|Posted by trinityromford on June 15, 2011 at 6:00 AM|
A TIME OF SURPRISES
Pentecost is one of the important seasons of the Christian year. It is important because it witnessed the fulfilment of the coming of the promised Holy Spirit – the third Person of the God head.
The first Pentecost was a remarkable day because it brought a lot of confusion in the lives of both the disciples of Jesus who were eagerly waiting for this fulfilment and also the Jews who could not understand the strange phenomenon that had erupted in the Upper Room in Jerusalem. Their immediate reaction, therefore, was one of amazement which later turned into sneering and jeering. Verses 12 and 13 of Acts chapter two puts it this way, “All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.”
This seems to be our natural human response to things we have not seen or heard before, especially when such happenings seem to be at variance with our own way of doing things. We easily throw away as not valid things that do not conform to our own practice and standards. This was the behaviour of the people in Jerusalem who first saw the 120 disciples of Jesus in that frenzied mood, shouting, laughing loudly, falling down and speaking in strange tongues. But this strange phenomenon which seemed foolish to the observers was not foolish after all. It was God Himself who was at work in His Church, fulfilling His promise to empower those who believe in Him to carry on the work of the ministry of the Church. History tells us that through the coming of the Holy Spirit, these disciples were greatly empowered and for the first time they were bold to speak about Jesus to everybody. The result was that the Church experienced a tremendous growth and became a great force in the society.
Pentecost is a time of renewal of the Church. It is the time we have to be open to God to see what new things He is doing so that we can do it with Him. Just like the first Pentecost, God is still surprising the Church by doing strange things all over the world – things that are completely different from our own experience and practice. We may even feel uncomfortable sometimes, but if that is the way God wants to renew His Church and to empower it, then we have no other alternative but to go along with Him. Our desire should not be what we want, but what God wants for His Church. The problem we have in the Church in this generation is that many of us think we know what is good for the Church and so we refuse to ask God to direct us to what we ought to be doing. But I believe our prayer for the Church should be like the prayer of Jesus – “Not my will but yours be done.”
And so, as we celebrate the season of Pentecost, why not let us begin to give much thought to the Holy Spirit and to some of the strange things happening in other places so that we can also do them for the benefit of our Church. Remember, John Wesley did something strange, something differently, out of the ordinary in his days and Methodism was born – he left the four walls of the Church and went out preaching in the open air.
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