“When Pentecost Day arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be individual flames of fire alighting on each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit . . . “(Acts 2:1-3a CEB)
This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost. It is held up as the birth of the church, the coming of God’s Spirit on God’s people. Like many of you I wish we could be celebrating together. Together has always been God’s vision for the church. Soon, it looks like we will be able to start coming back together. In the meantime, we can prepare for our time together by looking at the actions of those first disciples.
After the resurrection, Jesus had told them to stay in Jerusalem together until the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, came to them. Luke records for us that they were in Jerusalem, together, when the Spirit came. What Luke does not tell us is what they were doing. We know from the gospel accounts that they were terrified of what might happen to them. But what did they do during that time that opened the door for the Holy Spirit?
When we look at the verses that follow the Pentecost experience, we get a clue. In Acts 2:42 we read: “The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers.” (CEB) They studied (apostles’ teaching), they fellowshipped together (community), they shared meals (communion), and they prayed.
If you look at history, you will find that before each revival in the body of Christ, the body came together in study, fellowship, worship, and prayer. The result was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
It is not rocket science. When the body makes these practices the priority of their lives, God responds in a mighty way. We may not be able to come together as the body of Christ for a while yet. But we can study and pray.
The question is: Are we willing to make these our priorities? Are we willing to change our lives to come together this way? We yearn for God to be at work among us. We can open the door for Him. Will we?
Lord of all people be with us as we worship this week. Send your fire to burn your Spirit brightly through us. Amen.
Always, to God be the glory!
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