The Pentecost Event is still Possible
At the Ascension, Jesus left his Apostles behind and ascended into heaven with these words echoing in their ears: “Go therefore to make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
And then Jesus was gone from their sight leaving no blue print, no written directions, and no money to finance his final command.
It is no wonder they huddled in that upper room with his last words: make disciples of all nations ringing in their ears. How were they to follow this command? Didn’t they leave Galilee when he called them to follow me? Where are they to go now?
Before Jesus’ words to follow him, the disciples had never traveled beyond the Dead Sea. Indeed, Jesus' followers were a frightened and confused group.
And suddenly answers to their many questions came. It arrived in loud and clear strong winds and bright tongues of fire flickering over their heads’. The Holy Spirit had arrived just as Jesus promised.
This is the joyful story of Pentecost and how a ragtag group became transformed into fiery preachers and made disciples in one country after another. Today, we are the descendants of these first followers of Jesus. And just as the Holy Spirit helped them make good on Jesus' request, that same Spirit is here for us.
The Holy Spirit, the Keeper of Jesus' Memory, set ablaze the faith within these frightened huddled followers pouring into them zeal and enthusiasm. The Spirit gave them the courage to fulfill what Jesus commanded. And the Church, this community of many nations, began its long life in that moment which now extends to us.
Baptism is our Pentecost. Baptism took away our sins, and sent us walking the way of Jesus with that same command: “Go and make disciples of all nations.”
Are we making disciples? Are we as excited as those early Apostles? Or are we fearful and confused that we can’t do this in today’s world? We think, what’s the use? We say, “Jesus' message just isn’t working.” There are ongoing wars, despots running countries, people suffering needlessly, and our planet is in peril?
Yet the Holy Spirit is still with us hovering over us. Pentecost reminds us that two thousand years later, we still have one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, and now its up to us to bring this great news to all we meet by our words and actions.
If we do our part in our world, the miracles done on that first Pentecost can still happen. Jesus' words can be made even greater yet.