Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
The Day of Pentecost marks the dramatic climax of the Great Fifty Days of Easter. Now the full power of the Resurrection is revealed in an outpouring of God's energy, just as God's breath breathed life into creation, at Pentecost the transforming power of the Holy Spirit descends upon the disciples.
The disciples were gathered together in Jerusalem on the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost (as it was known to Greek speaking Jews), as this festival occurred fifty days after Passover. During the first Century the festival came to be associated with the giving of the Torah to Moses at Mount Sinai. Thus, for Jews, Pentecost meant the birth of Judaism and so Luke takes this opportunity to mark this festival, in a new and exciting way, as the birth of the Christian Church.
I remember a story I heard on NPR about the behavioral phenomenon called "hoarding." Apparently New York City Social Services had become increasingly concerned about people who accumulate so much junk in their apartments that the places become safety hazards, in which their occupants are threatened with being literally overcome by all their stuff. NPR interviewed one woman who described herself as a hoarder. She said she could not pass a newsstand in the city-and you know how many there are in New York-without stopping to buy several newspapers and magazines. She made several of these purchases daily, and never threw any of it away. When asked why she did this, she had a very poignant response. She said she bought all that stuff because she knew that somewhere in all that printed material, there had to be the one piece of information that would change her life. So she was going to keep looking until she found it.
The ending of this story is a wonderful segue into another story:
Several weeks after installation, a meter reader appeared at her door. He asked if her electricity was working well, and she assured him it was. "I'm wondering if you can explain something to me," he said. "Your meter shows scarcely any usage. Are you using your power," he asked?
"Certainly," she answered. "Each evening when the sun sets, I turn on my lights just long enough to light my candles; then I turn them off."
As you can tell, she's tapped into the power but doesn't use it. Her house is connected but not altered. Don't we also make the same mistake? We, too-with our souls saved but our hearts unchanged-are connected but NOT altered. Trusting Christ for salvation but resisting transformation. We occasionally flip the switch, but most of the time we settle for the shadows.
We are called to live Pentecost...to be Pentecost. To be the Spirit of Christ to the world. May it be so and may we use all the glorious gifts that the Lord has given us.
See ya Sunday!
All Saints Messenger >