On Pentecost Sunday millions of Christians will celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the early church. we gather and we pray,hear the word read and preached from and we sing our hymns and songs,but what does it all mean? Are we just celebrating a historical occasion that was very important for the foundation of the apostolic Church?
Perhaps we say that we are celebrating the empowering of the church for mission, in practical terms what does that mean?
But perhaps the biggest question is, does Pentecost have any relevance to my daily living?
It might help us to look at one or two of the hymns and songs associated with Pentecost to answer my questions.Look at Charles Wesley’s prayer in this great hymn,
O Thou who camest from above,
The pure celestial fire to impart,
Kindle a flame of sacred love
Upon the mean altar of my heart.
There let it for Thy glory burn
With inextinguishable blaze,
[or, Unquenched, undimmed, in darkest days,]
And trembling to its source return,
In humble prayer and fervent praise.
Jesus, confirm my heart’s desire
To work and speak and think for Thee;
Still let me guard the holy fire,
And still stir up Thy gift in me.
Ready for all Thy perfect will,
My acts of faith and love repeat,
Till death Thy endless mercies seal,
And make my sacrifice complete.
Here we see that Wesley really expected something to happen, he was looking to God the Holy spirit to work in his life, you can sing this hymn just as a religious act or you can sing it in a prayerful manner, expecting God to work in your life. I use this hymn because it is one that God has used to help me express my heart’s desire. If no other song is associated with my life, I hope this one will be. To sing this hymn is to make ourselves vulnerable before a loving and gracious God, being open to all that he has for us.
In Charismatic circles we may sing words like these,
Spirit of the Living God fall afresh on me.
But what do we expect? we say that we are open to the Holy Spirit but are we really open?
The Holy Spirit is often feared by Christians because they fear that he will make them weird, the bible clearly shows us that the purpose of the Holy Spirit’s ministry is to make us more like Jesus. Jesus as a man shows to us what a Spirit filled life can be like, a life of love and fruitfulness and a life that knows the presence and direction of Father God. When we look at Jesus, we see a wholesome life, the Holy Spirit wants to impart that same life to us. The Holy Spirit gives us both his fruit and his gifts to carry on the ministry of Jesus. Jesus himself taught this in John chapters 14 -16, read these chapters prayerfully and you will see that when we receive the Spirit, we will be equipped,changed and empowered to live a life for the glory of God. When we search the Scriptures with an open heart we will realise that we should welcome the Holy Spirit into our lives, to do what he wants to do.
Sometimes we pray for Revival, we want to see large numbers coming into the kingdom but are we prepared to seek the empowering of the Holy Spirit and to walk in his ways. Revival will never come to a church that observes Pentecost in a religious way, it will come to those who are prepared to be open to him. Our hearts desire should be to see God glorified in the Church,this will only happen as we open ourselves to the Holy spirit and all he has for us.