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 Sunday is Pentecost and we will celebrate by wearing red to mark the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the first disciples.  Prior to that Pentecost Sunday, the Disciples had been watching and waiting and praying for the Holy Spirit to come.  Jesus had promised he would ask God the Father to send the Holy Spirit to empower, guide and comfort the Disciples, but when the Spirit did come, I think the Disciples were surprised.  Imagine, seeing flames of fire touching the heads of everyone else in the room, and feeling it on your head too.  Hearing rushing wind, though there was no wind.  And then to top off all this, you begin to speak in another language you had never learned, and you are understanding languages you had never been taught. 

Sometimes, God acts in surprising ways to share His grace with people.

Acts 2 tells the whole story of that first Pentecost.  Acts 2 shares the response of some in the great crowd of people who had gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) and make their offering to God.  Jews had come from all over the world to celebrate Pentecost, but that day each one heard the Gospel in their own tongue.  Some responded that they thought the Disciples were drunk.  They were not drunk, just full of the Holy Spirit.  The disciples shared the grace of God with everyone who would listen and that day 3,000 people in that crowd confessed Jesus Christ as Lord.

A while back I was sitting at a stoplight, listening to my radio waiting for the light to change.  I have to admit, I got a little impatient at the person in front of me.  He wouldn’t pull forward after the light changed.  Somewhere, I heard a horn honk, it wasn’t me.  I saw the man in the car in front of me look to his left, but he still did not move forward.  So, I honked my horn (just a little) to encourage him to pull forward, but without any luck.

A second later, the horn I heard earlier sounded again, only this time it was followed by a siren.  I looked to my left and an ambulance went barreling through the intersection.  I hadn’t even noticed it until it was right in front of me.  Boy was I surprised by the red lights and loud noises.  Call it a Pentecost epiphany, but it made me wonder how often we live in our own little world, and miss seeing what God is doing around us.  Thankfully, God knows we have vision problems and He watches out for us.  Psalms 139 reminds us that we can never escape the vision and the presence of God.  Maybe what we experience as God’s surprises, are surprises because we are not paying attention.

I’m going to try to pay better attention and look for what God is doing around me, even amidst our current pandemic.  One thing I know, more people are hearing God’s word now because so many churches now have an online presence, including SVPC.  My prayer for you is the prayer of the apostle Paul for the Ephesians:

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. {These are} in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly {places} far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.  And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.  (Ephesians 1:18-23 NAS)

As we see better what God is doing, may we be better about telling people about Jesus and what He has done for us all.   By the Way, Remember to wear RED on Sunday – It’s Pentecost!



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Dr. D