“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.” (Acts 2:17-18, NIV)
The Church recently celebrated Pentecost. Christians rejoice that the Holy Spirit has been poured out in such a way as to expand the Church beyond all borders and boundaries. Acts 2 (echoing the prophetic words of Joel 2) and the Gospels demonstrate that God seeks to extend His Church and His redemptive love to all creation.
On the Day of Pentecost, once frightened disciples became bold preachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ in downtown Jerusalem—the place where, a short time ago, their Lord had been crucified! People of all nations and tongues heard the gospel in their own languages. Jesus had risen, and the Holy Spirit was now moving in and through people in a way that would propel the infant Church into Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and eventually to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
A new season had come.
God’s consistent vision of His redemptive kingdom transcending racial and social boundaries (beginning in Genesis 17:4 with God’s promise that Abraham would be the “father of many nations”) has been realized in the Season of the Spirit, the time of Pentecost.
The global Church that continues to add thousands to its membership every single day is the fulfilment of this promise.
People of all backgrounds are able to encounter the Living God in a personal way, to be transformed from the inside out, and to become part of God’s mission through His people—the Church.
Also, the message of God’s love is delivered through men and women, young and old, Jew and Gentile. There are no limits, no barriers, and no walls. It is a season of endless possibilities because of the Holy Spirit’s ongoing work.
Every day, the Spirit is working through God’s people to bring about transformation, growth, and an expansion of the best news in the history of creation: God, the holy Creator of all things, is filled with love for His creation and wants to fellowship with us for all eternity.
How can we consistently celebrate the victorious message of Pentecost in our neighborhoods and in our congregations? May God continue to lead us in this season of the Spirit.
Prayer for the Week:
Come, O Spirit of God
And make within us your dwelling place and home.
May our darkness be dispelled by your light,
And our troubles calmed by your peace;
May all evils be redeemed by your love,
All pain transformed through the suffering of Christ,
And all dying glorified by His risen life. Amen. (Australian Prayer Book)
Charles W. Christian is managing editor of Holiness Today.
Written for Coffee Break with Holiness Today.