This coming Monday will be another yet Memorial Day in America, concluding a weekend long remembrance, with National, local, and family celebrations. Many schools, businesses and certainly state and federal offices will be closed to observe this day in respect of the tens of thousands of Americans who have given their lives in military conflicts worldwide throughout our history.
I honor our vets who have given their lives for us, the ones who have suffered a destroyed life for us, and those who cannot cope after the horrible affects of war. Beloved, some of our living honorable veterans die a new death everyday of their lives. God bless them all. Please, God set their minds at peace.
To all my fallen brothers and sisters may I say, “Thank you!” My gratitude runs deep in my heart and soul. A day, a thought, a thankful heart, could never be enough to show our sincere praise for your great sacrifice, but they are all we have to share for you. Your selfless sacrifices will live on in the kind hearts of your fellow Americans. Friends, celebrate Memorial Day, but never forget . . . never forget!
But there is another memorial day approaching this coming Sunday, May 28th. It is a day of greater, worldwide significance than our Memorial Day— the biblical Feast of Pentecost (or Feast of Weeks), more pointedly for the Christian, the Day of Pentecost. Acts 2:1: “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”
Every year when born-again Christians assemble to celebrate Pentecost, they read of and remember the events of the Pentecost that began the New Testament Church.
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” (Acts 2:1-12)
This particular Pentecost is presented significantly in the New Testament. In reality, one of the chief happenings in the history of Christianity took place on that exact day; and that is no twist of fate. Acts chapter 2 imparts the birth of the New Testament Church of the LORD Jesus Christ!
By means of the Church, God would now set in motion the drawing all people groups and nations into a saving relationship with our Creator, the great “I AM!”.
For Americans, and especially American Christians, it is exciting that these two days of remembering, Pentecost and Memorial Day, share the same weekend. Both must be remembered and honored, for different reasons. The word memorial literally means “serving to preserve remembrance.” So, Pentecost is also a memorial day.
“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:4-11)
For the first time, all were filled with the Holy Spirit as was promised. There were about 120 followers, of which the disciples were keys to leadership. The Spirit had been with them before, but now He filled them, in them, sealing them. When the Holy Spirit fell upon them the Church was birthed, ordained by God for His use and purpose to reach the world.
The giving of the Holy Spirit, the very power of God, which was illustrated by the speaking of all who were gathered together in all the languages of the many nearby; the first example of the Spirit empowering the Church to communicate. The second example was Peter preaching an unprepared sermon, and was at once heard in all the languages of the hearers; perhaps a miracle of both the speaking and the hearing.
By the Holy Spirit, Peter finished that sermon with the first and the most powerful altar call ever spoken: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
Because of Peter’s Holy Spirit anointed sermon, the new born Church grew from 120 Spirit filled persons to 3,120 members on day one! And this Church continued “steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).
It is my Prayer that when God’s people re-examine what the first Church was like on that extraordinary time of Pentecost, they constrain themselves to try to summon up the same passion, innocence, harmony and energy today. Happy Memorial Days! Pray On!