“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.”
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On May 23rd churches all over the world focused on the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples and beyond. Pentecost is the day that marks the birth of what we know today as the church. Jesus, before his ascension into heaven, stood with his disciples as they wondered how Jesus was going to “restore the kingdom,” his response was, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But YOU will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on YOU and YOU will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Jesus takes a marvelous turn and points back to the disciples saying that the Holy Spirit will give THEM the power to become his witnesses in the world! The encounter between Jesus and the disciples is one which puts the followers of Jesus ON the hook not off the hook for doing Jesus’ ministry in the world around them. However, it is important to know that the disciples were being PREPARED for the work ahead of them. They WAITED…they PRAYED…they FELLOWSHIPPED together…..and they BELIEVED. When God’s Holy Spirit came, they were caught in the wind and the flames which filled them with words of God’s immense love in Christ, enthusiasm and the desire to share the story with all who would listen. The Holy Spirit empowered the disciples to become the witnesses Jesus desired them to be!
We too have received the Holy Spirit and have been called to be witnesses of God’s action of love in Jesus to the ends of the earth. Unfortunately, faith and connection in the United States has declined over the last 80 plus years to a new low. In the most recent of polls there has been great DECLINE in those affiliated with ANY religious organization. Things are rapidly changing in the US when it comes to faith, connection to church and desire for any “relationship” with a community of believers. In 1937, when the first Gallup poll was taken, the percentage of those affiliated with a
church, synagogue or mosque was 73%, and in the last year the number dropped to 47%.
Does this shake you to the core? It should!
Jesus’ great commission is not to stop because we are tired, afraid, overwhelmed or growing older. You are called! I am called! We are called to share with the world around us and because the world has changed we HAVE to find new ways to share with excitement our experience with Christ. To reach out with the story by living it. Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us as we wait (but not too long) for the Spirit to move us. We all need to loosen up and be willing to move with the Spirit. I firmly believe that WE do not yet know everything God wants to teach us, however, I do know God wants to use us through the faith we already have. Please recommit yourself to the Holy Spirit’s leading.
Pray for God’s words, desire and empowerment to fill us!