Celebrating Pentecost Sunday
Why it's worth it!
Pentecost is worthy of celebrating more than we can even imagine! My perspective of this truth has been totally blown away the last few years. This has largely been a result of my own worship is life journey and the revelation that worship equals relationship; relationship with God translating into relationship with others.
I now find it fascinating and actually quite sad that Christmas and Easter are huge celebrations both in the church and across much of society, but the celebration of Pentecost is not even close. There are plenty of reasons for this but I imagine it is largely due to the fact that most everyone agrees what happened on Christmas and Easter. Pentecost, however, is a different matter.
Although Christmas and Easter are shrouded in mystery we still have God in the flesh in the person of Jesus which is somewhat easier to relate to. Pentecost seems to take on a whole new level of mystery and so there is far less agreement on what exactly happened, what is the purpose, and how we embrace it. We could continue the debates here that have been around for centuries but this is how I would describe Pentecost through the lens of relationship.
There are several moments in God's story where everything changes in regards to our relationship with him. The first is when he breathed his breath into the nostril of Adam and man became a living being. Relationship between God and humanity was birthed and everything changed! The second is when Adam and Eve selfishly went their own way and offended their perfect relationship with God and each other and everything changed again as death and separation became a part of our reality.
The next moment was what we know as Christmas. God came to us is the flesh. We know it well and we celebrate it extravagantly. Then came calvary. Jesus laid down his life as the perfect sacrifice for our self centered offenses toward God and each other. We know what comes next...Resurrection Sunday. The power of death is broken when Jesus rises from the dead! Everything changes again and we celebrate it well.
I submit to you that Pentecost is the moment all these other moments are pointing to since the moment God first initiated relationship with humanity. From the fall of man up until Pentecost, God put his spirit (his breath, his life, his presence) upon certain individuals for a certain period of time at a certain point in history. But on the day of Pentecost everything changed!
The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus paved the way so that every person who responds to the revelation of God as Creator, Redeemer, and Helper becomes the dwelling place of the spirit, life, breath, presence of God. The power to be a witness is not a what but a who! God is Spirit, we are spirit, and when we respond favorably to his invitation to restored relationship then our spirits become as one.
The two main definitions of power are ability and authority. When our spirit becomes one with his spirit we receive his authority and ability to love everyone around us including those who are yet to accept God's great invitation.
Somehow in his sovereignty God chose the day of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. Pentecost is the day that everything changed in how he does relationship with us. Let's celebrate!
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