Pastor's Corner - May 14th, 2021
"Behold I send the promise of my Father upon you... but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high"...
The words that are recorded in Luke 24:49 are an incredible piece of foreshadowing, and must have been incredibly encouraging as Christ spoke with His disciples prior to His ascension, particularly after the emotions of the events of the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread that year.
It's difficult to tell from the text whether or not they fully understood what He meant at that point, but Mark's gospel records some of the other things He said to them, "In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover," providing the descriptions of some of the things that they would experience later, after the Day of Pentecost and the pouring out of His Spirit and their subsequent preaching of the Gospel throughout the region.
The disciples watched Messiah depart, taken into heaven and they worshipped Him, then they went and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.
When the Day of Pentecost came, and they were all gathered together, the promise that God made and the instructions that He gave them to tarry until this point - when those gathered were to be endued with power from on high took place.
In Acts 2, the pouring out of the Holy Spirit is described.
They were all gathered together in one place, in one accord - and a sound like that of a mighty wind, a rushing, and blowing sound filled the house where they were sitting. Then divided tongues (glossia - languages or tongues) like a fire, settled upon them, and they were filled with God's Spirit.
That Spirit of God enabled them to understand one another in their own language. Galileans conversing with Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites. Speaking to one another the incredible works of God.
It must have been incredible to witness, and to see God work in that way.
Peter stood before the crowd and got their attention - and recited the prophecy of the pouring out of God's Spirit recorded in Joel 2, of what was to come - and assured them, that this was what they were seeing - that it was time for the initial fulfillment of that prophecy.
He took the opportunity to preach Christ to these people who were gathered. That they might understand the Gospel, and the calling which God has given - a promise which was given to them, and to all who are afar off.
... as many as the Lord shall call.
From that day forward - the church which Christ built grew. It added members throughout the region, throughout Asia minor, and ultimately throughout the world as time went on. It is a part of that body of believers that you and I find ourselves within today.
A continuation of the miracle which Christ told His disciples would come after they tarried in Jerusalem for a time, until the piece of the puzzle that Christ spoke of was fulfilled.
It was on this weekend, 1990 years ago, that a vital church began... the weekend when Peter and the other 11 apostles gathered with those whom the Holy Spirit was poured out upon on that Day of Pentecost. Peter's words are as powerful today as they were then, with the recognition of what God is doing with mankind as a part of His plan.
We have a wonderful opportunity to all be together tomorrow for the Sabbath, and ultimately to commemorate and keep the Day of Pentecost on Sunday as God has commanded, culminating the 50th day since the Wave Sheaf offering, and the seven weeks following the Days of Unleavened Bread that we read in the final chapters of the gospels.
Our mission and our goals today are no less critical than their own were. To take the gospel message to the world, through our word and our deed. Through the hope that lies in us - in the promise of the coming Kingdom of God. The joy which enables us to lift our eyes to God and face the challenges set before us in this life and this ever darkening age. It is that joy, that promise, and that responsibility that we reflect on as we consider the gift of God's Holy Spirit.
Let us all come out of this Pentecost weekend envigorated and prepared to go forth and preach the gospel to the world, and let us thank out Great God for including us in His plan!
Have a happy Sabbath, and a most spiritually enriching Day of Pentecost!