Erasmus, the famous Renaissance scholar, once told a classic story that was designed to emphasize how important it is that we continue the ministry of Christ with great commitment. The setting is Heaven: In the story, Jesus returns to heaven after His time on earth. The angels gather around Him to learn what all happened during His days on earth. Jesus tells them of the miracles, His teachings, His death on the cross, and His resurrection. When He finishes His story, Michael the Archangel asks Jesus, ’But what happens now?’ Jesus answers, ‘I have left behind eleven faithful disciples and a handful of men and women who have faithfully followed Me. They will declare My message and express My love. These faithful people will build My church.’ ‘But,’ responds Michael, ‘What if these people fail? What then is Your other plan?’ And Jesus answers, ‘I have no other plan!'”
Jesus is counting on Christians. But the good news is, we are not alone. The Holy Spirit is here to melt us, mold us, fill us, and use us. To sum it all up that’s what Pentecost is about. It is about opening up to the heart-warming, life-changing power of God. Reverend Rick Kirchoff put it best. He said:
That power can invade the body, inflate the mind, swell the soul, lift the Spirit and make us more than we ever imagined.
It’ll make you young when you’re old and it’ll make you live even when you die. The power and presence of the Spirit will disturb, delight, deliver and lift. When God sends forth the Spirit, ‘the whole face of the earth is renewed.’ When God sends forth the Spirit chaos is changed into creation. When God sends forth the Spirit, the Red Sea opens up to a highway of freedom.
When God sends forth the Spirit amazing things happen: Barriers are broken. Communities are formed. Opposites are reconciled. Unity is established. Disease is cured. Addiction is broken. Cities are renewed. Races are reconciled. Hope is established. People are blessed. And church happens. So be ready, get ready, God is up to something.
On this great day: Discouraged folks cheer up. Dishonest folks ‘fess up. Sour folks sweeten up. Closed folks, open up. Gossipers stop the rumors. Folks in conflict make up. Sleeping folks wake up. Lukewarm folk, fire up. But most of all, Christ the Savior of this world, is lifted up.
And because of what happened on that first day of Pentecost, Spirit-filled believers, inherit that same awesome power, the power that can and will equip us to pass on the legacy of God’s church. And that’s why we’re here today. From this day forward, our job, your job, and my job is to pass on God’s legacy, in a powerful and life-changing way.
That’s why God leaves us here. He has no other plan. We are it. God has left us here, in this life for a reason, and that reason is to pass on His message to a world that needs to hear the good news of His salvation. That’s my job and if you are a believer in Christ, that’s your job. Don’t disappoint Him. (Excerpt from On The Day of Pentecost by Rev Paula J Behrens © 2013)