Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. It is celebrated worldwide in the Church. Pentecostals think we’re the only ones who know anything about this. I know that was my mentality for years. Then, I find out the whole Church has a liturgy for this day!
One of the prayers for the day:
To a world dry and thirsty
God has poured out Living Water;
To a world fainting and breathless
God has stirred a mighty wind;
To a world cold and dark
God has ignited the flame
of the Spirit;
Let us worship for the Spirit has come
The Spirit has come – hallelujah!
Yet, having a liturgy for this day, or having the “corner on the market” as Pentecostals used to think, doesn’t mean a thing if it’s just a day.
The passage I will reflect on for Pentecost Sunday is Joel 2. It is packed with promise. But before the promise comes the price. For Israel, they had rebelled so much and the grievances were so great, God had to completely wipe the slate clean. It’s like a hard reboot on your phone. It’s a “wipe” on your hard drive. Just start over!
Joel 1 is ugly. Joel 2 isn’t very pretty for the first few verses. But there is PROMISE.
God is still merciful.
12 Yet even now, says the Lord,
return to me with all your hearts,
with fasting, with weeping, and with sorrow;
13 tear your hearts
and not your clothing.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is merciful and compassionate,
very patient, full of faithful love,
and ready to forgive. (Joel 2:12-13, CEB)
He is ready to forgive. He is ready to pour out his Spirit. The price of Pentecost is repentance. When the disciples waited in the upper room, it was ten days before the Spirit was poured out. There was probably some “heart cleaning” to do.
We need to “give up to go up.” We need to release our old life of doing it our way. It’s not working! It is time to seek the Lord. It is time to ask for the Holy Spirit to empower us once again.