They were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven. (Acts 2:1–2)
A surprise birthday party is fun to be part of. Watching and waiting for the guest of honor to arrive is part of the plan. When the honored one steps into the room, excitement happens. The celebration begins.
Similarly, the day of Pentecost marked the birthday of the Christian church—an occasion well planned by Jesus himself. The disciples had returned to Jerusalem after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. The traditional Jewish harvest festival was in full swing. Jews from other places came every year to give thanks to God for good harvests, bring offerings, and even fellowship with others. The atmosphere was similar to a state-fair setting with nonstop activity. The crowd was having a good time, but behind the scenes, the disciples and others arrived and had begun to pray. They were praying and waiting, as Jesus had instructed, for the promised gift of the Holy Spirit to equip them for service.
As they prayed, holy action broke loose! Strong wind, visions of fire, and loosened voices and tongues—with urgency—ignited the area. Uncontrollably, with power, the wonders of God were declared to thousands in their distinctive native languages. What a “kickoff” for getting God’s Word to the ends of the earth! A captive audience, at that. The Holy Spirit came, and the church came alive.
Watch, wait, and expect the Holy Spirit to act.
Jeanette Vermilya is ministry director at Shunem House. She has served with her husband, Jim, in overseas and pastoral ministry in The Wesleyan Church for over fifty-five years.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.