Sunday, May 19, 2013
When the Pentecost lesson from the second chapter of Acts is read on Pentecost Sunday, it always seems that there is this huge disconnect in the room. The disconnect is between the lesson and the contemporary church. No matter how many times we read about that day of spiritual power in Jerusalem, we just do not get it. We read the story, say a collective, "Wow!" and then go back to our talk about growing churches. When we read the Pentecost story, there is no evidence of any kind of slick promotional campaign designed to draw in a certain part of the demography. Neither is there any glitz and bells and whistles. And, unbelievable as it seems, there was not an ordained member of the clergy to be found anywhere on the place.
What we do find is the raw power of God being revealed among those who have gathered according to the directive of His Son. What drew the great crowd of people was not the sign and logo out front, or the working out of an effective plan to reach the masses, but the power of God. Who in our day would think that the power of God actually has drawing power? Reading the second chapter of Acts tells us it really does. And, then, there was a sermon preached. Nothing fancy. No theologian preaching. A fisherman did the preaching. But, what he preached about was Jesus. There was no fancy sermon title, or catchy phrase, or trendy thoughts that tickled the contemporary ear. He just preached about Jesus. Who in our day would think that preaching about Jesus has drawing power?
It makes you wonder if we are missing something in the church today. Or, maybe the issue is not so much what we are missing as what we are substituting. Or, just maybe our substitutions and our circus shows designed to draw in a crowd only speak to the church's lack of trust that the power of God and the person of Jesus is sufficient. Or, just maybe it is not just the church's lack of trust in God, but yours and mine.