Lots of people admire Jesus and what he said without believing he’s the Son of God, as Christians do.
But whether Jesus was God or not, I think there’s an important question:
What happened to the followers of Jesus after he died?
But then look at what happened in the weeks, the months, the years that followed. Each of the Apostles and countless disciples devoted their lives to the most comprehensive and ambitious communications project in human history. With no resources, financial or military, and against cultural dominance that attempted to obliterate them and their message with the worst forms of violence... the name of Jesus spread across the world.
That usually doesn’t happen.
So what happened to these weak and useless people that made them attempt and succeed at literally changing the world, even at the cost of their lives, their comforts, their prior cultural identities?
If it was not the action of God, I’m curious about what else it could be. I love those conversations.
But in my community, we clearly identify exactly what happened that transformed the broken and marginalized into the most powerful force for change in humanity.
“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.”
This is the event the Church celebrated this last Sunday. This is what made a ragtag group of bumpkins, cowards, opportunists and outcasts into a source of healing, knowledge and mercy for all people, messengers on fire with an irresistible Word of Love.
For Christians, what Pentecost means is that what Jesus has been for us, when he found us as miserable broken sinners, we can now be for others. The Holy Spirit which brought Jesus into the womb of a human woman, which came upon him and accomplished the deeds of power he willed, and which washed over and obliterated his shameful death – that same Spirit has been given to us, so that God’s gathering of all people, his unconditional inclusive love, will never pass away from the human family.
Not only did God enter our hurt and transform it into healing, he now invites us to be healing for others, giving us the Spirit of power with which to do so.
How will you live in this Spirit today? How will you allow life and love to flow through you to those who need it? Will you believe that what Christ did for the Apostles he is doing for you?
Let us Pray +
Breathe into me, Holy Spirit,
that my thoughts may all be holy.
Move in me, Holy Spirit,
that my work, too, may be holy.
Attract my heart, Holy Spirit,
that I may love only what is holy.
Strengthen me, Holy Spirit,
that I may defend all that is holy.
Protect me, Holy Spirit,
that I may always be holy.