Greetings all, here is your e-votional for the week…

“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.”-Acts 2: 1-4

Don’t you love a good birthday party?  Well, this Sunday is the Church’s birthday.  And of course, I am not talking about our church here in Fort Smith; I am talking about THE CHURCH!  Pentecost is the Church’s birthday.  It marks the moment when the little group of people who would become the Church was invested with the Holy Spirit.  The manifestation of the Spirit’s presence on that day was a sudden ability to speak in foreign languages.  Remember, we are talking about rural peasants; these were not cosmopolitan linguists, so this was definitely a miracle.  It was a miracle that birthed the Church.

Pentecost is also a good reminder to me of why we should continue to be part of a church.  It has become a well-worn truth that fewer Americans are part of a church these days.  To some degree, I understand their thinking.  But here is what I know; this is where the Spirit of God works in the world.  The Church, in spite of all our problems, sins and issues, is where God’s Spirit works uniquely in the world.  Ever since that day of Pentecost the Church has been the vessel for God’s Spirit as well as the visible witness in the world to Jesus Christ.  We are the only ones who can do it, and it can only be accomplished in community.  The Spirit did not come to one person on Pentecost, it came to a community. Admittedly, it was a small community, but in that small group represented the sum total of the Church in the world

So as we celebrate Pentecost this weekend, we should also celebrate the gift we have been given to be participants in the Church over our lives.  It would have been easy for all of us, at one point or another, to bail out of it.  But we have stayed and that is something for which we should be thankful.

Prayer:   Holy God, we thank you for the gift of the Church in our lives.  We thank you for the moments in our lives which have been touched by the Spirit.  Help us to continue to serve and love you through the Church for the rest of our lives.  We offer this pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.