Are you ready to celebrate? Are you ready to experience a joy that is like none other? The reason I ask is that this Sunday we will gather together to celebrate Pentecost, the “bookend” to the Easter Season.
Pentecost is the fiftieth day of Easter. On that day the earliest church had completed forty days of ongoing teaching from the Risen Lord, followed by a ten-day prayer vigil after his ascension. On this day, that early church began to move out in and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We read about these events in Acts 2. The text is full of imagery and soundscapes: mighty rushing wind, tongues of fire, people speaking in many languages, large astounded multinational crowds. Can you imagine the scene? It would be like nothing you had ever witnessed before! These sounds, the blowing of a violent wind; these images, tongues of fire; and the many languages being spoken all at once, in languages not previously known by those speaking; are not imagery. All of these occurrences are literal. All of these happenings are real and tangible. All of this is being witnessed by those that have gathered around, believers and non-believers alike.
This event was not meant to be forgotten, it was meant to be foundational. Those early believers were being bathed in the power of the Holy Spirit. God poured out the Spirit and everything changed. And those changes were not just for them, but for us as well.
I have been reading a book by Jurgen Moltmann, entitled The Spirit of Life. He describes the Holy Spirit like this, “The Holy Spirit is not simply the subjective side of God’s revelation of himself, and faith is not merely the echo of the Word of God in the human heart. The Holy Spirit is much more than that. It is the power that raises the dead, the power of the new creation of all things; and faith is the beginning of the rebirth of human beings to new life. But this means that the Holy Spirit is by no means merely a matter of revelation. It has to do with life and its source.”
I love the image Moltmann gives, “[The Holy Spirit] is the power that raises the dead, the power of the new creation of all things…” There is power in the Holy Spirit. Power that can and will manifest within those of us that believe and are open to it. The Holy Spirit is God continuing to work in and through humanity and through that relationship allowing us to continue to feel his presence and his power!
Pentecost is not just another Sunday. It is not just another Christian date on the calendar. It is our reminder that God is still at work. It reminds us that there is a relationship between us and our Triune God and the power of the Holy Spirit is still active in our lives. This Pentecost, remember that power, claim that power, live in that power!
Have a great week and I will see you as we celebrate Pentecost together!