Daily Dose, June 8 — Summer Blockbusters: Big Bible Stories

 

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs — in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” (Acts 2:1-12)

“Happy Birthday!”

Can you imagine being part of a group saying that phrase to someone special in your life? Are there certain images and traditions that go along with that? For me, it’s just not a birthday unless there’s a 3-layered chocolate cake with homemade chocolate cream cheese frosting. (It’s okay to take a moment of silence now to observe the hunger that just rose up in you!) For some of you, there are balloons, candles, special restaurants and more.

What happened in the second chapter of Acts has been described by some as the birthday of the church. Just like on an actual birthday, we don’t stop at simply remembering the day. We celebrate what came about BECAUSE OF that day — the life that goes on, thrives and takes on meaning. This life of the church — the life given through the breath of the Holy Spirit — is still alive and working in us.

Has the church (meaning the gathering of faithful people and not any actual building) shaped your life? Happy Birthday! Has the church helped to draw you closer to God and his love for you? Happy Birthday! Has the church revealed the importance of serving others as Christ served the world? Happy Birthday!

Consider some of what happens at birthday parties. We give thanks for the life that we’ve been given. We talk about the life that we celebrate. We share our stories and memories of that person. We tell others about how that life has made a difference in us. So how better to celebrate the birthday of the church than to do the same things?

Are you thankful for new life offered through Christ? Do you share your new life with others? Do you recount meaningful experiences with God? Do you share how you’ve been changed because the church was born and the Holy Spirit was breathed out? — Rev. Brad Greene