When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Notice that the “tongues as of fire…rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit….” The people in this Pentecostal moment are not just the 12 Apostles, but 120 followers of Jesus who had been gathering regularly together since the Ascension to devote themselves to prayer (Acts 1:12-14, 15). And then all of them, filled with the Spirit, go out into the streets telling “the mighty works of God” (Acts 1:5-11).
The gift of the Holy Spirit is for all of us. This is how the Father realizes the koinonia and eternal life of which we’ve been hearing John teach—union with God and each other; power to experience and bring shalom into our lives and the world around us; gifts to encourage and build up each other; authority over evil spirits—the life of the age to come within us because of the very Life of God within us.
The Spirit of God within us; the Spirit of God within each one of us. Not just the clergy, not just the prayer ministers, not just those we think have special callings or giftings…. Every Jesus-believer, baptized in the name of the Trinity, has the Holy Spirit present and at work in and through them. That includes you.
This Pentecost Sunday, as an expression of this truth, I’m going to “preach” in a unique way. I’ve invited four members of our congregation to participate in a “Pentecostal Panel.” I’ve asked each them to reflect on their experience of the Holy Spirit, and after the Gospel reading I’m going to interview them. I don’t know what they’re going to say, but because of the presence of the Spirit in their lives, I am very much looking forward to listening to them.
Come listen as well, and grow in your own understanding of the presence of the Holy Spirit in your own life.
Your Pastor in Christ,