HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHURCH! Pentecost has often been called “The Birthday of the Church”, since it was on that day that the disciples went from being an inwardly-focused, scared bunch of people to a courageous, outwardly-reaching mission!
On the day of Pentecost (which was a Jewish celebration of the first fruits of the harvest), our scriptures tell us that “When Pentecost Day arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be individual flames of fire alighting on each one of them. 4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them to speak.”
Up until that time, the disciples had been gathering (in the Upper Room?) and pretty much keeping to themselves. But on Pentecost they received a touch from the Holy Spirit that made them no longer afraid to be known as a follower of Jesus!
For this Sunday, we will be having a celebration – decorations, party favors, and maybe some cake?!? We’re asking you to WEAR RED as a symbol of the Holy Spirit’s fire, and to invite someone else with you to the party! It’s okay to get excited – early Methodists were known for their “warmed heart” and their exuberant worship! In fact, in many towns Methodists were not allowed to have revival meetings within city limits because they were too wild! I wonder – have we lost that? What would make the city officials want to close down our worship?!
Come and expect God to do something powerful this Sunday – and every Sunday after that! -Rev. Bill