The Birth of the Church
Pentecost is here. Fifty days after the resurrection of Christ we find a praying band of believers waiting for something to happen. What, they are not sure, but because of a growing faith and confidence in Jesus who defies all laws and circumstances, they wait as he told them to do so.
We are not any different. We must believe with a kind of faith that has no guarantee except that what God has said must be acted upon. He told them to wait in the city of Jerusalem until the power of the Holy Spirit came upon them, becoming his witnesses to the world. Pentecost has often been referred to as the birth of the Church. Over a period of forty days the disciples had listened to the teaching of Jesus, received His commission to be worldwide missionaries, and were given the promise that the Holy Spirit would empower them for that mission. With the Lord's final departure in His ascension, nothing was left to do but wait and pray for the fulfillment of His promise. Their prayer was answered in a mighty way.
The Holy Spirit has been with the Church ever since that day. Through times of darkness and revival, God has guided His people throughout the world to the "here and now" in 2010. We have this great gift with us, as John Stott writes, "there is no need for us to wait, as the one hundred and twenty had to wait, for the Spirit to come. For the Holy Spirit did come on the day of Pentecost, and has never left his church."
Knowing that we can be comforted by the presence of God in our lives at all times through the Holy Spirit, we can be sent out into the world around us as "missionaries", ambassadors of Jesus Christ.
Let us celebrate then the birth of the bride of Christ- the Church.