The Spirit isn’t sent to make us comfortable. The Spirit isn’t sent to pat us on the back for the work that we’ve already done. The Spirit is sent that we might break down any barrier, any power, any divide that separates any person from true life and mutual love. This work starts with you. This work starts with me. It starts with our own heavy lifting to understand why the world is the way it is today. It starts with our naming our own complacency with the unequal society that we live in.
Paul helped structure the early church to live into God’s desire for the Church. Only, hierarchy and power perverted that design. Building up bigger buildings for ourselves, the church in America looks very little like what Paul envisioned. To reclaim that vision is challenging, but it’s necessary work to become who God has created us to be.
The gifting of the Spirit at Pentecost gives us the rawest and truest glimpse of God’s desire for the church: to be the living witness and testimony to the goodness of God in the world. Everything else the church does should be to better serve this purpose.
As Christ ascended, he promised to send *another* advocate, so that the work of God, the work done by Christ, the Word exemplified in Christ, the grace extended through Christ, the mercy offered out of Christ, the love witnessed because of Christ – that all these works may not cease to be, but that we, empowered by the Spirit, might continue these works, and to do even greater works still to come.
You can’t love on the people around you if you don’t know them and know what they’re going through. We are gifted with the Spirit who leads us out into the world to speak such that others may hear of God’s great love.
Don’t be a Christian enthusiast (like a bull-horn corner preacher), or a rational reductionist (like an enlightenment scholar), but allow the Spirit of God and your own Spirit testify that you are a child of God.
Pentecost is Christ’s way of calling us out. It’s Christ’s way of putting us on notice. Leave your shut and locked doors, in which you hide in times of fear and uncertainty, and let the power of the Spirit lead you.
The disciples are given a purpose, they are given a mission, but Christ tells them to wait, for they do not yet have the power from on high. Sometimes waiting is a necessary thing.