Pentecost Sunday is the day on the church calendar when we celebrate the amazing story of Acts 2 where the Holy Spirit descended on the early church as they were gathered in that house in the city of Jerusalem. I encourage you to read the story for yourself this coming Sunday morning in the quietness of your house before everybody is up and about. It is a thrilling story! Put yourself in the drama of it all. Take your time and imagine being there. Awesome!
Pentecost Sunday is seven weeks, or fifty days after Easter counting Easter Sunday as day #1. It is based on the Old Testament Feast of Pentecost that occurred fifty days after the Passover. It is an important event to observe annually as a church so that we might not forget what God has done for us. If Easter had occurred but Pentecost hadn’t, then we’d still be waiting in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father.
What does the day stand for? What does it mean for us as New Covenant believers? It teaches us a number of things. First it reminds us that God has provided everything we need through the power of the Holy Spirit. Each one of us believers, at any point in time, have the presence of the indwelling Spirit and his power for grace and strength to take the next right step. There is no excuse. We are competent to grow spiritually because God Himself indwells us as his temple. Pentecost encourages us to keep growing.
Pentecost Sunday also encourages us to keep in believing God. Jesus promised the disciples in John 14-16 that he would send the Comforter, and he kept his promise on the day of Pentecost. He said it would be in our best interest if he left because he would send this Helper. We truly are better off with the Holy Spirit living inside of us. God makes promises and always keeps them. Believe him. Pentecost teaches us this foundational truth.
A third truth that the day of Pentecost teaches us is that the Gospel is for all the nations. As Jewish believers had gathered in Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost, the Spirit of God descended on them with visible tongues of fire and a rushing mighty wind. As the disciples spoke in languages foreign to them, these Jewish believers heard them in their respective native tongues. This was God’s way of saying that the Gospel isn’t a local story. It’s a worldwide story. It’s a story that bridges the national divide that the Jewish people had set up between them and the Gentiles. It is a story of the person and work of Jesus that brings together into one body people from every tongue and language on the face of the globe. We send missionaries today because of the Pentecost Sunday.
Do what you can to celebrate the day. Read the story of Acts 2 early in the day. Talk about the events of Acts 2 along with the Order of Service during Sunday lunch. Hum the tune that Peter Schroeder will sing during the offertory as he introduces a new song to us about the Holy Spirit.
Pentecost Sunday is a day worth celebrating. Do it with joy because it represents a God who makes and keeps his promises!