Pentecost is celebrated 50 days following Passover, concluding the “Feast of Weeks” (also known as the “Feast of First Fruits”). Christ was resurrected on the first day of the Feast of First Fruits and He fulfilled His promise to send the Holy Spirit on the last day of the feast, Pentecost. For most Christians Pentecost is considered the birthday of the church as the spiritual body of Christ.
Today (I am writing this on Sunday) is Pentecost Sunday, so today we celebrate the birthday of the church!!! The events surrounding the birth of the church are recorded in Acts 2. It is a relatively short chapter of only 47 verses so if you haven’t read it in a while take a break from your afternoon and read this powerful chapter.
Books have been written on this one chapter, but today I want to call out three important points: a promise fulfilled, the power released, and a purpose in Christ.
Promise Fulfilled. Jesus promised that when He left the disciples He would send a counselor:
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26 (ESV)
This promise is fulfilled in Acts 2:4:
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:4 (ESV)
Power Released. The power of the Holy Spirit has come upon us enabling us to be witnesses to the world:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (ESV)
Purpose in Christ. Following the baptism of the Holy Spirit believers came together attending temple, breaking bread, and praising God:
And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. Acts 2:46-47 (ESV)
A pastor I listened to recently said there are only two times to praise God. “What!” I thought, “Is he serious?” Then he added, “When we feel like it, and when we don’t feel like it!” I agree, the time to praise God is when we feel like it, and when we don’t. So any time is a good to to praise God!
As you celebrate Pentecost Sunday and the birth of the church, remember that we celebrate the fulfilled promise of the Holy Spirit: our personal counselor sent by Christ. When the Spirit is received it releases a power in us to testify to Christ throughout the world. Finally, our purpose as we come together in unity as Christians is to testify to the glory of God and praise Him.
Those of you in the workforce consider that you have 40, 60, and some even more hours every week to testify to the glory of God in your workplace. Your personal testimony of Christ can bring light into a darkened world. No matter what you do at work, at some point it will pass away, but the impact you make on those your work with can last into eternity.