Reflecting on Pentecost today, and its relation to Memorial Day, missions, and the church, I have a flood of thoughts cascading through limited cerebral real estate.
My sermon text for today is from my expository series on Romans and yet, it describes what Pentecost fulfills:
7 - Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
8 - Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:
9 - And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.
10 - And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.
11 - And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people.
12 - And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.
13 - Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
14 - And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
Barriers come down with a resounding thud. We can accept one another in a new way! The Spirit has come. The church is born. It is not bound by ethnicity, nationality, or religious background. All can come to Christ and be one in Christ.
Language is no longer a barrier because at Pentecost everyone, from around the world, heard the gospel in their own language. God's name is confessed among the gentiles and they join in the praise of God.
The eternal choir is not short on harmony for all the parts are filled and nothing is out of balance.
There is no barrier to joy and peace.
Jesus said that when He sent His Spirit, we would do greater works than He and I take that to mean in the area of Evangelism. The Jewish feast of Pentecost was a memorial day and a harvest celebration. It commemorated the giving of the law at Sinai and it celebrated the end of the Spring harvest.
So the Christian celebration of Pentecost celebrates the new law of love written on our hearts by the Spirit of God who breaks down cultural, language, and national barriers to usher in a new harvest of souls.
This is a day of unity and mission. We remember so that we may look forward.