The Miracle of Pentecost
Read: Acts 2:1-12
They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:3-4
Pentecost ranks with Christmas and Easter as one of the three major Christian holy days. Christmas is the Festival of the Father; Easter is the Festival of the Son, Jesus Christ; Pentecost is the Festival of the Holy Spirit. The importance of Pentecost for the faith and life of Christians cannot be overemphasized.
To appreciate this significance, we must go back more than seven weeks before the miraculous event took place. It was the night before His crucifixion and the mood somber as Jesus spoke to His disciples in what might be called His farewell address. Their hearts were heavy as they sensed the direction of the Savior’s thoughts. Again and again He referred to the Comforter whom he would send them from the Father.
He said, for instance, “I will pray the Father, and He shall send you another Comforter…even the Spirit of Truth.” A few moments later He confided, “the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit…shall teach you all things.” And a few moments later: “The Comforter…shall testify of Me.” (St. John 14)
The Greek word for “comforter” can be translated variously. Literally it means a person who has been called to one’s side to be of help…an advocate, a spokesman, or prompter. It was only moments before His ascension into heaven, that Jesus told his disciples not to leave Jerusalem until this promise of the Comforter (namely, the Holy Spirit whom He would send from the Father) had been fulfilled.
The miracle of the first Pentecost is the fulfillment of that promise. Of the assembled group we read, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” And the rest is history. Empowered by the Spirit of God, the disciples went out into all the world, heralds of the King, proclaimers of the Kingdom. We all have been enlightened and empowered by the same Holy Spirit. In a very real sense, today and every day is Pentecost. God is giving us His Holy Spirit through His Word and the Sacraments. It is for us to proclaim that Word to the nations.
Prayer – Send us Your Holy Spirit daily to empower us in our faith in Jesus and our witness to Him. Amen.
How has prayer helped you? How does your personal prayer time and communal prayer time in worship inform and feed you? Look for more stories of prayer in next week’s Monday Meditation.