The spirit of Pentecost

candleDo you know what today is? Most of you know probably know that it’s Mother’s Day. But while it’s always a good idea to celebrate mom, today has a special theological significance for Christians—it’s Pentecost, seven weeks after Easter. It marks the time two thousand years ago when the Holy Spirit came down (in fulfillment of a promise by Jesus) to live within Christ-followers. Here’s the account as it’s told in the Bible:

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 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.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs-we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

The idea of the Holy Spirit and his presence within believers is an important but sometimes difficult-to-understand part of Christian belief. Here are a few resources talk more about the person of the Holy Spirit and the importance of Pentecost:

  • What the Bible tells us about the Holy Spirit—what Christians believe about the Holy Spirit, with Bible verses to back it up.
  • The promise of the Spirit—a more in-depth look at the Holy Spirit. Who is the Holy Spirit? Is the Spirit a person or a power? Why did the Spirit come? What difference does all of this make to Christ-followers?
  • How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?—a Bible study that walks you through what it means to be filled with the Spirit, as the disciples were at the first Pentecost.
  • The power of Pentecost—what does a Spirit-filled person look like? This short devotional sums it up nicely:

    The Holy Spirit’s presence and power can be evidenced in a dynamic preacher who attracts great audiences. But it is seen as well in the volunteer who carries on a one-on-one prison ministry, in the person who witnesses to a co-worker or a neighbor, and in the Sunday school teacher who faithfully teaches week after week.

    The power of Pentecost is not especially reserved for the highly gifted. Rather, it is available to all believers in Christ who want to serve Him.

Amen. So go out and celebrate Mother’s Day… but don’t forget about Pentecost, and what it means for your life today, tomorrow, and the rest of the year!

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