Sunday, 9 August 2015

Daily Reading: Acts 2v1-13

The disciples are waiting for the coming of the Spirit, waiting to start their mission, waiting to take the good news of Jesus to Jerusalem and beyond.  Pentecost is the day they are waiting for.  The day the promise is fulfilled.

(1)The church are all together waiting when suddenly the sound of a violent storm fills the room, tongues of flames settle on them and the Spirit’s coming is made obvious as they speak in other languages. Jesus keeps his promises. But Luke starts his record by recording that it’s the day of Pentecost, he’s not just being accurate there’s significance in the day of Pentecost.

Pentecost was a festival celebrating God’s faithfulness, celebrating that God keeps his promises. It celebrated the harvest, it was like our harvest festival, where we remember and thank God for his provision for another year. For the Jews the festival was celebrating not just another harvest but God keeping his promise to Noah as he left the Ark that seed time and harvest would never cease.

But now at this time of remembering God’s faithfulness it has a new added extra level of significance. God is keeping even more promises. He sends his Holy Spirit just as he said. In Jeremiah 31:31-34. God promises to make a new covenant with his people, to put his law on their hearts and in their minds, to provide forgiveness and remember their sin no more. And all God’s people will know him. In Ezekiel 36v25-27, Ezekiel tells us how. First God will cleanse his people from their sin and then he’ll put his Holy Spirit in his people so they delight in and obey him.

On the day of remembering that God keeps his word, that God is faithful, God faithfully keeps his word again as he puts his Spirit in the hearts of his people. The new, promised, long-awaited age has begun. We can know God because God lives with, not just with, but in his people. God the Father and God the Son keep their promises as they send the Spirit.

God is with us, that’s why the sights and sounds are so significant. The sound of the wind is a sign of God appearing to his people, God at work in the Old Testament. The fire is another sign of God’s presence at the burning bush with Moses or when God led Israel in the desert, or when God burnt up Elijah’s offering on Mount Carmel, and just as John promised Jesus baptises with the Spirit and with fire. God Father, Son and Spirit keep their promises. They are faithful. That means that we can set our lives by their words. You and I can always trust that God keeps his promises, because that is who he is and, because he doesn’t change, who he will always be. When everything else changes around us God doesn’t, that is why we can trust him. He is faithful.

All of God's promises are true, we can live life in the light of them.

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