It doesn’t feel like Pentecost. Pentecost in most churches means celebrating. But not today. It doesn’t feel like Pentecost.
It doesn’t feel like Pentecost, but it is Pentecost: Not because the calendar says so, but because God has willed it to be so. Today is Pentecost. Today is the day when the Holy Spirit is given to the church, empowering us, the Body of Christ, to proclaim the saving love of God in Christ.
Today – and every day – the Holy Spirit is given to us. Today – and every day – we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak and act to announce the good news that Jesus Christ is risen today — and that a brand, new way of Life is here.
Elephant trainers in India keep earth’s largest land animal bound by a single chain around one leg with links the width of your finger. How can a chain that you’d use to lock up a bicycle restrain a 10,000 pound animal? Simple: The chain goes on the elephant when it’s young. A baby elephant cannot break it. As it grows, the elephant continues believing the chain is stronger than it is. That’s what keeps it bound.
We, too, have chains, keeping us bound. But more importantly we have the Holy Spirit. Or, more correctly, the Holy Spirit has us. By grace, the power of God is unleashed on us to free us from our leashes. That’s why we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). That’s why we are more than conquerors through him who loves us (Romans 8:37). Christ tells us: You are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13). You are the light of the world (5:14). You are a new creation (2nd Corinthians 5:17). In other words, the Force is with you. Always. The Holy Spirit empowers you to live in, for, and with Christ.
The Spirit is greater than your shackles. God is bigger than your problem. Christ is stronger than your circumstances, and his infinite, self-giving Life is far better than a puny, self-centered existence.
What does God want you to do? Whatever it is, God gives you today the power to do it. Whatever your chains, Christ will set you free. Since Christ conquered the grave, he surely can conquer everything else.
Believe that and live. Receive the Holy Spirit, who is here. Bear the good fruit of a life rooted in the Spirit by being loving, joyous, peaceful, patient, kind, generous, faithful, gentle, and self-controlling (Galatians 5:22-23). Don’t just rise with Christ when you die. Rise with Christ today by being alive in love now. As you do, you’ll be caught up in the power of Pentecost. You’ll be refashioned by the Holy Spirit. Hell will never stop you because heaven is already with you to save you, bless the world, bring close the Kingdom, and set you free.