Acting as Apostles
This week the Gospel text is John 14: 8-17, 25-27. This is the text where Jesus promises a helper, the Holy Spirit. That day has arrived as this week celebrates Pentecost. It is the birthday of the church, so to speak. This is one of the few weeks when it makes more sense to focus on the New Testament text, which is Acts 2: 1-21. This is the text when the promise Jesus made about the Holy Spirit comes to pass. This is the narrative of what happened to the Apostles to set them on fire for our Lord.
Delivering on the Promise
The story opens with the Apostles all in one place. It may be the famous Upper Room, they may or may not be hiding. In any event an intense event occurs. The rush of a violent wind, divided tongues, as of fire rested on each of them. All were then filled with the Holy Spirit. This was a total “mountaintop” experience. However, like the mountaintop experience that was had during the Transfiguration, this cannot last forever.
They are compelled to leave the room and are empowered with the ability to communicate with people in whatever language they understand. It was not some trick or the effects of alcohol as Peter testifies in verse 15. Peter proclaims that they are now ready to proclaim the last days and the arrival of a new age. Peter and the rest of the Apostles and by implication, us, now know what they are to do.
Time to Come Out of Hiding
The Apostles driven from their room where they had been hiding and sent out into the world to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. They do this with the confidence that they can get this done, that they can communicate effectively to the rest of the world.
The clear implication for us and for our lives as faithful followers of Christ is that we are to be out in the world, not of it, but in it for certain. God never calls His people to hide, He never calls us to silence, and He provides us all that we need to not fear proclaiming the Gospel. This does not mean that we are all to go out and stand on the street corner shouting REPENT THE END IS NEAR. It means that we are to be doing whatever it is we can with the gifts of time and treasure that God has given to us. Mostly, it simply means we must do something, anything for the furtherance of spreading the Good News.
The marking of yet another birthday of the church is the perfect time to renew your spirit and go forth and proclaim the love of God through Jesus the Christ. Since we believe, we can now obey.
Praise Be to God