Sunday, May 23rd
Seven-week season from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday/Ascension Day
This Sunday, May 23rd is Pentecost - the day we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ from his resurrection on earth Easter Sunday into heaven to prepare a place for us.
It is the day the Christian church was born.
New believers in Jesus were baptized as they joined this church. They, along with the first followers of Jesus, shared life together, focusing on teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer. They shared their belongings so that no one was hungry or needy. As these first Christians lived out their new faith together, “the Lord added to their number those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). Thus we speak of Pentecost as the birthday of the church.
Before He returned to His Father in Heaven at the Ascension, Jesus told His disciples that He would send His Holy Spirit as their comforter and guide.
Christians are meant to live in the presence and power of the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit helps us to confess Jesus as Lord (1 Corinthians 12:3), empowers us to serve God with supernatural power (1 Corinthians 12:4-11), binds us together as the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-13), helps us to pray (Romans 8:26), and even intercedes for us with God the Father (Romans 8:27). The Spirit guides us (Galatians 5:25), helping us to live like Jesus (Galatians 5:22-23).
Pentecost presents us with an opportunity to consider how we are living each day.
Are we relying on the power of God’s Spirit?
Are we an open channel for the Spirit’s gifts?
Are we attentive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit?
Is the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) growing in our lives?
We are limited by our fear, our sin, our low expectations, and our tendencies to be distracted from God’s work in us.
Pentecost offers us a chance to confess our failure AND a chance to live by the Spirit, asking the Lord to fill us afresh with his power.