I don’t usually make a fuss about dates, but May 8, 15, and 22 are the BIG THREE on our church calendar.
We began with Ascension Thursday (which is about remembering Jesus’ ascension to the right hand of God the Father). This Sunday is Whitsunday (which is about remembering the arrival of our “helper” and “comforter”). Most people know it as Pentecost and some even call it the “birthday” of the Church. The “BIG” three finishes with Trinity Sunday (which is about celebrating our belief in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
Pentecost is a fantastic story. Rushing wind, flaming tongues, and a powerful sermon from a fisherman turned evangelist calling people to repent and be baptised. But don’t miss how Acts 2 ends. The power of the Spirit that flowed through the Peter’s words is the power that gathered people into a new community.
What kind of community?
That’s where Acts 2 gets interesting. The characteristics of this new people reflect the work of the Holy Spirit. What are they doing?
- They are devoted to the apostles’ teaching. This is a “word” centered group of people. No surprise there. The Spirit inspired the apostle’s teaching.
- They are devoted to fellowship. They love each other. No surprise there. The Spirit of love has been poured into their hearts.
- They break bread together at the Communion table. No surprise there. Through the Spirit, Christ is present with us when we gather and proclaim His death through the Lord’s Supper.
- They are devoted to praying together. No surprise there. The Spirit is the One who groans within us when our words run out.
- They are marked by fear of the Lord. No surprise there. God has given us the Spirit of all wisdom, and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
- They are marked out by witnessing the signs and wonders of the apostles. No surprise there. We too have seen God’s wonders. We’ve seen Him rescue people from sin, we’ve seen Him heal people of sickness in answer to our prayers, we’ve seen Him soften the hardest heart.
- They are willing to share their belongings and give to one another. No surprise. The Spirit of generosity has been poured out on God’s people.
- They show hospitality, going from house to house. No surprise. This is the Spirit who welcomes us into the throne room of grace.
- They are filled with gladness and simplicity. No surprise. This is the Spirit, the Comforter who brings us joy in God.
- They praise God. No surprise. The Spirit lifts up Jesus, and whenever we proclaim Him as Lord, it’s through the work of the Spirit.
- They find favor with all the people. No surprise. The Spirit fills us with love and self-giving devotion to others, so that they may see our good works and give glory to our Father in heaven.
Praise God! In His Spirit we have all we need to love Jesus, love each other and love Norfolk Island!