Sermon Podcast: Easter 7, 202018 May 2020 By Sermon Podcasts
Today, the Sunday after Ascension Day, Linda Kitto, a Licensed Lay MInister in Pedmore Parish, reflects on the story of the first disciples waiting for Pentecost.
Acts 1:6-14 (The reading this podcast is based on)
1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11
In this first chapter of Acts we see the disciples saying goodbye to Jesus as He ascends into heaven.
This small group of disciples are left with PROBLEMS..about
which they have many questions;
What is going to happen?
Will our nation be free again?
Will we recover our former prosperity?
And the unspoken question; why do you appear to be abandoning us, Lord?
These are questions that we ourselves could also ask in this present time of great difficulty.
And interestingly, Jesus doesn't answer any of those questions with a satisfactory answer, although the answers to all of them could have been found in the scriptures and in what Jesus had already said to them, if the disciples had cared to search diligently!
No. Instead Jesus gives them a different answer. POWER. "You will receive power when I send the Holy Spirit upon you." They were powerless, frightened and completely unable to do the task that Jesus had given them. And here he promises them power and authority.
And so it was—not many days later these same disciples received the Holy Spirit and were enabled to witness to the truth about Jesus. About his life, his death and his resurrection. A few short weeks later we read that they had ‘turned the world upside down’
If we are to turn our world upside down with the truth about Jesus we need to rediscover the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our church.
What was the disciples’ first step to receiving this power that Jesus had promised? PRAYER.
In verse 14 we find them together and seeking God fervently
They JOINED together.
They were CONSTANTLY in prayer.
If we are to receive God’s power in our church that will make us effective in meeting the needs and problems of our own world and answering our own very difficult questions we must learn to pray as these disciples did...and of course as Jesus himself did.
We must learn to pray together and constantly until the PROMISES that God has made to us become realities in our own lives and experience.
We are approaching Pentecost. It may feel very different this year as we are not able to meet together physically but let us make every effort to cry out to God to clothe us with power from on high so that we can make a difference in our needy world. Amen.