You are invited to a huge celebration this week! This Sunday is Pentecost, the birthday of the Church, wherein we celebrate the Holy Spirit descending from heaven. As He alighted upon the heads of the disciples in the form of tongues of fire, the Holy Spirit empowered them to go out, teach, and do all that Jesus taught and commanded.
However, the disciples had a choice. The could stay huddled together in the Upper Room behind closed doors and together among familiar faces, or they could step out. Thankfully they chose to step out, quite literally, onto the balcony and proclaim what God had done in Jesus Christ and was doing through the Holy Spirit. As they stepped out in faithful obedience, the Holy Spirit moved through them to bring in a harvest of 3,000 souls who were gathered in Jerusalem for the annual harvest festival of the first fruits.
God did the work, through the willing and faithful hearts of the disciples. This exact moment was ordained by God, when multitudes would already be in Jerusalem. God put the words in Peter’s mouth, and opened the ears of those listening. God even miraculously communicated the message in the languages of those present, so it could be received. God did the ‘heavy lifting.’
The disciples’ role was to confidently step out in faith. Once they did so, they gained greater confidence to press into God and see Him work. Page after page in the chapters that follow in Acts bear witness to this fact as many are healed, the Church is united, and the Good News of Jesus spreads like wildfire.
As we prepare to join in the celebration on Sunday, may we also prepare our hearts to do so. I urge you to set aside a bit of extra time in prayer this week to ask God to equip our church at Saint Barnabas to boldly step out in confidence for His name’s sake. Also, ask the Lord how you may be called individually to do so. Take time to prepare for worship and bring your best to the Lord as we celebrate what He continues to do in and through the Church by the power of the Holy Spirit.
God continues to look for disciples today who, like the original twelve, step out in faith and boldly follow Him. I pray that we are that church. A community that moves at the impulse of God’s direction as we grow to be more like Him and bring others into His presence.