Acts 2:1 (NIV)
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
Birthday parties are a big deal in our family; everyone makes a herculean effort to be as together as we can be as each date rolls around on the calendar. Even when one of us is traveling on the other side of the world, we leverage modern technology to see each other, say a kind word or two, and (when I’m allowed by my resident nutritionist) to eat cake.
When the Bible talks about miraculous events, there is often great care taken to tell us exactly who was there, together, when the event occurred. Why do the Scriptures seem to take attendance time and time again? When God acts powerfully on earth, people are the point—we are always either directly involved and/or directly impacted. Who is impacted, together, tells us something about why the event occurred.
And that brings us to Pentecost. For Christians, Pentecost is celebrated around the world as the moment in history that the Body of Christ, the Church, was Spirit-baptized and Spirit-born. In other words, we could say that Pentecost is the spiritual birthday of the Church! From the day the Holy Spirit filled those 120 believers in the upper room all those millennia ago, there has been a non-stop party commemorating the awakening that can only come when the Holy Spirit rushes into the human heart!
Who was together, in that upper party room, that amazing day of great awakening? From what we can glean from Acts 1:13-15, 120 men, women, Mary (Jesus’ mother), and Jesus’ brothers were there. The sound of rushing wind, flames of fire, tongues in many languages, and a mass evangelism moment that set the Roman Empire reeling in its wake were all a part of the party. I would pay any ticket price for that multi-sensory immersion experience!
Think about it. They were no longer afraid of the Romans, together. They were no longer sad for their loss, together. They were yielded and energized and anticipating and expectant and alert and joyful and hopeful and fearless and praying and surrendered . . . together. They were ready to do “greater things than these” (John 14:12-14)—together. They were ready to show the hospitality of Christ to a waiting world, together. And now, they were being filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit—together!
Are you ready, like the 120 who went before us on that first Pentecost Day, to receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit? Are you ready to receive the gift of that full-immersion experience for the sake of your own heart awakening, and for the awakening of hearts all around you? Are you ready, with the rest of us, to do what Jesus did—together?
Jesus, I receive the Holy Spirit. I am ready to take another step to receive spiritual gifts from you for the world around me. Come, Holy Spirit; fill my heart, and the hearts of those in my community so, together, we can carry your message of unquenchable love to those within our reach.
- Have you ever experienced your own Pentecost moment, where you believe you were filled with, and empowered by, the Holy Spirit?
- What was it like, and did it stir in you a desire for even more awareness of the Spirit’s active presence in your life?
For the Awakening,