It’s the day God sent the Holy Spirit to his disciples. From there they began the church.
In a way it’s the church’s birthday today. But as I think about it, I’m not sure I want to call it that. Birthdays are what? They are remembrances of births. A looking back at life. A chance to remember. A count from when things began. But things that begin, also have an end.
To have a birthday, also indicates there is a “deathday”.
With birthdays, we remember aging. We remember that our days are numbered. For some, the remaining numbers are fewer.
But that’s not what God giving His Holy Spirit is about. Sure, it may indicate the birth of the church. But it’s much more than that.
Pentecost is fulfilling a promise. Pentecost is a continuation of a story.
At Pentecost God broke into the world and gave it life. The wind acting as God’s breath. And when God breathes in the Bible, things happen. Powerful things.
Things come to life.
Dead things live again.
God breathed and the church lived.
The wind blew through the disciples and they changed. They were hiding in a home. Afraid of what might happen if they mentioned Jesus’ name outside. They remained in secret meetings where they prayed and shared.
And then they spoke in many languages. Languages they didn’t know.
And people heard them.
And people understood them
They were accused of being drunk. But Peter said no, it couldn’t be, it’s only 9:00 in the morning.
Peter then began to preach to the crowds. Huge crowds.
At the end of his sermon, they asked, “What do we need to do?”
“Repent and be baptized” he told them. And they did.
Thee. Thousand. People
Not 5, not 10, not 100.
In just a few hours the church went from a few people hiding in a house to over 3000 “members”.
The church went from inside the house to the streets. Lives were changed. History was changed. The world was changed.
We don’t know a lot about our culture, not as the church. It talks in funny ways. It has funny value systems. It has treasures we don’t quite understand.
But others know the lingo: Ad agencies; Magazines; the Entertainment industry; and so on…
Each teaching their own version of the truth. And people buy into it. And oh how do they buy into it.
But the TRUE truth gets lost in the noise. The truth we try and hold on to each Sunday. Truth that is spoken freely within these walls. In the safe place we created to speak about it. The room.
It’s a truth others need to hear.
Pentecost is the fulfillment of the resurrection story. Easter is a beginning, part of the promise. Pentecost fulfills the promise. The completion of the resurrection story.
In John 14, Jesus promises when he goes he will not leave us orphaned. Jesus promises he wil senda helper, the Holy Spirit to be with us.
Pentecost is that day.
Not a birthday.
It’s a breakthrough day. A day the world changed.
Because God breathed his Spirit into the disciples.
They moved from being a hidden society to a street ministry.
They moved from being people who tell the story to people who live the story.
What is a problem with the church today? It’s a common refrain I hear over and over again as I go to church meetings and bump into people as they find out I’m a pastor.
No one comes.
I hear this so often.
Could it be that it’s because the church doesn’t go out?
Could it be that we just tell the story?
Imagine what might happen if we allow God’s Spirit to move in us.
Moving us from tellers of the story to people who live it. Leaving our walls behind and taking it to the streets.
What if? …
What if that’s God’s plan?
What if we’ve lost our focus a little bit?
What if we’ve lost touch with the Holy Spirit?
What if? …
What if we ask God to breathe in us?
What if? …
What … if … ?