Pentecost Sunday

My three small readings prior to the Pentecost readings from Acts 2 are just a sample, to show that this turning point in history was pointed to in advance by a range of people.  Today we heard of John the Baptist and Jesus, but some of the Old Testament prophets spoke of it also.

This was a huge deal!  As God had slowly unwrapped the truth about himself through the centuries, it had inched towards this day.  We would know there was only one God; we would know that God was faithful, and not changeable like the multitude of gods in the ancient world.

Jesus came to complete the picture.  We would know that God is love; that God is personal; that God is with us; that God wants to involve us as salt and light for the world; we would know that God wants an eternal future for us; we would know that Jesus dealt with our sin.

When everything was in place, then came the day when the Holy Spirit was poured out on Jesus’ first followers, and all followers of Jesus since that time.

There are simply two things I want to highlight this morning, and you can add them to all the other Pentecost messages you’ve absorbed through the years.

  1. Once you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you really don’t quite fit the world any more. And you’re not meant to. You are literally made of something different, and it calls you to a higher purpose, an eternal purpose.  We’re told that while are yet in the world we no longer belong to the world – our primary home is with God.  All this is true, and it is the Holy Spirit living in us, fused to our spirit, that makes it so.
  2. (this answers some of the controversies about the Holy Spirit over the years) If you have said ‘yes’ to Jesus in your life, then the Holy Spirit is God’s gift to you.Can you imagine a visitor coming to our humble church just now?  They come to this doorway over here and step into the room.  And there you leave them.  They are at church; they are in the room with us, but they are quite uninvolved.  They are at church, yet not at church.Imagine though, you invite them in; you give them the service booklet and show them the page; you give them a copy of notices; you offer them your seat because the room is already full; when the service is over you personally invite them to morning tea.When all of this is done, they have been at church in every way that you have been at church.When you say ‘yes’ to Jesus, the Holy Spirit enters the doorway of your life.  She is there, but relatively uninvolved.  Do you invite her in?  Firstly it helps to know she’s there, but you might or you might not.

    But here is the final picture – the Holy Spirit wants to be part of every room in the house (meaning every part of your life) – all of your inner world that you keep to yourself and all of your outer world that you life with others.

    The Holy Spirit wants to be part of your family, your marriage if you are married, your friendship groups, your finances, your work, your leisure, your memories, your heartbreaks, your triumphs, your failures and mistakes.

    Where there is pain and brokenness, the Holy Spirit wants to rebuild and restore you.  The end picture is of a house where all the room are unbolted and windows open with the breeze of heaven blowing throughout.

    Stop for a moment and try to catch a hint of godly freshness on the breeze as the Spirit whispers to you “I want to do that.”  Not because you deserve it, but because Jesus deserves it, and Jesus chooses to include you.

    If it were not enough, The Holy Spirit doesn’t just want this for your godly health and wholeness, but because Jesus has a world to reach, and it’s hard to do that with a church full of broken followers, bitter and twisted by the journey of life.

    God needs us to be cleaned out and cleaned up so we can help those who haven’t found Jesus yet.

    But don’t make the mistake of thinking that reaching others is the main purpose, as though you were just some means to a godly end.  You are part of the godly end.

    But just as heaven celebrated you receiving the life of God, so heaven waits to celebrate others the same way.

    Will you be whole?  Would you be free from the power of sin?  Would you recover from the injuries of life?  There is a Holy Spirit for that, and she waits to be invited again.