Sunday, 12 June 2011

The Joy of Pentecost

Many of us have had to wait for something. It could be waiting to pick up a friend from the airport; a baby to be delivered, exam result or a home appliance to be delivered.
Recently I had to wait for a refrigerator to be delivered. You know they can only give you a time slot say between 8.00am -13.00pm. Your item can be delivered either too early or later than you expected. It is that wait which can drive you crazy. While waiting for the refrigerator to be delivered, I decided to pop into the shop to buy something quickly and come back. Just when I opened the door I saw two men coming with my refrigerator. They had come 1 hr and 45 minutes before the deadline time. Imagine if I had stepped out 5 or 10 minutes earlier. I would have missed them. There’s some excitement when what you’re expecting arrives.

There’s other aspect of waiting when you begin to have doubts. What if it doesn’t come; if it comes and is not what I expected; or some part is missing. What if there’s a fault? That is exactly what I went through when I had to wait for an engineer to come and fix the phone line so that I could have an internet service in my new home. Waiting can cause your body temperature to rise.

Jesus once told his disciples to remain in Jerusalem and until they receive the Holy Spirit. Can you imagine what the disciples went through? They weren’t supposed to do anything. Just wait!

Try saying good-bye to your partner, or a child at the airport and see how it feels. The likelihood is that both of you will go away sad having left the other. Despite promises from both of you to keep in touch, you will have several negative thoughts. What if something bad happens on the journey? What if I never hear from him or her again? No wonder the disciples were sad and confused.

Contrast this with the feeling you will get when you hear the person who had said good-bye to you on the other side of the phone or he/she suddenly comes back to say hello. Excitement galore! That is what happened on Pentecost. Christ had said good-bye at Easter with the promise to send the Holy Spirit. We thought Easter was satisfactory because Christ had risen, but He said that isn't enough. Wait for more to come. It was all joy when this promise was fulfilled.

Without the Holy Spirit there would be no Christianity. The disciples had feared for their lives and locked themselves up. Some had contemplated going back to their professions. It was after they had received the Holy Spirit that the real work begun. Without the Holy Spirit, Jesus would have said good-bye at Easter for good. There would have been no Christianity. On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20 :19-22)
Wow! I love hellos. Thank you Lord Jesus for the Holy Spirit.

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