This Sunday marks Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit recorded in Acts 2. This happened during the Feast of Pentecost, a celebration of the Jewish people which occurs "seven weeks after the second Passover seder". This Jewish celebration, known as Shavout, commemorates the "giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai" or what Christians understand as The Law (Ten Commandments) given to Moses. As Believers in Christ, Pentecost for us celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit, promised to come after Jesus' resurrection and ascension into heaven. Because humanity can never keep the law perfectly, God rescues us. Grace through Jesus completes us, restores us, and reconciles us to God in a way the law could not.
The following will be the last excerpt from my personal Lenten journal this 2015 season:
[Jesus said to His disciples] “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you what He promised…in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:4-5 NLT
After the resurrection, Jesus remains for forty days, appearing to the apostles and teaching the disciples. With a certainty of Jesus’ resurrection, their knowledge increases and a deeper understanding about the new promised power of the Holy Spirit evolves. At the end of these days, on the Mount of Olives at Bethany, Jesus ascends to heaven right in front of the remaining eleven disciples. Commissioned with making disciples of all nations, they now wait for the Holy Spirit.
Over the next days, the disciples continually meet and pray together with the other believers, “about 120”. They choose another disciple, Matthias, to replace Judas Iscariot, the betrayer. On the day of Pentecost, seven weeks (50 days) after the resurrection of Jesus, with all the believers together in one place, God sends a mighty, rushing wind comes and then “flames of fire” appear and settle on each believer. All are filled with the Holy Spirit, fulfilling prophesy (Joel 2:28-32). The church of the New Covenant begins with God’s mission to reach all people in all nations.
Spirit of the Living God ~ When I boast of achievement and accept applause or cover my face in failure and weep, You re-define me, re-align my perspective. You open my eyes to truth, to my need for redemption, to Christ who is the Bread of Life. You are Counselor and Comforter. You are the breath my soul craves! Kindle my soul with Holy Fire.