Readings: Romans 8:14-17; Acts 2:1-21
· Pentecost was one of the Jewish feasts (Deuteronomy 26:1-10) when they remembered their history from the time of Abraham, their slavery in Egypt and God’s rescue and their journey to the Promised Land. They brought the first fruits of the harvest to God in worship.
· Reminder of last week’s reading, Deuteronomy 6:5-7 and Israel’s special relationship with God. The call to be faithful.
· As the disciples gathered, some of these things would have been in their minds as well as the things they had seen – Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension.
· Peter quotes from Joel in Acts 2:17-21. He says that God’s promises are being made manifest.
· Another reference to the last days and the new covenant is in Jeremiah 31v33-34.
· Pentecost was the perfect time to initiate Jesus’ followers into something new - what would eventually become the church.
· Jesus was the Passover Lamb and his resurrection was the first fruits of that which was to come at the harvest.
· Those disciples became the seeds which eventually grew to millions and millions of followers of Jesus. Now not just Israel but everyone who calls on his name can be saved v.21.
· A people being empowered. The Spirit enables us to know Jesus.
· That same Spirit is with us today. We try and do things in our own strength. We can be empowered by him to be a loving community if we let the Spirit move among us.
· It is hard and we get things wrong but we can be lifted up.
· Romans 8:14-17. We are recipients of so much.
· The prayer is that we go into this week knowing that the Spirit is empowering us and working in us. We need to get out of his way and let him work through us in the world and bring more people into relationship with him.
1. Why do you think God waited until Pentecost to give the Holy Spirit?
2. Read the Deuteronomy passages. What can we learn from them?
3. “That same Spirit is with us today”. What examples can you share of seeing the Spirit at work in your own life and in the lives of fellow Christians?
4. What do we do that gets in the way of the Holy Spirit?