Often the mainline churches play down the day of Pentecost. Maybe it is because we do not understand what the term means. Pentecost means 50th, seven weeks and one day after the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is also called the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Harvest or the Feast of First Fruits (lots of names for a holiday!). While Christians celebrate this day about 50 days after Easter, one of the festival names strikes me as very appropriate. It is the name ... Feast of First Fruits.
If you read the story of Pentecost from Acts Chapter 2, you will see a group of disciples that became bold. You will see God assert His power upon the people of the new Church. These folks became excited and they invested themselves into the life of the Church ... they placed their "first fruits" into action! And we are told, in Malachi 3:10, that when we give to God what God deserves, God will open the very storehouses of heaven! And this is exactly what God does!
1. God opens the mouths of timid disciples, formerly unqualified for the task, and gives them the message and the boldness to proclaim it!
2. God opens the ears of the hearers so that this message is received in their own language!
3. God opens the people to the context of worship and lets them hear, consider and decide!
4. God (through the work of the Holy Spirit) opens and convicts the hearts of the hearers so that they can leave the past and enter the future of life abundant!
The word says, God adds to the Church daily! And God engenders a deep sense of awe among those who choose Him!
We need a God like that and we need a Church like that! For what happened in Acts is as true, as relevant and as powerful today as it ever was. That power is entering the streets of a multitude of nations, and our nation needs a God like that! So pray for it. Live it out, for you are the missional Church here in America. You are asked to offer your first fruits! You are those who can tell, show and proclaim (through your lives) the Good News that "we serve a risen Savior, who is in the world today ... we know that He is living, whatever men may say!" God says if we do this He will open the very storehouses of heaven! We need a God like that! Randy