Rueben P. Job, Norman Shawchuck and John S. Mogabgab
The day of Pentecost marks the descent of the Holy Spirit and reveals to the followers of Jesus that everyone can now know God’s presence everywhere and at all times. Pentecost comes after Easter on the church calendar because historically Pentecost followed the experience of the risen Christ. Pentecost transformed the defeated followers of Jesus into courageous, fearless, bold, and eloquent witnesses through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The second chapter of Acts gives a firsthand account of the amazing transformation of ordinary people into extraordinary witnesses in what has come to be known as “the day of Pentecost.” The following chapters of Acts report the results of this face-to-face experience of God’s presence and grace. A frightened gathering of disciples became a thriving, learning, growing, sharing, and winsome community. Observers were drawn to them. Each day more people chose to join them in the new and diverse community given to a life of loving and serving both God and their neighbors. Wonders and signs of God’s activity were plentiful. Awe and amazement continued to encourage these dissimilar people, drawing them into a unified and life-giving community.
Today we too wait in expectation that wind and fire from God will sweep across church and world to usher in a new day of unity, peace, justice, compassion, love, and faithfulness. Now and then we do see signs of God moving among us—those of us who offer ourselves without reservation as holy vessels to be called, sent, and used by the God of love. This is our God who sent Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to enable each of us to live as beloved children and to be part of God’s beloved family.
Today we celebrate the fulfillment of the angel’s promise to Joseph and Mary that she would give birth to a son whose name, Emmanuel, means God with us. Our fear of the present and future is erased as we invite God’s presence not only to guide and direct, teach and lead, protect and defend us but also to dwell within us and be our constant and redeeming companion for all time.
From A Guide to Prayer for All Who Walk with God by Rueben P. Job, Norman Shawchuck and John S. Mogabgab. Copyright @ 2013 by Upper Room Books. All rights reserved.
"Thank you for the creative teams [of The Upper Room] who are working together to share the power of prayer around the world. You have collaborated with everyone working from our homes to share the gifts of hope, love, grace, and peace." (Written in response to The Upper Room COVID-19 response efforts). View Jaqui's video contribution to the initiative, helping us create space and time for God in these anxious times.