Pentecost - A New Beginning
One mission is completed. Another one begins!
With His Ascension into heaven, the earthly mission of Jesus was completed. As He said on the cross “It is accomplished.” Jesus completed his earthly ministry by
- Showing the world what a true human being is, the perfect human being
- By offering the world words of wisdom that lead to life, the perfect teachings.
- But most importantly, by addressing the greatest curse and question of humanity – death itself. And addressing it by conquering it. Death no longer has the final say in our existence, but through His own death, He conquered death and opened up the gates of paradise.
With His Ascension, Christ completed His divine mission.
Yet today on Pentecost, 50 days after His Resurrection, a new mission begins! Before He ascended into heaven, Jesus promised his disciples, his followers “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem and in Judea and in Samaria and to the ends of the world.” (Acts 1:8)
The mission of the Apostles begins, and today as we celebrate Pentecost, we are reminded that OUR MISSIONS continues! What is our mission in life as followers of Jesus Christ?
- To proclaim Good News to the world that Christ is Risen and divine love conquers evil
- To shine forth His divine light in all the dark places of the world
- To bring His love anywhere where there is hatred, and never to give in to hatred, to allow hatred to appear greater than love
- To become instruments in God’s hand each and every day, bringing His presence, His truth, His light, His healing power to everyone and anyone we meet
What an incredible and seemingly impossible mission. And yet, Jesus promised His followers that we would not become such witnesses on our own, through our own power and strength. Absolutely NOT! We are called to simply be instruments in His hands, to allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with His presence, and He will do the rest of the work! It is God working through each one of us. And yet, our role is to open our hearts and minds, to create clean hearts that can be proper places where the Holy Spirit can dwell. Are we open to inviting God’s Spirit within us, and will we allow His Spirit to work His miracles through our lives?
Look around the world today, and the world desperately needs more and more people to become instruments of God’s loving presence. Think of the horrible London killings yesterday, the Manchester bombing some weeks ago, as well as the train attack in Portland, Oregon and the response of random people defending a defenseless Muslim girl against racist hatred.
It is extremely hard in a hate-filled, dark world, yet as followers of Jesus, as instruments filled with the Holy Spirit, we have to be empowered to NEVER return hatred for hatred, violence for violence, but instead to offer love in the midst of hatred, light in the midst of darkness, truth, kindness and goodness even when the others won’t understand why we do what we do.
This sounds impossibly difficult, and yet with the power of the Holy Spirit filling us, all things are possible And this is what our mission in life is all about!
“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem and in Judea and in Samaria and to the ends of the world.” (Acts 1:8)
Facing Our Uncertain Future
What Is Reality?
Our Orthodox Faith
Teachings: Doctrine and Basic Credal Affirmations