I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Acts 2
The promise made to the prophet Joel finds fulfillment in the event known as Pentecost. In a powerful and mysterious occurrence, the Holy Spirit visits a vast crowd in Jerusalem, where tongues of fire touch and anoint each person. While God’s people (the church) have existed throughout human history, tradition holds this event as the “birthday” of the church in the New Testament age. What is the prophet saying and how is it fulfilled in our present age? It centers upon the certainty of God being faithful to His promises as revealed through His word. Dreaming dreams and seeing visions is a challenge in our modern walk with Christ but are we dreaming of the correct things? What does it mean to dream dreams and see visions? It has less to do with prophetic visions, or utopian dreams but instead finds its meaning in all that is promised by God in his Word. It is the unmistakable affirmation that Christ—the Emanuel—is with us and for us. For most of us, this hope is experienced in the ordinary happenings of our lives. How does this happen? It occurs by the Holy Spirit working in and around the world. The promise given to those people in Jerusalem at the first Pentecost remains alive for us today!
As we begin to prepare for the 175th celebration of this church, I want to remind everyone of the abiding faith that established this church and has sustained it for all of these years. Those promises uttered by Peter at Pentecost were also the driving force and sustaining belief of the members of this church that have come before us. That is a testimony of the power of the Living Word. Have you ever thought about what happened in those bygone years? Think about the historical events and the technological changes that have occurred since our founding in 1842. Clearly much has changed. Yet the unwavering trust in God and the faithfulness of God have been ever present.
What about the future? Have given any though to the future generations? What values do we with to impart? I'm sure the founders of this church wondered the same. But it is also the conviction we read in the Pentecost story that holds true for the future of the church. What is the message? I believe it is twofold. We must not only believe in the messenger but also believe in the message.
In the upcoming months, let us give thanks and celebrate while continuing to dream dreams and see visions. For God’s promises will never fail!
Yours In Christ,