It was a cool beautiful morning as I was sitting outside on my deck enjoying my first coffee of the day, thinking about what this day might hold for me. The week was going well, as I had finished the bulletin and it was off to Ruth and Lori. I had called and visited a bunch of people and felt that I was ahead on my to-do list for the week. I was also halfway through reading the book of Acts in preparation of an upcoming sermon series I was planning, so I felt the week was looking good. So, I grabbed another cup of coffee and Danish and went back to enjoying the beautiful morning.
I threw some nuts to our backyard chipmunks, “Half-a-Tail” and “The Kid.” They don’t like it when we eat in front of them without offering them a peanut or two or seven. The birds were all up and about, singing away; they knew it was a beautiful day too. I guess the morning’s bird food had already been wiped out, because a chickadee flew down, landed on the chair next to me, and started to holler at me. I don’t speak chickadee, but some of those chirps didn’t sound very friendly. This went on for a minute or two. The only thing I could think of was that we must be out of bird food. So I got up and went inside to grab some sunflower seeds. With the chickadee patiently waiting, I sat down and threw a couple of seeds on the table. The chickadee flew down to a sunflower seed, whistled two chirps, and flew away with it. I hope that was “thank you” in chickadee. As I sipped my coffee, I thought about what an odd feeling it was, getting hollered at by a little bird. Then I wondered – what was it actually saying? Isn’t it frustrating when you’re not able to communicate, whether it is with a little bird or with a human?
The book of Acts is one of my favorite books in the Bible. It’s a sweeping account of the birth of Christianity. The book begins with the ascension of Christ and ends with the Apostle Paul writing letters while under Roman house arrest. It’s the story of a handful of disciples who, thanks to the Holy Spirit, were able to turn the world upside down with their message of love, forgiveness, and salvation through Christ. Chapter two says,
“Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house . . . . 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 them (the Apostles) speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked” Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans?”
Filled with the Holy Spirit, the Apostles received the gift of tongues and they preached the Gospel, fulfilling the prophecy from Jesus. People could now understand them as they spread God’s influence further than ever before to ears and hearts now opened by the Holy Spirit. Spreading Jesus’ love remains a key mission in the church today. Are you allowing the Spirit to fill you as you seek His guidance in sharing Christ’s message of love, forgiveness, and salvation?
The Gospel is for everyone, the whole world. We are called to celebrate God’s plan to share the good news of Jesus; we are called to be different people, a different culture.
Because of the church’s influence, the world changed after Pentecost. And that ought to be true today, too. Call on the Holy Spirit to give you the will and confidence to step up and spread the Gospel to those in and around your world today.
In Christ, Pastor Gary