Maria and I went on a date. As a gentleman, I let Maria go in front of me. She chose to sit with her back to the windows. Well, that placed me in a seat that faced 3 televisions! I was on the date with Maria, but the televisions stole my attention! Thankfully the evening was saved by my holding Maria’s hand as we walked around downtown!
Our marriage is better when we pay attention to God and to each other. The church is better when we pay attention to God and each other. It was Jesus who reminded the people that His Father`s house needs to be called a house of prayer. When we pray together we stay connected to God. We see what can happen through prayer. The apostles’ being together in prayer led the Holy Spirit filling them on Pentecost.
A. Together in one place and receiving the Holy Spirit (2:1-4)
1. It is good to be together
2. This sound came from heaven
3. The distributed tongues of fire rested on each of the 120
4. The Holy Spirit enabled each of the 120 to speak in other dialects
5. For after ten days of the apostles praying to God, God moved among them. As we read Acts 1 and 2, we realize the fact of being obedient to Jesus was important. How else do we wait for what is promised? We talk. We speak to one another and to God. These tongues of fire were not only God’s giving of power, but his recognition that the apostles listened to Jesus. The time of waiting had ended. Power had now been given to the apostles. What did the Holy Spirit give them power to do?
B. They were given power to speak of God`s deeds of power (2:5-13)
1. Pentecost, 50 days after Passover, is a Jewish celebration at the end of the Feast of Weeks
2. The Passover was the annual celebration of God delivering Israel from slavery in Egypt, making Israel God’s people
3. Pentecost represented a new crop was available for food, to help Israel live in the Promised Land
4. Now, for these apostles Pentecost represents a new crop was available for God’s people to live in a new time
5. Jews from the known world were in Jerusalem for Pentecost
6. Many dialects were spoken by these Jews
7. They are hearing God’s deeds of power from the apostles!
8. The people did not know what to make of this scene
9. For others sneer – and disrupt us. (2:13)
10. People will be confused by what is happening among us
11. People will brush aside the power God has given us
12. They may even think we have been hitting the bottle too much!
13. An explanation will be needed – We go to church because when we are together we are the church, showing our belief in Jesus Christ. God was doing wonders among the apostles. He had brought them together as they followed Jesus. Now the apostles were speaking about God’s activity. As we are gathered together, we also speak about God’s deeds of power. When we go from this place, we get to speak about God’s deeds of power. These deeds of power bring us to God. Many will want to know the meaning of our speaking of God’s deeds of power. But not all will. So Peter has to tell the crowd what is happening.
D. The prophecy from Joel tells what is filling the apostles (2:14-21)
1. It was nine o’clock in the morning!
2. Instead of new wine, it is God’s Spirit filling the apostles!
i. God said this was going to happen!
ii. We are to be filled with the Holy Spirit
iii. Sons & Daughters will get the Holy Spirit inside them
iv. Young & old will get this Holy Spirit so they can see visions & dreams
v. Even slaves, will get God’s Spirit in them
vi. The rest of the prophecy has not happened yet
vii. Till that happens, every person has a chance to call upon the name of the Lord. Then they will be saved!
This being all together in one place is important. For when we are waiting for the Holy Spirit to come to us, we wait together. The Holy Spirit won’t just fill one of us. For us to be church we pursue what God has for us, together. For God to be among us, like at Pentecost, we got to be together. Are we ready to be all together in one place? Are we ready for the Holy Spirit to fill us? Or are we cautious about the Holy Spirit because we don’t want people to sneer at us?
Let’s try being all together in one place. Let’s show up together at this church, praying so that God’s power can fill us. If we need to give and receive forgiveness so we can be all together, then let us give and receive forgiveness. If we need to remember what Jesus has done for us; let us remember what Jesus has done for us. We have to show up to be part of the church.
As we are part of the church, the Holy Spirit fills us. We get to speak about God’s deeds of power. Our young and old will see things from God for the future of this congregation, this church, and this world.
Won’t you be part of the church? Now is the time to call upon the name of the Lord Jesus. While the world is in an uproar, we might not get the chance to call upon Jesus. Today, we can call upon Jesus. We can be part of the church today.