Sunday’s Scripture – May 23, 2021
The last instruction Jesus gave his disciples was to wait in Jerusalem until they were clothed with power from on high. Surely the disciples did not fully understand what this meant, and surely they had no idea of when it would happen. But the disciples obeyed. They stayed put and waited. The best thing to do while we’re waiting is the last thing Jesus told us to do.
“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.” (Acts 2:1) No doubt banding together as if their life depended on it. In all likelihood, it did. The Jews and the Romans did not want this new Way taking off. They would attempt to squelch anything that threatened their control.
But there is no squelching the plan of God. On the day of Pentecost, fifty days after the resurrection, the power from on high came. (Acts 2:2) Jesus had ascended and so the Holy Spirit could descend. Like the wind, we cannot see the Holy Spirit, only the effects. The effect of the Holy Spirit is that people are filled. All people, as Joel had prophesied. (Acts 2:17-21) They have abilities they would not otherwise have, like speaking in different languages. They speak boldly as Peter did in that first sermon. They love extravagantly. Often, they look ridiculous. Those first disciples were accused of being drunk.
Are we willing to be filled today? It means we need to be empty of all else. Are we willing to proclaim boldly and love wildly? Are we willing to look undignified for the Kingdom of God?
If not, then the Holy Spirit won’t fill us. Rest assured, He wants to. And who of us doesn’t need Him to fill us? We need Him, our world needs him, so desperately. We need him to transform us in holiness and conform us to the image and likeness of Christ.
Remember that God’s power is not like the world’s. It is made perfect in weakness. It doesn’t make sense in the wisdom of the world. God’s ways are too wonderful for us. Christianity is not the love of power, but the power of love.
Nothing could stop God’s plan then, and nothing can stop it now. Come, Holy Spirit. Fill us today.
- What is your understanding of the Holy Spirit? Do you have a robust or anemic theology of the Holy Spirit?
- What is your experience of the Holy Spirit? Take some time to reflect on it (or the lack thereof) and what it has meant for your life.
- Are you really willing to be filled? What do you need to empty yourself of first?