Today at church we were looking at “The Birthday of the Church.” You might think we are a bit out of season for Pentecost but we’ve been working through the big story of the Bible at our monthly “all-age-services”.
As you may recall, there were different responses to the events as people heard God’s name praised in different languages. I wonder how I would have responded if I’d been there on the day. With the benefit of hindsight, I would like to picture myself responding immediately with belief but if I’m honest, I would more likely be with the majority who were perplexed and confused. Indeed, I fear that I may well have been with the mocking cynics.
A big theme in recent times on Faithroots – linking in to what we’ve been looking at in our church sermons and Bible studies has been that big theme of what happens when our world seems about to end. This has come up, partly because we’ve hit Mark 13 and the discussion about the destruction of the Temple but that theme has also come at a timely moment as our world around us has been in a state of upheaval due to pandemic, economic crisis and war. It seems that our world has been shaken to the foundations.
It struck me as we looked at Acts 2 with the description of a rushing wind and flames of fire, that for the disciples this would have been quite a tumultuous experience. Their immediate world around them was all shaken up. Perhaps it is no surprise that onlookers thought that the disciples were drunk, not only might they have misheard the languages as a babble but Jesus’ followers may well have been staggering around, looking a little worse for wear.
So often, when we experience our world being shaken, we can look at the immediate human causes and we can even spot negative causes, we see ourselves as being persecuted by the enemy, tested by Satan. Yet, we should also consider that God himself may be at work, shaking our world in order to get our attention. That God is breaking into our world afresh.
So, whilst I may not be able to second guess how I would have responded 2000 years ago at the birth of the church, I might well be challenged as to how I respond today, when God breaks in and shakes up my world as I know it. Am I willing to put my faith in him and listen to him?