Scripture

Acts 2:1-12, 22-24, 36

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

 

Reflection

Peter, the coward, has become Peter the Rock!  He who denied Jesus out of fear, now leads the band of Jesus’ followers with boldness and confidence.  What happened?  What made the difference?  There were two things that transformed Peter.  He experienced the resurrected Christ and he received the Holy Spirit.

In experiencing the resurrected Jesus, Peter no longer feared death.  He no longer feared what the Roman government could do to him. Nor did he fear his inevitable death.  Peter knew Jesus was Lord and Christ.  The crucified Jesus was the risen Lord and Christ!  Now he knew Jesus was greater, is greater, than any power on earth or in heaven, even death.  He boldly went where Jesus had gone!

Peter received the Holy Spirit, the power and presence of God.  Anything God willed him to do, Peter had the power to perform.  Anywhere he was called to go he found himself there with God.  God was there with him, beside him, in him!  This surely is our reason to be bold and confident. 

Like Peter, we have reason to be bold and confident.  In our baptism we have experienced the risen Lord and received the Holy Spirit. In our profession of faith and confirmation, we have experienced the Christ and received the Holy Spirit.  Why then are we sometimes timid or fearful?  The power is there, the presence is there, but we must accept it and tap into it everyday. In worship, prayer and community, we must experience anew the resurrected Lord and the abiding Holy Spirit.

But have we not owned the power of these gifts?  What is preventing us from experiencing both?  What will we do today to receive the promise of God’s presence and the power of God’s Spirit?

Prayer

Dear God, descend upon me today with your presence and power.  Fill me with confidence and boldness to face whatever challenges me today.  In the name of the risen Lord and Christ, Amen.