This Sunday is a special day in the life of the church…It’s Pentecost Sunday! On this day we remember when Peter preached a powerful sermon that brought the power of the Holy Spirit to fall upon the people and dwell within them. If you read the book of Acts you will discover this powerful beginning of the 1st Century Church.
One of the main themes in Acts 2 is about people gathering together. In gathering together they begin to experience the power and purpose of the Holy Spirit, and how it truly does bind us together. Many may find a conversation about the Holy Spirit rather elusive, but it really is the glue which holds faithful followers of Jesus Christ together.
Several years ago, John and I decided to participate in a dinner group program at the church we served at the time. It was a random selection of who would be together, and for us it was a great way to get to know some folks. There would be 4 couples, and we would rotate each month to one another’s homes for dinner. The very first time we gathered with the other 3 couples, we knew we had found something special. John and I were the youngest in the group, but that didn’t matter because we fell in love with each of them. Once we had rotated around to each others homes…we just kept rotating. For nearly 5 years, we met monthly for dinner.
Over the course of those 5 years, we shared in so many things. The birth of 2 babies (mine), struggles with teenagers, job changes, death of family, challenges at work, celebrations of birthdays and anniversaries, wedding vow renewals, parties, road-trips…you name it, we found reasons to get together.
These dear friends encouraged us, mentored us, modeled marriage and family for us, loved us, laughter with us…and even helped us move! We shared so much of life together. We worshipped together, prayed together, and served together.
Acts 2 talks about how when the community of believers devoted themselves to the teachings of Jesus, to the community, to sharing meals and their prayers. That all the believers were united and shared everything. They used their resources to meet the needs of others, worshipped together, ate together in their homes…and shared food with gladness and simplicity…they praised God and showed goodness to everyone. That’s the Church!
For me I gained a huge insight to “church” over those 5 years that we shared with our dinner group. Those 5 years became more than just about having dinner together…it became about being in community with each other…sharing life and love in all we said and did.
So I celebrate my friends…who are still a part of my tribe! I celebrate each of you…for expanding my circle of community where we pray together, serve together, share meals together…and most of all share a love that binds us together…a tie that binds and is never broken.