The Church is Born – Day 4

Acts 2:1-4

1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested[a] on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”

There are several things going on in this passage, and the movement of this story is fast-paced and electric – but that is what it looks like when the power is suddenly turned on.

Just this morning as I was writing a storm passed through the area. I could hear the wind outside of the windows, and a few plinks of rain quickly became a roar of water pouring out of the sky as the weather system raced over the house.

About ten minutes into the storm something happened somewhere in the region that affected the power grid and the electricity at our house first flickered and then stopped flowing altogether. It didn’t last long however. Within the space of a minute the path of the current was restored and the house came back to life.

And in Acts 2 we see something similar.

The followers of Jesus wait in an upstairs room in Jerusalem, not because they were seeking to be unified but because they were obeying their Lord. He’d made them a promise, that they would receive power from heaven, and then He’d told them how to position their lives so they could receive this promise.

And so a crowd of people from all walks of life, different ages and genders, different preferences and experiences stepped into that room to wait together. The power had been turned off in the world when Adam and Eve chose rebellion over obedience. And though a few throughout history, like Moses, Elijah and David, seemed to have found a personal generator that supplied them with supplemental power, the world on a large scale had not experienced the power since the Garden of Eden.

And then God turned the power back on.

Perhaps it flickered for a moment. Acts says that the upper room looked like it was filled with people who were on fire – and fires don’t just appear, they are started with a spark, cultivated by careful arrangement and sustained by plenty of fuel.

We know what that’s like, right? You get a feeling, a sense that things are changing…that things aren’t the same…but you can’t quite explain it yet. Your eyes feel full of tears, your soul feels like it’s being filled up with a thick fog of love, your hands may raise or clasp in front of you…it’s different for everyone.

But the flickering only lasts for a moment. And when the current is fully connected there’s no doubt that things are not like were the moment before.

In a way this is what happened that morning in Jerusalem. And this is what God has been offering to all of us ever since. Not just to be identified by a particular church or denomination or movement; and not even really having everything immediately figured out. What God has been offering is the opportunity to have the power turned back on…to experience the reconnection of our lives with the current of the Spirit of God in a way that changes us for the good.

What God has been offering is the opportunity to have the power turned back on…to experience the reconnection of our lives with the current of the Spirit of God in a way that changes us for the good.

Do you want to be reconnected?

Do you need that life-giving current to flow through your life once again? The words and instructions of Jesus remain our best way of seeing it happen: gather together with others in need, pray for God’s promise to fill your life, and decide that you’re not leaving until the power is turned back on!

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