Acts 2:2 NLT
'Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting.'
Jesus had inaugurated his public ministry reading from the prophet Isaiah and announcing that the year of Jubilee had arrived. Pentecost, in the Jewish calendar, was the Feast of the Harvest celebrated seven weeks (49 days) after the second day of Passover. It was therefore on the 50th day, just as Jubilee was every 50 years. It was also where a free will offering was required. As the disciples waited in the Upper Room in obedience to Jesus, they did so of their own free will. The Spirit descended in response to their freely given obedience and availability.
Some call this day the birth of the Church. Yet, Pentecost is much more. It’s the final piece in Jesus’ mission, calling into being and empowering a community to carry the gospel to all peoples. Jesus had gathered the twelve apostles, symbolic of the twelve tribes of Israel, its importance recognised with the replacement for Judas while waiting for Pentecost. Jesus had then commissioned 70 to go out to gather in the harvest, 70 (or 72) being symbolic of all the people groups in the world. The gospel is for all.
Pentecost today reminds us of the significance and importance of Church as a gathered community, and of its calling, to be a place of worship and encounter with God. It also renews our responsibility to freely offer ourselves to God’s work of mission wherever life finds us. Even if we feel jaded and ‘down’, we can call out to God for a fresh outpouring of his Holy Spirit which is both a renewal of intimate communication with God and an empowering for obedient service of God in his world.
QUESTION: On the last of these nine days of Novena, how has learning about and praying the Lord’s Prayer changed you?
PRAYER: Holy Spirit, fill me and empower me to serve you. Give me sensitivity and boldness to share the gospel today and every day. May your kingdom come, may your will be done.