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After all, that is what we’re celebrating this Pentecost Sunday.
After our Lord’s Ascension, we read in Acts 2 that the Apostles were “filled with the Holy Spirit” as tongues of fire rested upon them. In the power of the Holy Spirit they are then sent around the world to proclaim the salvation of Jesus Christ.
Every celebration of Pentecost year after year, generation after generation, is a celebration of the Church’s birthday and renewal of our God-given mission—a global mission—to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord Jesus.
This is a huge mission—and praise the Lord we aren’t left to accomplish it on our own! In last week’s article, Fr. Steven reminded us that after Christ’s ascension “the promised Holy Spirit would guide and fill the faithful with the commission to 'Go' and tell the world what Jesus had done.” The Holy Spirit is God’s empowering presence dwelling within each one of us; that means that the Holy Spirit has equipped you and I with everything we need for our mission. St. Basil the Great writes,
“The Spirit raises our hearts to heaven, guides the steps of the weak, and brings to perfection those who are making progress. He enlightens those who have been cleansed from every stain of sin and makes them spiritual by communion with himself.”
Even today the Holy Spirit sanctifies us from sin, and draws us deeper into the love and mystery of God, and commissions us for mission just as he did with the Apostles on the first Pentecost.
So happy birthday, beloved Church! May we go forth on mission, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit!
The Rev. W. Creighton FriedrichCurate for Student Discipleship
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