Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pentecost

"When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them." Acts 2: 1-4

Whatever you are doing this day, whether it's small or large, something you been dreading or something for which you've been anxiously waiting, you aren't in it alone. The day of Pentecost tells us this. That day came. No, I believe it comes. It may have come in a moment together when those first followers of Jesus were still reeling in a closed room from the appropriate fear and wonder of seeing Jesus ascend (like we wouldn't have been shaking in our boots from such a sight!). It may have been a wholly new event, a world-altering event for them. It was, of course. On a dime it changed the course of the world almost as much as the Incarnation itself. Honestly, if Jesus had lived and died and rose again, but Pentecost hadn't happened, all those three years of Jesus' earthly ministry would have been only a blip. No one would have known. It took the Holy Spirit entering into His followers, changing them, empowering them to move out into the world and fulfill the Great Commission that made that Word-was-made-flesh-and-dwelt-among-us to be passed down to us. So that we, too, could have our own moment. Our own Pentecost.

Yes, our own Pentecost. The moment we say yes to Him, the Holy Spirit comes. Perhaps there is a mighty wind across the past in our lives, perhaps there's a fire that burns out all that was before--a fire that burns out former vices, former ways and wants and dreams. Perhaps there's a wind and fire for something--SOMEONE--in such a way that from then on we can't help (like Peter and John) 'speaking of what we have seen and heard', what we have experienced.

But there's another kind of moment, which happens far more often, I think. My own Pentecost was somewhere  between. There was a specific moment. I can put my finger of memory on it in a way that it's like spraying a bit of perfume on my wrist and smelling it--and instantly I'm right back in that moment, though I was only fourteen-years-old. I remember well the awe and wonder of it as a prayer was prayed for the Holy Spirit to answer my own first fumbling words of faith. I was sitting along a path at a camp (headed, oddly--but, of course!--toward a chapel in the woods that was occupied at that moment) and when that young girl prayed for me, I actually felt something tip within. Something opened, I suppose you could say. Perhaps there's a metaphor for the fact that I was sitting among the pine needles along a path toward a worshiping place. In any case, it doesn't matter where I was. It only matters Who came into me. And He did. The Holy Spirit came into me that day and my life was surely changed.

There was a change in the wind--a change in velocity and power. Without a doubt I began to seek His Kingdom. I'd never been in love before but that's how I've always described it. I instantly fell in love with Jesus. Head over heels. And, for better and, sometimes, worse, have loved Him ever since. Or at least have been conscious of His great love for me no matter how I mess up. And secondly, He gave me a fire for the gospel. A fire to tell my small world of this amazing Love I'd found. That's what happens when you fall in love.  My parents, my friends, my siblings and cousins and whoever were subject to my soliloquies about Jesus. Whether they were ready to hear or not. The fire of the Holy Spirit had come upon me and that was it.

Pentecost comes to each of us. One way or another. If the Holy Spirit dwells within you, if you love Jesus, there He is. If your life is His, there He is. Pentecost has come. This is as important a day in the history of the church as any there is, but it's also representative of as important a day as any in your life.

So live in it. Live in your life, with the profound realization that the Holy Spirit lives within you. That's the story of Pentecost, a story that changed the world--and changed your life!

How will you live out and honor Pentecost among those you dwell this day?
"Whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Colossians 3: 17

1 comment:

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Yes, the Comforter has come...the Holy Spirit has come to abide within us...and that changes everything. I don't want to even imagine what my life or even the world would be like if He had not come. Many may not acknowledge His presence...but if He had not come...or if His presence were suddenly removed from this earth...I would not want to be here to witness the results of that cataclysmic event. Matter of fact, I'm sure I won't be...