The Center of the World

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This is the day of Pentecost, in the year of our Lord 2007. We rejoice in this day, and we mark it, and we call upon our God to continue the work in His Church which He so wonderfully began in the second chapter of Acts.

Over the course of time, the word Pentecost has taken on some connotations that would be good for us to be aware of—it is not that these connotations are necessarily bad, but that rather, taken alone, they fall far short of how God wants us to think about these things.

Pentecostal power is far more than an intense personal, subjective religious experience. The Holy Spirit is given to the Church, poured out upon the Church, and not upon solitary individuals as such. This corporate baptism certainly affects individuals, and necessarily involves them, but it is not all about them. In the glorious miracle of Pentecost, God has manifestly placed His Church at the center of the world. He has done this in the sight of all the nations.

But the Holy Spirit was not poured out upon the Church so that we might mark the day with a little, domesticated liturgy. The day of Pentecost is not limited to sewing felt white doves onto pale blue felt banners, changing all the colors in the sanctuary, and then calling it good.

No, this is the day that God has ordained for the transformation of the world, for the transformation of all nations. The Spirit is poured out with a mighty, rushing wind, and all lawless men on lawless thrones go white in the face and weak in the knees, and they think to themselves, “What was that?”

We answer that question in worship, and it is given to us, according to our faith. Would it be possible for us to ask for a nation that God has not promised to His Son? No, the ends of the earth are His possession already, and He has poured out His Spirit so that His people might be equipped for dominion wherever they might happen to be.

This is the day of Pentecost. What should we ask for in our worship service today? Do not offend the Lord your God by asking for something tiny. Christ is Lord, Christ is King, Christ is Savior. Do not relegate Him to the back rooms of anything. Like Knox, who prayed for Scotland lest he die, we pray for our town, our state, our nation, and our world.

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