Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday. We had a truly awesome time at church, celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit. The sermon was preached by Kyle Winkler.
Kyle reminded us that there was a time when Pentecost was the third most important annual celebration, only shortly behind Christmas and Easter.
When I was a boy, Pentecost – which we always called Whit Sunday – was indeed a huge celebration. The churches had their annual walks of witness around the neighborhoods. For that reason, we got presents at Pentecost – usually new clothes. I wasn't really cognisant of everuthing going on, as a child, but I do remember that there was teaching about the fact that the Holy Spirit also brings gifts. It is representative of the secularization of our society that no one remembers Pentecost anymore – yet it is the single most significant event of the early church.
Kyle pointed out that, despite the fact that he honors the truth of Scripture much as any man, it is not the Bible that marks us out as Christians. It is the Holy Spirit. After all, the reason that the Bible is true is because it is inspired by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Kyle said that the phrase that might best describe us as Christians is that we are “People of the Spirit”.
It is fitting, therefore, that our meeting yesterday was very much characterized by ministry of the Holy Spirit. It was good to pray for and lay hands on people.
Even many Pentecostal churches are, today, moving away from teaching about the power of the Holy Spirit. And many of those churches that do teach about His power have started to go after counterfeit concepts of the Spirit, in which He is not apparent. Today, we ned a return to the Christianity of the Acts of the Apostles, that we might be people of power, and people of the Spirit.