“They saw I individual flames of fire….All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”- Acts 2:4
Before World War 2, Nazi Germany had signed an alliance with neighboring countries to insure that most of Europe would stay out of the way of the New order that Adolf Hitler was pursuing. However, like most sinners do, Hitler’s went back on his word. It was in 1941 then, that Russia was invaded by the Nazi’s at the Battle of Stalingrad. Russia would win, but also had a problem. To whom can the Soviet Union turn to that won’t turn their back on their word? Who wants to rid the world of evil?! Who says this is the way things are! And we won’t stop until the war is finished?! The picture of allies Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, and President Roosevelt is an iconic one. They realized the only way they would defeat the Fuhrer would be to bring their own unique culture to the table, but also put other differences on hold for the sake of victory! That something greater than themselves was demanding accommodation and cooperation to bring about change. It is fitting that Pentecost is this Sunday, the day according to tradition the Apostles received the fire of the Holy Spirit to preach the Gospel that Christ died to save sinners, and rose from the dead so that all might believe in Him might be justified by grace. Why? Because scripture says the Apostles waited a long time for the Spirit of God to come. And boy did it ever! In the process of waiting they realized that Christ was the only way, and that sharing life in His name with other nations was the only way to go! The text in Acts 2 tells us the sharing life in Jesus name was so intense that 3,000 people committed to Christ that day. And this was under a Roman occupation! A time of being ‘told what to do’ by a foreign government! The church grew practically overnight because the disciples realized that God called the play, all they could do was follow.
Here is the question, who calls the plays in your life? As much as I enjoy my autonomy as a individual, if I am worth a salt as a Christian, I better make darn sure I am surrendering to Christ daily like the disciples did. The implications of that thought is significant, nothing else should be the way I follow besides the way of Jesus. May Charles Wesley’s hymn be our prayer in an increasingly stressful era!
“Captain of Israel's host, and guide of all who seek the land above, beneath your shadow we abide, the cloud of your protecting love; our strength, your grace; our rule, your word: our end, the glory of the Lord.”