What does Pentecost mean for us today?
Back in April 2018 Clive Corfield, Senior Pastor of City Church in St Albans visited us at QP. Clive and his family have been friends of QP for many years and I am sure many of you have enjoyed and benefited from his ministry.
I mention this because on Sunday morning we thought a little about what Pentecost means for us today, and as I enjoyed the sun on Sunday afternoon, something Clive said back in 2018 started to roll over and over in my mind. My memory is not so good that I can remember what he said verbatim but is was along the lines of “God is not calling us to a Holy jacuzzi”.
What Clive was driving at is that God has poured the Holy Spirit upon His church not so we can have a nice religious experience or a warm fuzzy feeling, but so we might faithfully be His people who witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God. The Spirit turns our hearts from self-interest to a desire to see those who don’t know Jesus yet come to know and grow in Him.
The meaning of Pentecost today
So, the focus, the meaning of Pentecost is the empowerment of God’s people by His Spirit for mission. This includes how we speak; how we speak to God in prayer and praise, how we speak to each other spurring each other onto good works (Heb. 10:24), and how we speak to the world in proclaiming that the way to God is open because Jesus is the way.
It also includes how we act. Acts 2: 44 – 46 gives us a glimpse into the changed conduct of those who had encountered the Spirit, they sold possessions, shared with those in need, had all things in common and shared meals and the “breaking of bread” together in their houses. What does this mean for us today …during these days of lockdown and a phased return to whatever the “new normal” may look like?
Called to attention
It means we need to be attentive to the opportunities God brings before us in these days to speak clearly and boldly the good news of Jesus. Not in a forced or contrived way, but to picture ourselves as sailing boats with our sails ready to catch the wind of the Spirit when and where it blows. But more than this, our words are authenticated by our actions, yes by miracles and healings – and we pray for more of this – but also by the everyday miraculous of showing hospitality – physically distanced of course!, phoning someone God brings to our mind, care …patience …kindness to a child or those who are the least among us (Matt 25:40).
God is still pouring out His Spirit upon the church …that means He is pouring His Spirit out on you and me. So, let’s pray for more and be ready for the Spirit to work in and through us.