Dave spoke this morning on Acts 2:1-13, commenting that the events of this particular Pentecost marked the birthday of the church. Prior to this, Jesus’s disciples had been depressed by the crucifixion, struggling to come to terms with all that had happened after three years of following Him. The resurrection gave them hope, but the news was so astonishing that some still doubted and some were definitely still confused. They waited in Jerusalem as commanded, but then the Ascension of Jesus to heaven was even more bewildering. What would come next?!

In the space of fifty days, they had had much to deal with, but on the day of Pentecost, they received the promised gift. The Holy Spirit came with dramatic signs (tongues of fire, the sound of wind, the ability to praise God in other languages) and this event spilled out into the streets. It could not be contained in one room!

Peter – the same Peter who had always been so impetuous and who had denied Jesus – preached to the crowds and 3000 people were saved that day. They were changed by the Spirit. His message of salvation, peace and freedom through Jesus Christ was given to all there (Jews and Gentiles) and after this day, the church continued to grow in number.

The church was (and is) made up of very different people, drawn together by the love of Jesus. The Jews tried to destroy this new movement, but in persecuting and scattering the believers, they actually helped them to fulfil the Great Commission. Thirty years after the resurrection there were thriving churches in the Middle East, as Jesus continued to build His church. (Matt 16:18) The church continues to this day. It is not perfect, but it is God’s plan to make His good news known!