Message from the Pastor
Acts 2 says when the day of Pentecost came they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. It continues from 42- 47 that they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. And all the believers were together and had everything in common. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. The Church experienced a lot of growth during that period.
This year the season of Pentecost starts on May 20th. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out on each one of the people gathered in Jerusalem, and the Church was born. So Pentecost is the time when the Church celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God’s very breath of life and energy working within each of us. The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is very important because Jesus promised that He will be with us to help us in many ways. He will give us the power we need to live our lives the way we ought. The Holy Spirit will give us the virtues we need to display. This is what Galatians 6 calls the fruit of the Spirit. It is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control. The Holy Spirit is the active power of God working in our lives, continuously transforming us into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit gave birth to what we now know as the Church and the Church is the Body of Christ worldwide. The Church is not the building. It is the representation of Christ. So the Church becomes the place where we worship, fellowship and help advance the Kingdom of God. For us our place is Mt. Pocono United Methodist Church. As with the first believers, God saved us and we have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. God has placed us in this local church to live out our faith. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12:27, “We are the body of Christ and each part of the body has a role to play. How we serve is based upon the unique gifts, talents, and passion and calling.”
As we learn from the first Pentecost, Christianity is not a spectator sport whereby people sit on the sidelines and watch. Everyone has to get in the game, for we all have jobs to do in the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit has been given to the Church for service. The Church is truly a beautiful thing because many people have been called with varied gifts, talents, and personalities, and if we all do our part the Church thrives and grows. Through our service God saves many more people and adds to our fellowship and this becomes a beautiful thing for the world to see.
Active involvement is, therefore, paramount to the success of what God is doing. We can all do something small to support the work of God. We can invite our friends and neighbors to worship. We can sing in the choir or join the praise team. If you like to work with children you can help with Sunday school, youth group or Vacation Bible School. You can be part of the Lay Ministry sending cards and visiting our friends who need our support. Every Sunday we need people to serve as ushers, greeters, and hospitality ministers, and also our church has many ministries and boards on which we can use our gifts to serve.
In addition, the work of God has to be funded by our giving so that lives can be changed and transformed for Christ. When we commit to do these things we are truly making a statement for our Lord Jesus Christ. We are saying we stand with Christ and we are saying we stand with our local church representing Christ on this mountain. This is why we should, from time to time, ask ourselves, “What am I doing for the Lord? What am I doing for His Church?” For whatever we do for the Lord will be blessed. God will add to and prosper our church if we commit ourselves to support his work and God will bless us as well.
As we celebrate Pentecost let us be reenergized, let the power of the Holy Spirit fall afresh on us, and let our church be filled with His love, peace, guidance and gifts to bless His Church.
Pastor Kofi Ashley