If you haven’t heard this Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. Just a little plug that we are gathering together at Royal View this Sunday at 10am. Royal View is located at 218 Clarke Rd. We are going to have a great time with both churches together. There will be worship, teaching and a free BBQ for you and your family following the gathering along with some activities for the kids. (Note to parents to bring bathing suits for your kids and lawn chairs if you can).
Why Pentecost Sunday though? Why get together and celebrate something that few in the evangelical world even acknowledge?
If we simply narrow the story down to Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection and forget to celebrate the giving of the Spirit to the church we risk missing the entire point. It is my experience that when a lot of people speak of the Jesus story they tend to focus on death, burial and resurrection leaving out two incredibly important pieces: Pentecost and new creation (Heaven coming to Earth). Without Pentecost we are left on our own.
Think about it. In Acts 1 Jesus says to his disciples that they will be his witnesses, his revolutionaries if you were, for his kingdom throughout the earth (Acts 1:8). You have to imagine in your mind the excitement in the hearts of these men. Not only had Jesus risen from the dead 40 days prior, now he speaks of the Kingdom of God spreading throughout the earth. This is what they were expecting: other empires, including Rome would be destroyed and Jesus would be king.
And then he leaves. Yep… Luke even records that these men were so amazed at Jesus’ ascension that they were caught gazing toward heaven to the point that two heavenly beings had to bring them back to reality.
They had to wait. And wait they did.
As the feast of Pentecost descended on Jerusalem these disciples waited, believing that what Jesus said was true… that they would receive power from the Holy Spirit to be these revolutionaries throughout the earth.
This is why we celebrate Pentecost. Not because of a denomination or a religious tradition. We celebrate Pentecost, and this year we celebrate together, because God did not leave us on our own. He gave us the person of the Holy Spirit to empower us to do the work of the church in the world, to bring hope and healing wherever we go, because we can’t do this on our own.
So, this Sunday there is reason to celebrate. Let's put it like this. This Sunday there is as much reason to celebrate as Easter, because just as Jesus has been raised from the dead he has also given us his Spirit to live as the church.
So... Let's celebrate. Hope to see you Sunday!
Grace + Peace,