acts 2:1-11; 1 corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13; john 20:19-23
in a major game, a football player’s performance exceeded the expectations of his team mates and coach. in the last five minutes of the game, with the score against his team, he scored two goals! he ran faster and dribbled better than he had ever done. in the locker room, his coach said: «i didn’t know you had it in you.» he replied: «i didn’t either! i was picked up and carried by something outside myself» (cf. george a. buttrick, «the interpreter’s bible» 9).
pentecost is when the apostles «were picked up and carried by someone outside themselves»; the HOLY SPIRIT empowered and transformed them! the SPIRIT
- filled them with enthusiasm (which means «the GOD within»). armed with this power, they moved out of the upper room—where they had locked themselves—to proclaim the good news of the resurrection.
- gave them the gifts they needed to proclaim the good news: belief in the truth, the courage to proclaim it, and the willingness/ability to reach out to people of other languages and persuasions.
- formed them into one community.
today the SPIRIT empowers and transforms us. the SPIRIT
- empowers us to proclaim that GOD is our FATHER, and that beyond the visible differences of language, culture and social status, we are one family.
- gives us the gifts and resources we need (cf. 1 corinthians 12:3b-7). this means that we ought to use our gifts to build up the church. further, each person is given different gifts. we need to believe and understand that the SPIRIT works differently in different people… and give space for that to happen.
- forms us into one family.
will i let the SPIRIT pick me up and carry me... for the mission GOD has given me?