This is the birthday season of the Christian Church! The Scriptures tell us, ‘When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place’ (Acts 2. 1). Pentecost is the moment of empowerment. It is the moment when the disciples of Jesus Christ are empowered to do the works of Jesus Christ and to spread His gospel throughout the entire world. I love Henri Nouwen’s phrase, ‘empowered to become living Christ’s here and now’. The long story of God has reached it’s climax in Jesus of Nazareth who has accomplished the defeat of death and has begun the work of new creation and from that room in Jerusalem the Apostles take this message to the world by the power of the Holy Spirit now at work within them.
It is no accident that ‘Pentecost’ is the New Testament name for the Jewish festival known as the ‘Feast of Weeks’, a festival when the wheat harvest is celebrated and sacrifices were offered. More than once Jesus spoke about the world in terms of a harvest field. Luke tells us that Jesus once declared, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the LORD of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest’ (Luke 10. 2). Put simply, we are His laborers today. We need empowering that we might be living Christ’s here and now. Pentecost is our story.
Saint Matthew’s is called to be a beacon on a hill. A place of light in an often time dark world. We are an ancient-future movement of the friends of Jesus Christ. As we seek to spread the gospel that the Apostles have passed on to us, let us pray, ‘Come, Holy Spirit and empower your Church from on high’. We cannot do this work without the Spirit.
‘O Thou who camest from above,
The pure celestial fire to impart,
Kindle a flame of sacred love
On the mean altar of my
heart’. (Charles Wesley).
May God kindle in each of us the fire of His love.