Pentecost Sunday! Pentecost is a Jewish festival which has taken on a different meaning for Christians as we recall the Acts 2 story of the empowering of the Apostles with the promised Holy Spirit. Pentecost Sunday is widely regarded as a celebration of the birth of the Christian Church. Certainly as the story is recorded, this is the catalyst for the movement. That opening period of the church’s life certainly had it all…signs and wonders, bold preaching, generous sharing of resources, radical hospitality, passionate learners, and of course incredible conversion growth.
It is common today, at a time when the church is struggling in the West to hark back to the early church recorded in Acts 2 with a longing and aching to see the Holy Spirit bring a fresh revival and renewal. One of the things that history teaches, as we look back at past revivals, is that a move of the Spirit cannot be ‘manufactured’. As Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3 when speaking of the Spirit ‘the wind blows where it will.’
While we cannot manufacture a spiritual revival we can prepare the space for a move of God in our own lives, where we must start, and within the church. The first and most vital step is to live in deep communion with God, through prayer, meditation, reflection and worship. This does not come easily for us, for a number of reasons, but if we don’t begin here we’ll end nowhere!
Our prayer might be “Send the fire, Lord, set us on fire for you. Burn deep within us and ignite our passion to serve you. Sear our hearts. Cleanse us from impurity, purify us, and let your Spirit fall afresh upon us.”
Leo Newell (May 2018)