The lockdown can be a real bummer; restraining our mobility, our gatherings, and just plain freedom to do what we choose. But it can also become a theater to view a familiar story in a way we have never viewed it before. That is what is happening for me. Here is how it is happening:
Beginning this Thursday, May 21st, we have set up ten days of prayer to Pentecost. Each day from 2:30 pm to 3:00 pm we will use Zoom to pray. This will be immediately followed by ten minutes of 30-second prayer declarations live via Facebook at 3:00 pm. I felt I should gather scriptures for prayer each day, and here is where things opened into a new paradigm for me. To be honest, gathering people for prayer on Zoom is not that easy; it’s a bit weird to pray like that, and not everyone is comfortable doing so. I was joking with the Lord about how He had had an advantage in gathering his disciples in the upper room, since He had been raised from the dead, and was appearing to His disciples for forty days. His reply started me thinking. I felt Him say, “Yeah, but I could only gather one hundred and twenty of the over five hundred I appeared to.” I thought, “What if I was there during those ten days of prayer, what would be my mindset?” I continue thinking, “I would be praying from the words that Jesus had spoken regarding the Holy Spirit.” Jesus’ words. And that’s what started it. What would I find if I could only use the words of Jesus, the first two chapters of Acts, and the prophecies referenced? What would I see? What was the meditation of the disciples as they prayed together during the ten days to Pentecost?
So, I launched into gathering these words. Using only the narrative of Acts chapters one and two, along with the referenced scriptures being used to declare the resurrection of Jesus, and the words Jesus spoke in the Gospels. The first thing I found was that there was not a lot of information given in scripture before the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost. Afterwards, from Acts 3 and into the epistles, we learn so much about the Holy Spirit. However, Jesus did introduce the Holy Spirit and His ministry in John chapters 14-16. The second thing I discovered was that the emphasis in Acts two is on the resurrection of Jesus, His coronation as Lord and Christ, His receiving and pouring out of the Holy Spirit, the remittance of sin through baptism, and the promise of the Holy Spirit to all. In other words, the Holy Spirit came, and the disciples witnessed Jesus powerfully. Today, in Jewish communities around the world, their weekly reading during the week of Pentecost will include Ezekiel 1, which is all about the glory and the Son of Man seated on the throne. The disciples would have read that right before the Holy Spirit came.
So many discoveries are happening to me. I feel like a first-time observer. No, not observer, participant. And I want to share with you the resources of these scriptures to pray and meditate together into Pentecost. I have taken Acts chapters one and two and followed the narrative, bringing in additional scriptures from the gospels and the prophets.
Please click here for a link to the scriptures.
Now the lockdown is opening Pentecost to me in a whole new way.