On this Pentecost Sunday…

On this Pentecost Sunday, I am thinking about terrorism. The news of the morning was about another Islamist terror attack in London. I am reminded that God has not given us “a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV). Just as the earliest Christians boldly proclaimed the gospel in the midst of persecution, so too must we be bold in our gospel witness in the midst of terrorism.

On this Pentecost Sunday, I am thinking about the Holy Spirit as the flame of love. Paul declared, “the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5). I wonder, If Spirit baptism is a baptism in love, then why are so many Pentecostals filled with anger?

On this Pentecost Sunday, I am thinking about speaking in tongues. Pentecostals have declared that “other tongues” is a sign of the Spirit. So, I wonder, if other tongues are a sign of the Spirit, why are so many Pentecostals suspicious of other people – different people?

On this Pentecost Sunday, I am thinking about the mission of the church – being a witness to “the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). If Spirit-baptism is primarily about power to witness, why are so many Pentecostals content to “preach to the choir” instead of engaging the thinkers of the world (cf. Acts 17). Also, if words of wisdom and knowledge are gifts of the Spirit that are to be cultivated, why do so many Pentecostals resist formal education?

On this Pentecost Sunday, I am thinking about church unity. The Holy Spirit was poured out upon a church that was in one place and of one accord. Paul wrote, “if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose” (Philippians 2:1f). If the Spirit seeks to unite believers, why are we so contentious and divisive?

On this Pentecost Sunday, I am thinking about the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Throughout Acts, the Spirit guided the feet of the first evangelists. As a young minister, the words of Joshua 1:8 inspired me: “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” Today, I have resigned as pastor of the Vidalia Church of God. I will be entering a new phase of ministry. I am filled in anxiety and anticipation. I pray that the Spirit will always guide my feet.