When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. (Acts 2:1-2)
Jesus had promised this moment. He had told them to go to Jerusalem and wait and when the Holy Spirit came it would bring “power.” They were to simply wait for God to act and when the time arrived, God would give them what they needed to know what to do and the strength to do it.
This is the nature of the Christian life. Grounded in the promises of Jesus, God’s people wait and watch for cues from God, receive the Holy Spirit, and join in with the work that God initiates. We don’t do anything alone. God always leads and shows the way. If we are attentive, we simply say “yes” to God’s invitation and jump in.
This leads to a central idea of the Christian faith. God wants to use people and comes to us as Spirit to inspire us and prod us into action. While we might feel ill equipped to do the work or even feel inclined to turn God’s invitation down, if God has asked you to do something then you are the one who can do it. God wastes no effort inviting people to do things they can’t do. If God asks you to do something then you can. You may not yet know how, but just the fact that you sense God calling you is enough to know that if you dig in then God will find a way.
The events of Pentecost are a perfect example. 120 followers of Jesus were huddled in a room praying and waiting – for what they did not know. But they knew they were waiting for something because Jesus had told them so (and the believed him). When the Spirit came, everything changed, and a group of people who would never have envisioned what would happen next found themselves doing it – no planning involved. They simply responded and allowed the Spirit to use them.
This is a good reminder of how God often works in our lives today as well. God calls us to pray and live life watching attentively for signs from God. When God calls us to action, God’s Spirit stirs us up and sends us out to do what it is God wants doing. All the while, God is envisioning the work and leading the work. We simply need to respond to the Holy Spirit and live our lives as “yes, Lord.”
Pentecost is a reminder that if we all watched for God’s action and listened for God’s call, who knows what amazing things might happen in our live and in the world around us!