Dear Friends in Christ,
Pentecost is here! May it be a joyful day and season for you in Christ Jesus! May it be a time when you treasure even more that the Holy Spirit has brought you to faith in Christ and created faith in you by the Word and has washed you and fed you and kept you in the faith. May it be a time when our prayers rise together for the Gospel to go and give live to those who do not know the Lord. A blessed Pentecost to you!
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:1-4
Each Advent, as we prepare for Christmas, we remember the promise that God made to send a Messiah who would save us. We remember that He would be born, the Seed of the woman. We remember how this promise of the Messiah kept being passed on from generation to generation. The promise that Messiah would be born of a woman was kept alive as family after family had a son whom God provided as the heir of the promise. God kept the promise alive. That it survived by the power of His Word, in family after family, until the time that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary. We know the Christmas story and treasure it. But we also ought to treasure the unwritten times when God’s word was taught in simple homes by fathers and mothers, when the life of faith and obedience to the word was lived, and the Promise was passed to the next generation.
At the right time Christ was born and He lived and died on the cross and rose again. He paid for our sins and won our salvation. He has ascended and reigns and watches over His Church, and He will come again. To Him be the Glory forever, Amen! Through faith in Him, trusting that He did these things to save you, that He forgives your sins, you are saved. Washed in His promise in Baptism, you are saved. Hearing His word and eating His Supper, you are saved. For in the Word and the Sacraments, Christ gives you Himself, and you are saved.
And here is where Pentecost comes in. On Pentecost, Christ poured out the Holy Spirit, whom He had received from His Father. The Apostles had been called by Christ to preach the Gospel to the world, to be witnesses of His resurrection. The Spirit strengthened these men to speak and to write the Gospel. The Spirit strengthened them to be bold at home and around the world in the Gospel. Thousands upon thousands heard the Word from them and were saved. The Apostles suffered for preaching Christ. Most of them were killed. But the Spirit not only strengthened them for their work of preaching, He caused it to bear fruit in the lives of those who heard.
The Work of the Spirit
The Spirit caused the Gospel to stay alive. He raised up generation after generation of pastors to preach the Word. He raised up generation after generation of believers who passed on the faith in their families and vocations. He protected the truth of the Gospel from the lies of Satan from generation to generation. He had kept the Church alive so that at some point, you could hear of Christ Jesus. At some place the Word of the promise of life in Christ was spoken to you. When was it? In your baptism as a baby? In the pews of a church? Around the table at home? In conversations with friends? In confession and absolution with pastor? At the altar, having Communion? Yes, yes and yes.
At Pentecost, we celebrate that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church, that He has caused the Gospel to be preached, believed and preached again, countless times. That He causes that Gospel to give us faith and forgiveness in Christ. That He keeps us in the faith until we die. That He will keep the Gospel going onward to the next generation. That He uses us as part of this.
We are honored to speak the name of Christ, to share His word with our families and neighbors. We are honored to gather and hear the word at Church and support the work of the Gospel with our time and talents. We are honored to pray and ask God to bless the work of the Gospel in every land. The Spirit uses us in our day, even as He used believers in every generation, for the work of the Gospel – to the glory of Christ Jesus the Savior.
And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:21
A blessed Pentecost to you! Rejoice, for God loves you and has saved you. He has done all things well!