Rocked and Wrecked by Pentecost

In Acts 1:8, Luke records the words of Jesus to the disciples before he ascended to be with the Father: “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.” (Acts 1:8, NIV)  Fifty days after the resurrection, the disciples (some 120 in Jerusalem) experienced the miracle of Pentecost (which means fiftieth). The Holy Spirit rocked and wrecked this band of weary Christ-followers and the world would never be the same!

The day of Pentecost marks the descent of the Holy Spirit and marks a time that disciples everywhere can know the full power of God all the time. The presence and power of Christ are in real time everywhere Christians inhabit the earth! In the Christian calendar, Pentecost follows the season of Easter. One writer states that “Pentecost transformed the defeated followers of Jesus into courageous, fearless, bold, and eloquent witnesses through the power of the Holy Spirit.” [1] Can you imagine what it would have been like to experience those early believers who received the immediate supernatural ability to communicate in a different language? Some accused them of having too much wine! But they were just trying to make sense of the supernatural!  After this some three thousand received the gospel and were baptized that day! 

Sometimes I hear Christians say things like, “That was then and this is now.” We don’t expect “Pentecost” to show up today. But the same Holy Spirit power that shook the house back then is alive and at work within you and me and the Church to this very day.  We just need to expect it and then join God in what God is doing! There was miraculous numerical and spiritual growth in the early church. The believers simply told others what they had experienced and lived it out. But even more powerful was the way the people cared for each other. There was

a radical move of love, hospitality and community that was like nothing people had seen before.  

I believe God still works like this: one person at a time. Are you willing to let “Pentecost power” work through you this summer? Here are some ideas: throw a block party and get to know your neighbors; volunteer with your child’s sports team; volunteer at Morningside or other retirement community; start a Bible study with some co-workers; engage with one of our summer mission trips; serve at Vacation Bible School; join a bowling league; help us to start an ESL class (English as Second Language); use social media for the good; start a Bible study for John Tyler students; lead a chapel service at the ballfield during travel ball; speak to the cashier; be generous to others; learn the names of internationals; drive cancer patients to treatments; and take every opportunity to invite someone to worship at HRBC! 

God is already at work! We just have to join in! Have a great spring and summer! And be sure to look for weekly bursts of HRBC information this summer in your Milepost – Grace and peace, Pastor Bob

 

1 A Guide to Prayer for All Who Walk with God. Nashville, TN Upper Room Books, 2013 p.206