It’s Pentecost Sunday and the birthday of the Church! I don’t know about you but, I like a birthday party. It is a joyous occasion when we celebrate a milestone in a person’s life.
I remember a birthday party I was invited to when I was in the first grade. Judy was a cute little blonde haired girl that was also nice and didn’t cheat at the games we played.
I remember getting the invitation, as many of the other students did. When I arrived at her home I found it a bit mind-boggling. A beautiful brick house in a ritzy part of town. Not anything like the old brick apartment building we lived in.
During the party, there were games, cake, and ice cream and we all had fun. That was many years ago. However, my most memorable birthday party was when I turned 50 and my wife Donna surprised me with a party after church one Sunday. We arrived at the restaurant and there were several of our friends there to greet me. What a joy. We laughed, dined and enjoyed each others company.
This Sunday is a time of celebration as we gather to hear about Pentecost. After all, this is the celebration of the Holy Spirit descending upon the Apostles and the others gathered. You can read about this account in the Book of Acts 2:1-13.
Pentecost occurs 50 days after Easter and 10 days after the Ascension of Jesus Christ. Pentecost fulfills Jesus’ promise to send the “Counselor” and “Spirit of Truth” in John 16-5-15.
Pentecost launches the large-scale spreading of the Gospel after Jesus’ ascension. Acts 2:41 records that after Peter preached to the crowd after receiving the Holy Spirit, some 3,000 people were baptized and added to the new church.
If the Apostle Peter were here today this might be the message he would preach to all of society in 2019: Acts 2:40 “And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation’.”
What does he mean by perverse? One dictionary defines it this way (of a person or their actions) showing a deliberate and obstinate desire to behave in a way that is unreasonable or unacceptable, often in spite of the consequences.
To be sure, we have advanced in technology but not in moral behavior. We are human and once Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command, humanity has continued to pay for bad behavior. Until we come to a relationship with Jesus Christ we will be the same people doing the same old things the same old way. Christ offers renewal and the Holy Spirit gives us the power to remain committed to Christ.
On this Holy Day of Pentecost let us be cooperative with the Holy Spirit and ask Him to help us to be faithful and reasonable as we journey through this life. Pentecost fulfills Jesus’ promise to send the “Counselor” and “Spirit of Truth” in John 16-5-15. Allow the Spirit of Truth to work within you and allow the great counselor to share wisdom and guidance.
Happy Birthday to the Church! Even if your particular church does not celebrate this wonderful Pentecost Sunday, celebrate anyway.