Last week Daniel spoke on Pentecost. He explained the significance of the event which occurred on a festival already in the Jewish Calendar. This festival was already in place to thank God for the harvest, to celebrate the provision of the law to Moses which both provided a way for humanity to have a relationship with God and anticipated the future promise of permanent union.
To the eyewitnesses of the event and also Luke’s audience in the book of Acts, the linking of this festival and the coming of the Holy Spirit would have been clear. Here was the Holy Spirit coming to bring a new, great harvest, giving humanity not only access to God but a way to have His presence dwelling inside of them. It was also the promise of what is to come.
One other significant part of the Pentecost story that Daniel considered was the fact that when the Spirit came it enabled all humanity to hear the gospel message in their own tongue. They were not expected to learn the native tongue of the people bringing the message.
How often do we (Christians) try to share our faith using our language – a language that is often alien to the people we are hoping to reach. Isn’t it our responsibility to speak to each person in a language they understand? We can only do that by spending time with people, learning about them, listening to them, building relationship. All this takes time and patience but it’s all part of what we believe God is challenging CBBC to do in this season.
We need to fellowship with those who we may have often seen as outcasts, even to the point of being associated with them just as Jesus was with the ‘sinners’ he reached. We can only do that as we open up our table (our time, influence, and yes our literal tables as well) for others to sit at but also to sit and their tables as well.
Our prayer should be to continually ask for the Holy Spirit to come and to give us the language of the people we are called to reach – at Pentecost this was an instant event, with us it may take more time. Come Holy Spirit!!