When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? “And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.”
God the Father sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to live among us as the Son of Man, for the sole purpose of once and for all defeating sin and death, the ultimate separation from the presence of God, to all who believe.
Today in our churches we celebrate and commemorate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all believers in Jesus Christ our Lord, Savior and Friend.
In the Gospel of John 14:15-16, Jesus promises his disciples that after His ascension into heaven, God the Father will send another advocate, The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God himself to remain with them.
The disciples were filled with the transforming power of the Holy Spirit just before Jesus’ ascension (John 20:22) and in our reading today in Acts 2 the Spirit was poured out on all believers at Pentecost shortly after Jesus’ ascension.
The significance for me today of this account in Acts 2 is that it reminds me that, every week when we all come together to worship in our churches, we have the opportunity to ask the Holy Spirit working through us to grab the attention of those God has brought, those who are on the margins of our faith community and who are in many ways lost to the redemptive power and unconditional love of God.
I need to ask the Holy Spirit, our advocate, comforter, encourager, and counselor to fill my congregation in such a way so that we may be a safe place, where listening people of every kind will indeed hear God’s voice and experience the redemptive and healing power of God’s unfailing love.
Romans 8:23 reminds us that we have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. And Romans 8:22 says, “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.” (NIV)
Lord Jesus, may this congregation today be a safe place where everyone gathered here may repent of their sins and experience Your healing and peace. In your name we pray, Amen.
This month’s reflection has been written by The Rev. Ron McKeon. Ron began his relationship with Anglicans for Life as a staff accountant in 2004 while a seminary student at Trinity School for Ministry, Ambridge, PA. After graduation and ordination to the Episcopal Church Transitional Deaconate in 2007, Ron was elected to the AFL Board of Directors and became AFL’s Treasurer, a role he continues to fulfill. Today Ron and his wife Debby serve as SAMS (Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders) missionaries in the Anglican Church in Brazil – Diocese of Recife in the city of João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil. Ron is a parish priest and special assistant to Suffragan Bishop Flávio Soares the Diocesan Missionary Bishop. They have five daughters and seven grandchildren in the USA. Learn more about Ron and Debby’s ministry on their website.