Updated: Jun 7, 2020
Theme “The Gift of the Spirit”
Bible Reading:Acts 2: 1–21
“And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).
Today, we commemorate Pentecost which is also called Whitsunday. The day of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Disciples and those that gathered with them in Jerusalem in obedience to the Lord’s command to them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father.
On this day, fifty (50) days after the resurrection of Christ, the Holy Spirit came to the Church.
Before he was taken up into heaven, Jesus instructed the Disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all gathered in one place, and lo and behold, all of a sudden, a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each and every one of them. And all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
And since the Pentecost event coincided with The Jewish Festival of Weeks which is the presentation of the first fruits of the harvest to God fifty (50) days after the Passover, many diaspora Jews and visitors from all walks of life thronged Jerusalem to celebrate this event.
When they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, each one of them heard their own language being spoken to declare the wonders of God. And while some of those onlookers who witnessed the unprecedented phenomenon became very much amazed and perplexed and trying hard to understand what was happening, others, however, made fun of them and saying they have had too much wine.
But Peter stood up with the Eleven and explained to the people that they were not drunk, as they thought but that what they were experiencing was the fulfillment of the prophecy that was spoken by the prophet Joel that “‘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. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
As I reflect on the indiscriminate manner in which the Holy Spirit had come upon all those present on the day of Pentecost – both men and women – young and old- without regard to social distinctions, I believe that we also, whether male or female; whether young or old; whether black or white; or whether rich or poor; have received the promised Holy Spirit for service or work in the Church.
Like the 1st century believers, the Holy Spirit gives us diverse gifts to perform different roles in the Church; be it singing; leading worship; preaching; or other responsibilities. And how we use the gifts that the Holy Spirit bestows upon us or endows us with is important in our walk with Lord Jesus Christ. This is because it is a great way of serving the Lord and I believe it is a key part of getting ourselves ready for the Lord’s return.
With COVID-19 still around us, we don’t know what lies ahead and what the new normal will be for being church. However we do know that we have a God with plans for us, and who wants to empower us with His Spirit to be His witnesses to the world just as he did for His disciples 2000 years ago.
Let us, therefore, be expectant as we pray about what lies ahead, and be open to the new thing God is going to do with us and through us.
Rev. Confidence Bansah (Ph. D.)
Minister of St. George’s and Christ Church