Dear faithful ones,
We are getting closer to welcoming into
church for worship a larger number of people. Sunday, June 7 and Monday, June 8 , are the
dates our church council decided to do this. By now you should have received our plan in detail. If you didn’t, please call the church office or go to our website. Also, please read the articles in this Messenger explaining how to pre-register for those services. Would you believe that that last time we worshiped together in person was Sunday, March 15 ? By June 7 , it will have
been 12 weeks! And we will still need to wait some more before all restrictions are lifted. Nonetheless, the Lord Jesus promised His personal presence always, never taking even a day off. And for this we rejoice and give thanks.
But as I write this article, it is a few days before Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost, of course, is that day when the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus’ disciples in Jerusalem to fulfill His promise. Before He ascended into heaven, our Lord said to the apostles, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:46-49).
That power from on high came to the apostles on Pentecost when the Spirit made Himself manifest through the sound of wind, the tongues as of fire, and the gift of speaking in different languages.
Some people refer to Pentecost as the birthday of the Christian church. While I under- stand why they feel this way, I personally would not say that. Pentecost may be the birth of the New Testament Church, but the Christian church has been around long before Pentecost. The Christian church is nothing other than the gathering of those who believe in Christ. And when did believers in Christ first arrive? Yes, with Adam and Eve! They believed in the promise God gave that He would send the Christ, the Messiah, to crush the serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15). From that day forward, believers in Christ (Christians) have been on this earth.
What makes Pentecost such a key turning point is that now the entire purpose and plan of the Christ has been fulfilled. The Old Testament era revealed the Christ only in bits and pieces over many centuries. The New Testament era looks back on the person and work of Christ in the flesh, Jesus, and proclaims what He has done for us and for our salvation. The coming of the Holy Spirit is needed for Christians to understand and believe the Gospel that they may carry the message of salvation to the ends of the earth. And we are part of that continuing mission! Praise be to God!
In His service and yours,