“Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.’” (Acts 2:38 & 41, NRSV)
When you stop and think about it, the month of June is a rather interesting time. For most all of us, usually in multiple ways, it reflects a marked time of transition. For example, the school year is ending, the growing season shifts into high gear, air conditioners are being revved up, and vacations and travel plans are being pursued. As the Church, all around the world, we are transitioning from Eastertide through Pentecost into Kingdomtide (you know, that long stretch between now and Advent). As a denomination, United Methodist Annual Conferences around the globe are taking place and we are putting into motion new directions from those annual meetings. Perhaps more importantly is how all these transitions find their way into our individual and personal lives. Certainly, I can speak from personal experience about transitions in my life that have been born out of these events. I am guessing that you can also relate to areas in your own life that reflect transition in one way or another.
What is even more fascinating is how all these aspects of transition are centered around the Pentecost event. In a nutshell, Pentecost is when the Holy Spirit came upon God’s people and the Church was born. Sent by the resurrected and ascended Christ, the Spirit first filled the disciples and they were able to speak in all the languages of the world. Then, with this ability, they preached the good news of forgiveness in the name of Jesus Christ to the people, at which time many were baptized by the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Church was born. The people of Jerusalem, only weeks after Jesus was crucified dead and then resurrected, experienced a life changing transition that constituted the beginnings of Christ’s Church—the very church that our local congregation is a part of and is intended to reflect. That transition that took place some 2,000 years ago, and still constitutes life changing transitions here in our time and our place. The birth of the Church is still manifest in the ways the Holy Spirit stirs in the hearts of 21st century believers and seekers. As United Methodists, we still get to be a part of and participate in Christ’s Church today. Fascinating!
May June be a time of life changing transition empowered by God’s Holy Spirit for you, and may your roots in Christ’s Church be expressed as Christ’s love for all the world to see.
Peace and blessings … Pastor Bob