Day 31 Sacred Season

Day 31 Sacred Season

day 32DAY 31.  9th July  Tongues of fire:  Acts 2:1-21     Rev Dr Dean Drayton

They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them

Acts 2:3 NIV)

Basis of Union:  Paragraph 3:  The Church as the fellowship of the Holy Spirit confesses Jesus as Lord over its own life; it also confesses that Jesus is Head over all things, the beginning of a new creation, of a new humanity. God in Christ has given to all people in the Church the Holy Spirit as a pledge and foretaste of that coming reconciliation and renewal which is the end in view for the whole creation.

 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.   Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.    All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

 It was Pentecost, a jubilee of fifty days after the resurrection, and it said the disciples were all together in the one place.  A panoramic wood carving in the Upper Room chapel in Nashville has 120 people gathered together, the number of believers Peter addressed in the days prior to Pentecost (Acts 1: 15) for the purpose of electing Matthias to replace Judas as an apostle.  I had always envisaged just 12 disciples, but there is the likelihood of a much larger number.  (A few less than an Assembly gathering).

 That changes the dynamics.  A large room or rooms and suddenly unexpectedly it happened.    The sound of a cyclone shook the entire house.   And more than a hundred fiery tongues appeared each resting upon a disciple.  Violent noise and  threatening flames.

 A little more than red candles and spoken words.

The Basis of Union puts it this way.  “God in Christ has given to all people in the Church the Holy Spirit as a pledge and foretaste of that coming reconciliation and renewal which is the end in view for the whole creation.”

 And it all began with incredible power as recorded in this passage – The Holy Spirit thundering with a divine blowtorch as a pledge and foretaste of God’s purpose for the whole creation.   And the impossible begins.   But where is the thundering now?

 In 2 Kings 2 Elisha asks the prophet Elijah for a double portion of his spirit as Elijah is about to be taken away by God. “you have asked a hard thing: yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted.” said Elijah. As they continued walking Elisha suddenly saw the chariot of fire and the fiery horses take Elijah in a whirlwind.  He did see the power of God in action and received the double portion of his Spirit.

 Here there is no asking for the Spirit or power, or needing to know what to see, here is the fulfilling of Jesus risen words in Acts 1:5 that the Father’s promise will come, and “you will be baptized with(by) the Holy Spirit not many days from now”  “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses.”

It began with a bang.  Lord jumpstart us again.

 Prayer.  We thankyou God for the super abundance of all that you do in Jesus Christ.  In his death and resurrection he goes beyond forgiveness of the past and gives us a new future alive with the Holy Spirit.  And with your Holy Spirit there is no tame, endless speaking, but action that comes upon us as we live in your promise.  We ask you to thunder in our midst and be a blowtorch on us and leave us with hearts and lives on fire for the sake of the one whom we love, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.       

Pray for:  Unitingworld partner, The Church of North India.   Pray for renewal+ revival within the Uniting Church as Assembly is almost here.  Pray for safe arrival for all who are beginning to travel to Perth.