Acts 2:5-11 (NIV)
Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”
“The Spirit of Jesus in me greets the Spirit of Jesus in you and brings us together in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, amen.”
We are now sixteen days into this Holy Spirit Summer, and counting. The main thing though is we are still living in the day after the day of Pentecost. Today I want to share an unfolding Holy Spirit story many of you will want to pray into and become a part of.
Several years back I began to share a vision we at Seedbed believe is from Jesus. I saw scores of Christians coming out of their homes on a Sunday morning. It was the day of Pentecost. Instead of “going to church” that day, they went to public places across their towns and cities—parks, amphitheaters, football stadiums, baseball fields, community centers, even cul-de-sacs—everywhere except church buildings. They were not going to church but were meeting up as church. And many of them were bringing birthday cakes.
The Holy Spirit was convening them as the church Jesus is building in their town or city. It wasn’t a big production with massive stages and sound systems. No smoke or fog. No performances. No preaching even. The point was to meet each other in the presence of the risen and ascended Lord Jesus Messiah on the most uncommon ground on the face of the Earth—our common ground at the foot of the cross. This was not an occasion for a platform of dignitaries, public officials, and elected representatives along with every religious leader of every religion under the sun. I didn’t see ceremony. I saw knees on the earth, lots of handshaking introductions of strangers, lots of embracing, tears of joy, the weeping of the relief of repentance, and all of this as a simple celebration of the birthday of the church.
They read Acts 2 together. They prayed the Lord’s Prayer. Maybe they sang “Amazing Grace.” That was it. There were no follow up campaigns to make all our individual churches more diverse, instead, we were witnessing the Spirit-given diversity of the church on the day of Pentecost, just breathing it in. And as the followers of Jesus simply showed up together in all these places, it had the effect of sending out waves of healing and blessing across the towns and cities. Then everybody ate birthday cake and went home.
Something tells me this would be a profound sowing for a great awakening.
Something tells me the response of the observing public would look something like this:
Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” (Acts 2:12 NIV)
Still Day One.
God our Father, who with your son Jesus Messiah, fills us with the Holy Spirit, thank you for the miracle and the mystery of the day of Pentecost. Thank you for the diversity of your kingdom which is born of Heaven and flourishes all over the Earth. Save us from the spirit of the age, which so often presents itself as the light yet only leads to further darkness. Holy Spirit, how do you unite us in Jesus Messiah? How are we already united in you? How might we walk this out on Earth as it is in Heaven? Praying in Jesus’ name, amen.
Does this vision for a public celebration of the birthday of the church on the day of Pentecost resonate with you? The day we take off our local church jersey and put on the big “C” body of Christ jersey? What might happen? Or is it a pipe dream? ;0)
For the Awakening,
Why don’t we stop talking about it and just do it?!
You, me, us, NOW. Not waiting until we are others doing it and joining in.
A beautiful vision, but only if………
JD, thank you for sharing this vision with us!
This vision does indeed resonate with me. I’m seeing signs that the Holy Spirit is already laying the groundwork for this sort of public display of the “ Gathering “ to take place. The Spirit of God has blessed me to be able to fellowship with other believers from diverse Christian faith traditions in ways that than can lead to a better understanding of each other, and to perceive the unity that we all have in Christ Jesus. I am nobody special, just “an ordinary unschooled individual “ who has spent some time with Jesus. I’m convinced that God will use any of us to accomplish this vision of Seedbed if only we’ll SURRENDER our lives to His will.
His will and no other’s will.
Perhaps a first step toward that vision could be a church-swap Sunday, where all the Christians in a particular town (including the preachers) ask the Holy Spirit to send them to another church than the one they normally go to and then say and do whatever the risen Jesus tells them to. Would that be chaos or glory? I believe the Holy Spirit would take control and we would see the glory of God fill that town.
Praising God for your Dad’s successful surgery! Praying for complete healing and patience with himself in the process.
Love the vision and pray it happens soon!