Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pentecost Sunday

"When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place...."

Pentecost marks the gift of the Holy Spirit and, in some ways, the birth of the church. It is no coincidence that the two are celebrated together. The Book of Acts begins with Jesus returning to heaven. He had promised not to leave them alone; they would receive the Holy Spirit (see John 14). They returned together to Jerusalem. Time passed, but "when the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place."

Consider that community of believers. Were they friends? I suppose they likely had some friends within that community. But mere friendship wasn't what held them together. Rather, they were held together by something -- Someone -- who was both within their community and beyond it. They chose to live out Jesus' command to love others not because they deserved it but instead recognizing they didn't. How did they live together? With grace.

In the Christian calendar, the day of Pentecost is the start of a long season (until November 29 this year) focused on growth in discipleship and service. We are called to live in community, expressing love with grace, just as Jesus' first followers were. Throughout this season, how will you intentionally nurture grace-filled community?

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