Pentecost is fifty days after Easter Sunday. It is the day we pull out the stops and celebrate the Holy Spirit being given to disciples and many others in Jerusalem, according to Acts 2.
The apostles (the same disciples who ran in fear from the crucifixion) are given power in testifying to the redeeming work of Jesus. Again and again we hear about large groups and individuals who receive the power of the Holy Spirit, and with it faith in Jesus Christ as Redeemer and Savior. And this gives them God’s Power to change their hearts and their lives from fearful anxiety to willingness to share all their resources with the community. Often these stories demonstrate how Holy Spirit surprises those who witness these transformations. Flames of fire, speaking in foreign languages, and power to heal physical or mental problems are noted by the witnesses, and inspire them to want to follow Jesus of Nazareth too! Baptisms by the thousands are reported and the circle is drawn ever wider to include people not considered “righteous” by many of the first (Jewish) Christians.
The power of the Holy Spirit is available to us too. We can make a difference, become true witnesses to the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. We all need to be praying for the power of Holy Spirit to sweep through our congregation, and our community, so that we might be servants of God and of our neighbors, and witnesses (testifiers) to the power of God in Jesus Christ. But we must expect our lives to be changed and our expectations to be challenged.