Everyday Pentecost | Wayne Massey
The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
Nobody had a frame of reference grasping what happened on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit filled the believers. Luke can only suggest ‘a sound like a violent wind’ and ‘what seemed to be tongues of fire’. But there was no doubt about the effect – people were transformed! They couldn’t stop speaking about the wonders God had done, and as they did so everyone could understand them in their own languages. It was utterly perplexing and utterly amazing!
It can still be perplexing and amazing when a perfectly ordinary person turns to God, gives their life to Christ and prays to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Because their friends and relatives see them suddenly or gradually become transformed. They say to each other ‘what’s got into them’!
Although some people believe that Pentecost was a once-and-for-all moment, the experience of Christians down the centuries and all over the world today says the opposite. Pentecost happens every day, when Christians pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Just as the Cross is necessary for our salvation, so being filled with the Holy Spirit is necessary for a healthy Christian life.
So why don’t we always take our hard situations, our fears and our anger to God and ask for this in-filling? Perhaps we are only too aware that God’s response will be to show us something needing to be changed within ourselves, and that can be painful. We forget that God loves us so much, as his children, that he will never leave us to struggle on our own.
What better way to start each day than to thank God for his love and to pray: ‘Please fill me with your Holy Spirit’…
The Spirit has come. We can be changed. And the world will be changed.