:: pentecost 2005 grid blog ::

On this day many, many years ago one hundred and twenty followers of Christ gathered together and prayed for the promised arrival of the Holy Spirit. It had been seven weeks since the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The Bible tells us in the second chapter of Acts that as they worshiped together, there came a “sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm” that filled the house, and “flames of fire” appeared and settled on each of them, and the Holy Spirit was with them.

This was the day of Pentecost.

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Thankfully the writer of the book of Acts documents what happened next. All too often in the church today we are content with the “experience”, and it never really leads to action.
In Acts we read that the 120 spontaneously spoke in many different languages. People from around the world were amazed to hear the “the wonderful things that God had done” in their own languages. Peter told these people from every corner of the earth that they were witnessing the fulfillment of prophecy, and after he spoke about three thousand people were baptized into the faith.
Those of you that were raised in the faith have heard this part of the story countless times I’m sure, but I was really struck by the next part of the passage.
The Bible goes on to say that the followers of Christ devoted themselves to discipleship, fellowship, communion, and prayer. They had a deep sense of awe, and there were many signs and wonders. And all the believers met together constantly and shared everything they had. They sold their possessions and shared the proceeds with those in need. They worshipped at the temple each day, and then met in small groups in the home to share the communion and meals together with great joy and generosity, all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of the people. And each day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved.
Today when we hear about Pentecost it’s usually in a message about the fire, and the tongues, and the signs and wonders.

Let’s not forget about discipleship, fellowship, communion, prayer, humility, and generosity.

"Lord, help us to discover the fervour of the early Christians
And the power of the first evangelisation,
That morning of Pentecost, as it started
In the cenacle of Jerusalem
Where your disciples, with Mary, gathered in prayer,
Awaited, Father, the fulfillment of your promise.
Give us the grace to be renewed
'In Spirit and in fire.'
Teach us to speak to the world in tongues of fire,
Let us bring to an end this time of uncertainty
Where Christians are timid and mute
Discussing anxiously problems of today,
As in the past on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus,
Without realising that the Master is risen and alive. "

Cardinal Leon-Joseph Suenens,
extract from 'Prayer for the Year 2000'.

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1 comment:

josh said...

too true... we always like to focus on the shebang and pizzaz as apposed to the actual impact and challenge of the gospel. it's much more pleasant and safe that way...

ps. thanks for your comment on my blog!