The coming of the Spirit

070527flames_130hThis month we celebrate Pentecost, the event that marks the start of the explosive growth of the early church. Forty days after He rose from the tomb, Jesus ascended into heaven, as we read in Acts 1. Ten days after that, the disciples were gathered together in Jerusalem for the Jewish harvest festival that was celebrated on the fiftieth day of Passover. While they were indoors praying, a sound like that of a rushing wind filled the house and tongues of fire descended and rested over each of their heads. This was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit promised by God in Joel 2:28-29.

Suddenly empowered to proclaim the gospel of the risen Christ, the disciples went out into the streets of Jerusalem and began preaching boldly to the crowds gathered for the festival. By a miracle of the Holy Spirit they were heard speaking in the native languages of the crowd who had gathered from all corners of the Roman Empire. This created a sensation. The apostle Peter seized the moment and addressed the crowd, preaching to them about Jesus’ death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins. The result was that about three thousand converts were baptised that day.

Read the account in Acts 2:1–41. Better still, join with us in celebrating the birth of the church.