THIS SERIES: BRINGING HOME THE FEAST
Pentecost Sunday may be over but our need to engage with its message continues...
We have seen that Pentecost is a festival of grace, and a festival of decision (see last two posts). But, not only was Jesus Lord, He was also the expected Messiah, the Christ, which means 'Anointed One'.
Jesus had made it clear what this anointing was for:
The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour."
And He had also commissioned His disciples to carry on where He left off:
Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."
Jesus' ascension and glorification, as the man who had conquered every force of darkness, not only meant He sat down at the Father's right hand, as Lord over All, but that He was able to send the same Holy Spirit who had empowered Him, to all who acknowledged Him as Lord.
The one man opened the door for the many to become sons and daughters of God. And the one man made His anointing available for the many—and for every subsequent generation.
When the crowd asked what they should do about Jesus, Peter replied:
"Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ
for the forgiveness of your sins.
And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--
for all whom the Lord our God will call."
The first believers were known as 'little Christs'. Being Christ-like is not just about character, it's also about doing what He did:
For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
[Ephesians 2:10 ]
In order to be like Jesus in character, we need the Holy Spirit to work it in us, and to do the works prepared for us, we also need His enabling.
The message of Pentecost is that the Spirit is poured out so we can live a new life, and do the works prepared for us.
TONGUES OF FIRE
In Justin Welby's little 'Prayer Journal',* he writes:
In the telling of the story of Pentecost we notice the Holy Spirit is poured out on the community – all who are in the upper room – yet tongues of fire separate out on each person.
And he invites us to pray,
'Come Holy Spirit give voice to our witness, that we might be able to speak the good news in words those around us can understand.'
THIS WEEK’S GRACE RHYTHM:
Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! [Luke 11:9-13]
*Justin Welby's 'Prayer Journal' was written to be used in the period between Ascension and Pentecost in 2022. However, it is a great devotional resource on the Holy Spirit at any time of the year. You can download it in PDF format below.
You can find more resources on the gift of the Holy Spirit on these pages:
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND YOU
THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
GOD'S PROMISE OF PROVISION
NEXT WEEK: PENTECOST: FESTIVAL OF HARVEST
We need rain...
GET IN TOUCH
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