And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.(Acts 2:21)
Those who accepted Peter’s message were baptized. God brought about three thousand people into the community on that day. (Acts 2:41)
On the Day of Pentecost, Jews from all around the world were gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Shauvot - a celebration of the giving and receiving of the Law of God, the Torah, the Covenant. On that same day the Holy Spirit was also gifted to those Jews gathered together in Jerusalem, bringing together in unity many who were so different from one another.
"Aren’t all of these people from the same place in Galilee? How can they be talking in so many languages at once? We are from Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, Iran and Iraq, Israel and many parts of Turkey, including near Istanbul and Ankara; some of us are from Egypt and northern Libya, or visiting from Rome in Italy, from the island of Crete or from Saudi Arabia. But still we all hear the apostles speaking about God’s deeds of power in our own languages!"
On the day of Pentecost, it is celebrated that no matter where we are from, the gift of the Holy Spirit is moving and stirring us from within, bringing us together in the unity of the Body of Christ.
When I think of the Holy Spirit moving in my life, one of the strongest places where I can think of the Spirit moving is at Church Camp, more specifically Tall Oaks Camp & Conference Center in Bonner Springs, KS. I trust that many of you, whether it is at a bonafide church camp, or a camp fire with friends, or simply a walk in the woods, we can see the abundance of diversity in creation; yet we can also see the gift of creation that brings us all closer to one another as we remember that unity in God's creation.
On Sunday, May 24, we will remember the day of Pentecost, and the Spirit moving among us. We will celebrate the Spirit moving among us not only at OPCC, but all over the world as the Spirit brings us together into the unity of the Body of Christ. She speaks to each of us in our own language, pulling us closer into the love of Christ who comes to each of us. She stirs our hearts to live out our commission, to share the love of God in Christ Jesus, that we will be brought together in that love.
We can't promise a conversion of 3000 people on Sunday morning, but we can promise that you will feel the Spirit move - won't you join us?
Scripture Reading: Acts 2:1-21
When Pentecost Day arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be individual flames of fire alighting on each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them to speak. There were pious Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered. They were mystified because everyone heard them speaking in their native languages. They were surprised and amazed, saying, “Look, aren’t all the people who are speaking Galileans, every one of them? How then can each of us hear them speaking in our native language? Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; as well as residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the regions of Libya bordering Cyrene; and visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the mighty works of God in our own languages!” They were all surprised and bewildered. Some asked each other, “What does this mean?” Others jeered at them, saying, “They’re full of new wine!”
Peter stood with the other eleven apostles. He raised his voice and declared, “Judeans and everyone living in Jerusalem! Know this! Listen carefully to my words! These people aren’t drunk, as you suspect; after all, it’s only nine o’clock in the morning! Rather, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young will see visions.
Your elders will dream dreams.
Even upon my servants, men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
I will cause wonders to occur in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and a cloud of smoke.
The sun will be changed into darkness,
and the moon will be changed into blood,
before the great and spectacular day of the Lord comes.
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.