Pentecost … While we often refer to it as the “Birthday of the Church”, there is another side to the celebration of Pentecost. With a Spirit-filled boldness that came upon them, the disciples of Jesus stepped out and confronted some long-held beliefs, traditions and assumptions that were part of Jewish life and religious practice.
No one likes to be told that what they have been doing all their life long is not quite right. And it can be particularly frustrating when some of your own words are used against you—in the case of Peter’s sermon at Pentecost, it was the testimony of one of Israel’s prophets—Joel. A decision had to be made. Was this Pentecost message something new? Was it, as Peter proclaimed, a fulfillment of an old promise? Or was it just so much babble as to count for nothing?
The disciples of Jesus spoke new languages. Indeed—this was a “new language” for sure: Messiah has come. The waiting is over. These are the “last days”. Believe it, and be saved! That’s quite a mouthful. That’s a lot to ask anyone to believe. And the fact is that it is no easier for us to swallow today than it was for devout Jews 2000 years ago. What are we waiting for? Why does the complaining continue? Where are the indicators that show the world that we are living the new and glorious day of the Lord? Come, Holy Spirit … Come!
Message: Spirit In; Spirit Out
The video isn’t the best quality – but it’s worth a listen – James Cone on “The Spirit vs. The Mind in the Black Church“. What do you think?