What a week this has been—the highs of Pentecost with the
appearance of Jesus to the disciples after the devastation
of his loss, the coming of the Holy Spirit into their lives, and
the incredible challenge of the Great Commission! Their lives
have been in turmoil since Jesus’ final week of life, and now an
unknown future down an uncertain path beckons with only the
guidance of the Holy Spirit. Can you imagine putting your head
down to sleep that night after receiving your mission from the
Jesus chose these simple, country men to enter an unrelenting
three years of life experience. They have seen unbelievable
events and viewed life from perspectives they could never have
imagined. Their lives have been transformed; there is no going
back. They now will carry their own crosses to spread the teachings
and actions of Jesus.
Peter’s quoting the prophet Joel helps them set their marching
orders as it lays forth the prophecies of salvation. With the
coming of the Spirit, the time for waiting has past. The disciple
community is to set out in mission. They will tell those they
meet of the signs of God’s kingdom, and “everyone who calls on
the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Peter uses Joel’s prophetic insights to mobilize the disciple
community, along with the others gathered to hear him speak.
For the writer of Luke’s Gospel, the divine inspiration of all
scripture makes these words from Joel particularly significant
to the fledgling Christian community. With this impetus, the
Spirit-breathed disciples move into the world to bear witness to
Jesus Christ. And that has made all the difference.
God of all, we give thanks for the efforts and sacrifices made by the early followers of Jesus. It has made all the difference in our faith and in the world. Amen.
The foundation of the Pentecost festival is that series of events recorded in Acts 2, a decisive proclamation that links new life in Christ to the activity of the Spirit of God. At the heart of the church’s new life is its experience of the crucified, risen Lord, a reality also recalled in the John 7 reading. Psalm 104 celebrates the power of God in endowing the heavens and the earth with life, an endowment that is linked to the work of God’s Spirit. First Corinthians points the reader to the reality that the gift of life, having once been made, remains with the Spirit-led person in the form of a heart reoriented to new and marvelous deeds of witness.
• Read Psalm 104:24-34, 35b. God’s gift of Spirit animates the life and well-being of creation. Today, breathe in God’s Spirit; breathe out God’s praise.
• Read Acts 2:1-21. The church is the Holy Spirit’s creation to continue Jesus’ mission. What part are you playing in the ongoing drama of ministry and mission to the world?
• Read 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13. The writer asserts that “every day, people of diverse gifts . . . model by their example how the Christian life is to be lived.” How do you express your valuing of those who differ in worship style, theology, or doctrine?
• Read John 20:19-23. The writer says that Jesus’ call to his followers “is no easy assignment; it is not without peril.” How has being a Jesus-follower been difficult for you?
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