Series: The Mvmnt
Message: The Holy Spirit at Pentecost
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Reflection: Japhet De Oliveira
Live Wonder: Zan Long
Live Adventure: Zan Long
Live Purpose: Jessyka Albert
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin today in prayer. Ask God for understanding through the Holy Spirit and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Acts 1:12–2:21 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Last year we celebrated the Protestant Reformation’s 500th anniversary. Part of that revolution was the onset of the printing press 60 or more years before Martin Luther presented his 95 theses. These two factors combined turned out to be the tipping points that helped move the Bible from a Latin translation chained to a marble column in the church to the Bible in one’s own language—in every language. Soon there were movements that guaranteed that Bibles were available in everyone’s home. Today, in many countries, there are seemingly endless Bible translations and paraphrases. There are Bibles for men, women, children, nurses, doctors, mechanics, engineers—you can see the trend. It’s all about accessibility.
I was 12 years old when the subject of history captured my imagination for the first time. I can still see the face of my teacher and I wish I could remember his name. There was something incredibly alert about the way he taught that brought the past to life. I did not quite understand why it fascinated me or why it caught my attention. I just knew it was good. The disciples understood by the power of the Spirit that everyone needs to grasp the great story of Jesus told on every page in the Bible in their own language, culture, and time. Everyone needs to discover that for themselves, and when they do, that understanding will shape the present and the future.
Peter opens his sermon by reciting the words of the prophet Joel (Acts 2:17–21). We are to take these same words into our hearts with resiliency, vigor, and courage. This passage is calling us to be communities that continue the story of Jesus. Against all odds. Even when it is not popular or when it is against the current trend. Even when it requires that we walk the narrow path. Everyone is needed to help to share this story. Some are to prophesy, some to see visions, and some to dream—everyone has a role to play in continuing the story. This is probably all too easy to forget as so many people can be easily overlooked and ignored. A little nudge, a little word of encouragement, a simple request is all it takes to bring inclusiveness to our communities. We tend to miss seeing the potential in others, especially those we don’t know well. We tend to like to work with the same people. Imagine if we were like Peter on the day of Pentecost. Imagine a Church that said “Everyone is welcome and everyone is needed.”
Recalibrate: What role do you play in the story? Who can you enable to continue the story?
Respond: Pray for the sight to see the potential in others.
Research: Read one of the suggested commentaries from the bibliography on this passage..
Thank you Jesus for loving me as I am. Help me to bless those around me with that kind of love. Ask your child who they think Jesus loves. Help them list off as many people as possible. Jesus loves me and Jesus loves you, this I know . . .
Imagine for a moment if we played follow the leader in a horizontal line rather than a vertical one. Imagine that we could all see the leader clearly and those behind us could step up in to the line to see the leader too. Jesus call us to follow Him together. What do you think this game would be like?
Peter tells us that God will pour out his Spirit on everyone: old, young, guys, girls, all of us. Have you ever felt like your age or gender has held you back from following Jesus? Do you feel like Jesus would ever speak down to someone because of something they can’t change about themselves?