This month we will be celebrating Pentecost, the sending of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church. I wonder if you know that there are two accounts of the Holy Spirit being given to the disciples? The one we all know about is in the start of Acts when the church bursts onto the streets of Jerusalem with explosive power and 3,000 become followers of Jesus in one day! The second is a lot quieter and is found in John 21. There is no explosion here, just the simple gift.
But both accounts do have one thing in common, the gift comes with a commission. In Acts it is put this way:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
And in John 21:
“As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
As Christians and as God’s Church we have a mission and a commission.
The commission was given by Jesus himself and he has provided us with all the resources, tools and authority that we need to fulfil his commission. He left nothing out!
The mission is simple and yet profound, to get to heaven taking as many of the people we meet in our lives with us. For the first Christians and the first Church that was all that mattered, nothing else had a higher priority for them. Irrespective of gender, race, gifting, ability, status, position or influence their one priority was to share the Good News of Jesus with everyone. Yes there were exceptions, Ananias and Sapphira come to mind! But the vast majority risked their lives for Jesus.
Encouraged by our Archbishops the time leading up to Pentecost has become a focus for prayer for the evangelisation of our nation. This year (14th – 20th May) we will be doing that in a new way by creating a Prayer Space that will take over our church building. During the school day hundreds of children will experience prayer in multiple and different ways. At other times the space will be open for anyone to engage with God in prayer.
Please come (full details will be publicised once these have been finalised). If you’d like to help please let me know.
But most of all please pray for your families, friends, neighbours, colleagues, those you meet regularly and this you may only see once, that all may come to know the Good News of Jesus just as you did.