We recently celebrated the Great Feast of Pentecost or “Whitsunday”, which marks the birth of the Church following the descent of the Holy Ghost 50 days after the Resurrection of Christ.
Why do we call it Whitsunday? It is so called from the white garments which were worn by those baptized during the vigil, and Pentecost is the Greek for “fiftieth”.
God Works from the Inside Out. That is the great message of Pentecost Sunday, isn't it? This is what the disciples finally came to understand at Pentecost. Jesus had ascended into heaven. And He had told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit.
Here is where the story of Pentecost picks up. The disciples are back in the Upper.
They were there (1) in a place of remembrance; (2) they were there living in community, in unity, together, but in fear.
Just then they heard a sound. The breath of God began to blow on that place like the rush of a mighty wind. Images of fire danced around them. Suddenly, their fear was gone, replaced by peace and confidence, courage and strength and unity and they began to speak and communicate the word of God boldly and amazingly people from all different backgrounds heard and responded and 3,000 people were converted that day.
It's interesting to note that the three classic symbols for the Holy Spirit in the Bible remind us of how God works through us and how God works from the inside out. Do you remember what they are? The three traditional symbols of the Holy Spirit in the Bible: Breath: the symbol of Life. Fire: the symbol of Power. The descending dove: the symbol of Peace.
We have all we need to live a godly life here on earth. But what do we now do with all this?
The news on the day of that first Pentecost was that there was a gathering, unity, obedience to the will of God, and community. A togetherness. The news on the 2016th anniversary of Pentecost is division, limiting the action of the Holy Spirit, confining Christianity within the four walls of the church (Separation church – politics), and culture change.
Friday, the America government again made history by issuing a policy that every public school in the US must allowed “transgender” students to use the bathroom they identify themselves with. We are now just like Sodom and Gomorrah where bad is no longer bad, wrong is no longer wrong, evil is celebrated and established as rule, the law of the land.
Ronald Reagan in his speech at the prayer breakfast in 1984 said that he believed that George Washington knew that the city of men cannot survive without the city of God; that the visible city will perish without the invisible city. How can we survive without God, without the Holy Spirit of God? How can America survive if we Christians we fold our hands and let the evil spirit destroy this nation that had entrusted into our care?
Again Reagan in the same speech said this:” If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under”. Beloved, with policy issued by Obama on Friday (May 13, 2016), we are now under, make no mistake.
Now where do we go from here? Who or what will take us back to Eden, the mountain of God? Only the Holy Spirit can do it. And He will do it if:
1. We, individually and collectively, remain obedient to His motion, not ours.
2. We commit ourselves to teaching of the Church; if we do what the early Church did: They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Act2:42)
3. We take our coming together serious, meaning if we dedicate ourselves to the life of the Church.
May the Holy Spirit help us to grow to maturity by faith and obedience; by saying no to the false promises made to us by the evil one, and by feeding on the bread of life through the life of prayer.
As Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word: and My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
Peace and blessings!
"For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3).