Friday, April 27, 2012

Excitement for the weekend

Have you ever stopped to think about the first church and how it got started?  If you read my blog much you probably have seen where I have referenced it several times recently as I work through my thoughts about what a church should look like.

I have been doing quite a bit of reading recently and Acts 2 has come up on multiple occasions.  One of the books I have been reading is "The Untold Story of the New Testament Church."  So far I really like his thoughts and how it helps me process through some of what is going on.

At the beginning of Acts 2, we have The Apostles with a group of people (totaling 120) who are celebrating the Pentecost feast together.  I can just imagine what it was like.  This was a big deal to them so I can imagine it was similar to that of a really good pot-luck dinner with lots of good food and good conversation.  They were all believers which is most likely why they were all together celebrating in the midst of what was a religious day for the Jews at that time.

In the midst of their gathering, the sound of a mighty rush of wind comes in and all of a sudden they began to speak in different languages.  (Again, I could only imagine what this would sound like.  It would have been an interesting situation for sure.)

The Holy Spirit had come, just like Jesus had promised and had filled them in a way that was unknown to man before.  People began to come to find out what all the commotion was about and why this group was getting so loud.  Many of the crowd, that was now gathering to find out what was going on, thought they were drunk and speaking non-sense.

Then all of a sudden they began to understand.  They began to hear a message.  Many of them had come from different regions and spoke different languages so finding a place where all could understand what was being said would have been quite an experience to say the least.

Peter begins to talk, and people begin to to really hear him. The Holy Spirit is moving within them and 3000 people that day chose to become part of the church.  They set aside their lives, their jobs, their families to learn what it meant to follow Jesus.

As I read this passage, in my Bible and in a couple other books, it amazed me.  I can't really explain it, but to myself all I could say was WOW!  I have read it before but never felt excitement about it. Never felt moved by it. I don't really know what changed in my way of viewing it, but it excites me to know this is where it began. This is when the ability to have God in us became possible.

As I sit and ponder all that took place I wonder what makes the presence of the Holy Spirit so different and have such drastically different effect than what happens in our society today.  After all, isn't it the same Holy Spirit?  He hasn't changed.

If the Holy Spirit hasn't changed, then could it be that it has something to do with us?  Becoming a follower at that time would cost a person everything.  Now, what really does it cost us?  In their lives it changed them forever.  Now, for many of us, we just say we are "saved."

Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would remind us of His teachings.  Could it be that the Holy Spirit is still doing that, but instead of being changed, we ignore the reminders and continue to do things our own way? Could that be why we remain unchanged and so many see nothing different in us?  Could we be limiting the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives because we refuse to hear?

Just my thoughts for the day.  Thanks for reading!

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