|Published by Michael Topple on Fri, 29 May 2020 09:36|
|Church Without Walls|
Thought of the Day-29th. May, 2020.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witness in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth”. (Acts 1:8).
The above was the last words of our Lord Jesus Christ before departing from earth in the presence of his disciples. The last words spoken by any ordinary person on earth always have great significance because, those last words are normally the person’s last will and testament and loved ones always tend to cling on those words. This coming Sunday, we celebrate the feast of Pentecost, a day when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and those who have gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish feast of Shavuot – a time of thanksgiving commemorating the first fruits of the harvest. The Bible passage above from Acts has two key words: the “Holy Spirit” and “witness”.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, the Comforter, the Spirit of Wisdom, the Great counsellor that transformed the 11 disciples from weaklings to witnesses and enabled them to speak and witness about our Lord Jesus Christ. On this day of Pentecost, the church was formed. Yes, a church defined not as a building or a sacred space but a shared space where an association of sinners redeemed by God’s grace can meet to pray, worship, praise and to glorify God. On this day of Pentecost, the disciples came out of their “self –isolation” (a phrase we hear so much of at this time of the Corona Virus) from the Upper Room in Jerusalem and when the Holy Spirit had come upon, them formed and fashioned the church. On that day of Pentecost, about 3000 witnesses who believed were baptized and added to the believers and they communed together with the disciples. Just as it happened to these 3000 people on the day of Pentecost over 2000 years ago, we in our world today, who hear the message of Christ’s death, resurrection and the salvation and experience God’s redeeming love are called upon to be Christ’s witnesses and thereby fulfil Christ’s last will and testament as his last words exhorts us to do. We are called by this Bible passage above, to take Christ’s message to Jerusalem- which in case would be to our families and close ones, then to Judea -which in our case should be to our friends and relations, then to Samaria- which in our case would be those in our workplaces, those in our social groups and finally, to the ends of the world- which in our case should be anybody irrespective of race, gender, social class that we might meet anywhere on our journey in this world.
So how can we be Christ’s witnesses? We can be witnesses by: truly knowing the Bible, by speaking the words of Christ as contained in the Bible, by emulating the example of Christ in our daily lives that is; visiting the sick, visiting the lonely, bored, frustrated and isolated, imprisoned etc., it is about loving God and loving our neighbours as ourselves. We are also to bear witnesses to the truth and to the universal claim of Christ that, he is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6, Acts 4: 12-13)
Friends, we have a Biblical mandate to fulfil that is to be Christ’s witness. So let us go forward to do this and Christ will give us the confidence and courage to do His work and will transform us from weaklings to effective witnesses. And may the Lord be glorified in our conversations, especially those we speak to about who God is and what He has done and is doing for us in Christ. “Soli Deo Gloria”.
Prayer: Spirit Divine, attend our prayers every day. Make us a Pentecost people always filled with the Holy Spirit and give us the courage to witness to your word Lord, in our Jerusalems, in our Judeas, in our Samarias and to the end of our world, in Jesus name. Amen.