Next stop, Pentecost

I loved reading the words of my Christian brother, Leo Kruger, in his article, "Resurrection, what next?" It calls each of us to ask, where do we go from here? If you don't personally know this Savior, Jesus, I invite you to seek Him, call upon Him to reveal Himself and show His mighty power. Know the One who suffered for us. Look to know the resurrection power the Apostle Paul speaks of in Philippians 3:10.

For those of us who do personally know Jesus, we are to build the church as Leo stated so well. But, Jesus has been raised up to heaven and God sometimes seems like a distant concept. So are we left alone to build the church? No. If we try to build the church ourselves it will be flawed and it is because sometimes we do try to build it ourselves.

The psalmist said, "Unless the Lord builds the house, the people labor in vain." (Psalm 127:1) About 500 years before Jesus came, the people of the Old Testament were told that they could not rebuild the temple (church) by themselves. The messenger-prophet of God said, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord." (Zechariah 4:6)

While on earth, Jesus followed these good words with the solution to the building of the church and the comfort and caring of the people of His church. He said, "I will ask the Father and He will give you another counselor (comforter) to be with you forever " the Spirit of Truth." (John 14:16-17) Christians know this Spirit as the "Holy Spirit" or "Holy Ghost."

So, we've not been abandoned, left alone like orphans. In fact, Jesus says it's better that He leave. He says, because I am leaving you may be "filled with grief. But, I tell you the truth; it is for your good that I am going away." (John 16:7)

We have the opportunity, privilege, and blessing of being used by God to build the church. But, we're not to build this church on our own. As Leo shared, the church is not perfect. A pastor once said, "The church is not a showplace for saints, but a ward for sinners." We're to build it not by might but by God's Spirit " the spirit of truth.

Jesus said to wait for the promise as the early church did in Acts 1:4. Wait before moving forward. And, wait expectantly for the power, guidance, and comfort of this spirit of truth. And that is where Pentecost Sunday comes into the story. The birthday of the church, as many call it, is 50 days and seven Sundays after the Resurrection. That's launch day. That is when the explosion of Christianity came to the believers. That is when Jesus fulfills His promise of not leaving " as orphans. I will come to you." (John 14:19) Jesus came in the Spirit and will come to us once again just as Leo said.

Jesus said, "I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you." We need to hear the words shared by Leo last week, and say them "Come Lord, Jesus." Come into my life for the first time, and again by your Spirit, and again until the end.

The Rev. Bill Baltz of Christ Presbyterian Church is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers' Association.


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