Pentecost is an ancient celebration. It began back in the BCs as harvest celebration for the Jewish people. Today Pentecost continues a celebration of a different kind: the celebration of the Holy Spirit's work in our life.
Today's Pentecost is a celebration of an end and of a beginning. It is a celebration of the end of the disciple’s education. For nearly four years, Christ had been their professor and now he had departed from this earth. He is not there with the disciples, now called apostles. He isn’t there to be the “go to” guy to answer all their questions. They’ve graduated from all that. So Pentecost is a celebration of the beginning of their ministry. It is the beginning of doing what Christ told them to do, to proclaim the gospel to all nations.
But what would the future hold for these men? It wouldn’t be long before the apostles would be beaten for teaching about Jesus. It wouldn’t be long and the first great persecution of the church would break out, scattering believers throughout the known world. And so is Pentecost also a day of uncertainty? Is Pentecost the day that reality begins to settle in on the apostles: “Man, is this is the real deal, or what!”
If the apostles were worried about the future, we certainly don’t see it as we read about in Acts. In fact, a quick glance through the book of Acts demonstrates the exact opposite. The apostles were beginning to see that Pentecost is faith without fear. Pentecost is about Christ’s promise to send them the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is about enjoying the unique peace of Christ. With this in hand, the apostles fearlessly proclaimed the gospel.
Faith without fear… It’s a bold statement because we have plenty we could be afraid of. Pentecost is an end and a beginning for us as well. It is the end of “having Christ” with us as he teaches the disciples. And it is the beginning of our own ministry. Does this frighten you? Today, we follow in the bold footsteps of the apostles. There is no fear because Pentecost is faith without fear. Like the apostles, we too enjoy the Holy Spirit as our counselor and we too rejoice in the peace of Christ. Today is fire. Today is power. Today is courage. Today is Pentecost.
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