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The Season of Pentecost
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” Acts 2:1-4
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47
We have entered the marvelous season of Pentecost. Pentecost invites us to live in response to the giving of the Holy Spirit, moving the followers of Jesus outside the familiar into new relationships, cultures, and contexts. The good news from the texts above is that the power to share the good news and move from comfort zones and safe spaces comes from the Holy Spirit. Through the witness of Scripture we see the early followers filled with a presence that pushes and leads them from the upper room to the people and places God wants to hear the good the news of forgiveness and love offered through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
How is the Spirit empowering your life of discipleship? How is the Spirit empowering your congregation or ministry outpost? How is the Spirit leading you from positions of comfort and control to discomfort and dependency on trusting in the Lord?
As I reflect on that first Pentecost I could not get out of my mind two images:
First, is the horrific and brutal destructive eruption of the tornadoes traveling through the tornado alley of our Midwestern sister states reminds us of the power and potency of blowing air.
Second, is the way in which that same air can be utilized to empower and change communities and the way we steward the gift of energy that God provides.
As people of faith, called and sent by Christ with the power of the Holy Spirit, may we seek to be vehicles not of destructive power, but life-giving power that sustains and supports communities and individuals in ways that cause people to stand in awe. Awe of our amazing God and awe of the compassionate, generous, and risk-taking image of God see through our daily lives.
P.S. If you have not already responded to the victims of the tornadoes in Oklahoma you can make gifts directly at www.elca.org with 100% of your gift being directed to relief work, because of the infrastructure and staffing our ongoing benevolence to the synod and Churchwide organization provide.
May you and your family be blessed during this season of Pentecost,