

There is the story of a family in a large camper van, who pulled up in front of one church just as the minister was leaving the building.

Wanting to be friendly, the minister introduced himself, and expressed his admiration for the van.

The driver told him rather proudly: “This van sleeps eight.” Then he said: “What is the capacity of your church?”

The minister replied, “Oh, it sleeps about three hundred.”

The most amazing thing about it was that all those who had gathered there, from every nation under the sun, heard what was being said to them in their own language.

That is communication! It is recorded that they were all “together”.

How little today’s church resembles the church on that first Pentecost, when there was excitement and pandemonium everywhere.

I suppose the idealist within me still wishes there was more unity in our country, and that we did not treat others who do not share our views on football, politics and other things with disdain – and even, at times, with hatred. Problems so easily arise when there is miscommunication.

You have probably heard the story about the couple who were going out for the night.

They called a taxi and, before they left, put the cat out.

The taxi duly arrived, but as the couple walked out of their front door, the cat shot back in.

They didn’t want the cat shut in the house all night, so the wife went out to the taxi while the husband went upstairs to chase out the cat.

The wife, not wanting the taxi driver to know the house was going to be empty for the evening, said: “My husband’s just going upstairs to say goodnight to my mother.”

A few minutes later, her husband returned and, getting into the taxi, told the driver: “Sorry it took so long. Stupid old thing was hiding under the bed and I had to poke her with a coat hanger to get her to come out.”

You can imagine the look on the taxi driver’s face!

Mis-communication can be a problem.

Help us to try to ensure in our own relationships, personal and professional, to ensure what we say is clear, direct and succinct.