|May 20, 2013|
|SCRIPTURE READING: Acts 2:1-13|
In Western Christendom, we are obsessed with the priesthood of the singular believer and individual soul authority. We focus our preachings and devotions on the personal filling of the Spirit, privatizing our experiences to the exclusion of others. Jesus commands his followers to wait on the gift the Father will send, and he commands them to do it together.
Throughout the New Testament, the Spirit is poured out on communities of believers, not individuals. The Spirit of God manifests itself in numerous ways in each of our lives, but it is still the same Spirit. This same Spirit of the one true God of our Lord Jesus Christ marks this first community as a people. The Spirit unifies the believers; it does not separate them as they compare and contrast the gifts and fruits that grow in their lives. We attend worship services because we are called to be together, to share the fullness of life in Christ together. The modern worship service seeks to address the needs and wants of the individual, whereas the focus of the New Testament is learning to live in a community of called-out-and-sent-into-the-world believers. What does it look like to worship God together and to wait together for him? Do we have enough faith to believe that he will appear and speak to the gathered community?
The Holy Spirit is sent by God to enable and empower us to live just like Jesus. One of Jesus's final prayers is that the world would know the truth about him because of the love shared by his followers. This is only possible as we learn to wait and live in the Spirit together.
Have you ever waited for God's Spirit with others? What was this experience like? If you haven't, what would it look like to do this with your students?
God, may we worship you as we wait together for the fresh wind of your Spirit. Amen.