Pentecost Sunday is observed when we remember that the Lord poured out his Spirit on his Church to empower us to build his Church, do his work and announce the coming of his eternal Kingdom.
After the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples of Jesus on the Jewish festival of Shavuot/Pentecost, Peter preached a sermon to help the amazed bystanders to understand what had happened on the day.
He quoted the book of the prophet Joel:
‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants – men and women alike – and they will prophesy. (Acts 2:17-18; Joel 2:28-29)
Peter explained that the Holy Spirit would be given to every person who turned to Jesus Christ. Acts 2:38: ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise (of the Spirit) is for you and your children and for all who are far off — for all whom the Lord our God will call.’
God began to do what was promised through prophet Joel, namely to empower a variety of people, all the believers, to serve God in the power of the Holy Spirit.
In Old Testament times a special anointing of the Spirit was reserved for special people such as prophets, priests and kings. But now, in the new dispensation while Christ is King in heaven, the Spirit would work through all God’s people and they all would be the Lord’s priests – sons and daughters, young men and women, old people, yes, men and women alike. Every follower of Christ is equipped to serve God, irrespective of their gender, age, race, class or any other “classification” humans use to categorise each other.
Every believer needs to ask if he or she is serving God through the power of the Spirit.
‘Do I use the gift that the Holy Spirit gave me in the Church and in the world?’ ‘Do I respond to God’s call on my life because I have been empowered by the Holy Spirit and not because I am a super vehicle of spiritual matters?’
During the Pentecost season, and every other time, we ask God personally and individually to anoint us by the Holy Spirit, that we too may join all believers in the work of Christ – with passion and strength given by the Spirit, in service of the living Christ.
On Pentecost Sunday we are called to renew our commitment to God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We are called to worship, to serve and to proclaim God’s Kingdom with all our gifts of the Spirit and all our God given talents in the power we received through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church of Christ.