Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Feast of Pentecost: Holy Spirit, Renew the Creation
Acts 2: 1-13
Vs 3. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
The feast of Pentecost or Shavout is a harvest festival of creation, celebration and thanksgiving. Some accounts mention it to be when the laws were given to Moses. This passage gives the account of the Holy Spirit coming upon the apostles, i.e. when the Holy Spirit was given to the apostles. It was a transformation point for them where they became a new creation.
Although the event itself happened in a few moments, the disciples had been preparing for it since the ascension of Jesus. He told them that they would get the gift of Holy Spirit (Acts 1: 4&5), yet they constantly prayed together. Acts 1:14 “They all joined together constantly in prayer”. This constant prayer kept them close to the will of God making them ready to receive the gift from God. Praying together constantly is a preparation we need to undertake to become ready to receive the Holy Spirit.
A transformation took place in the disciples when the Holy Spirit came upon them. Jesus spoke to this before his ascension – Acts 1:8a “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you”. Verse 4 says that they began to speak in tongues, but that is not the only power or transformation as evidenced by Peter’s actions. When some people mocked them, the very same Peter who denied Christ three times, stood up fearlessly and without shame, to vociferously and passionately bear witness to Jesus and his life. When the Holy Spirit comes upon us, we are no longer the same – we are renewed to be a new creation to fulfil God’s purpose and His will, fearlessly and without shame.
There is a responsibility for us to bear witness when the Holy Spirit comes upon us. Jesus, in Acts 1:8b, says: “and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”. The Holy Spirit coming upon the apostles was no silent or secret event. Verses 2 and 6 describe the sound, how it filled the whole house (not just the room they were in) and of people hearing this sound and bewildered by the effect they saw. The apostles took up the responsibility of teaching and leading people to God. We have to recognize and humbly accept this responsibility that comes on us when we receive the Holy Spirit and become a renewed creation.
Lord God. Make us worthy to receive the gift of Your Holy Spirit and with the transformative power, bear witness to Your Glory and Your Kingdom. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.
Preetam Korah, Carmel MTC Boston
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church