From the Pastor’s Heart

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:4

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all in one place. Who were they? In the first chapter of Acts, Luke tell us it was Peter, the rest of the apostles, the women who accompanied them, and Mary the mother of Jesus. They were gathered together in Jerusalem, devoted to prayer and Holy Scripture. On that day, Jerusalem was crowded with people attending the Feast of Weeks. Jerusalem was also a large city serving as a center for trade. With all the commotion, we can imagine relatively few people were paying attention to those gathered together in one place, but that would change
soon enough. In a moment, the Holy Spirit would come and the city would surely take notice.

We are not much different than those who gathered in Jerusalem waiting for the Spirit. We assemble in God’s name each week on the Lord’s day, gathered in prayer and fellowship. What would we do if the Holy Spirit were to come and blow the doors of our church wide open and fill us with the same gifts as the disciples? Guess what…he already has! Each week we hear the same gospel Peter preached to the people in the streets of Jerusalem. We hear the same good news, that Jesus, God’s Word made flesh, came to dwell with his people. How he was mighty in words and deed yet, because of our sin he was handed over and crucified. But God raised him from the dead and he reigns forever. Through this same Jesus Christ, God forgives our sins and makes us inheritors of his kingdom.

I am so glad God has called me here to St. Jacob’s to proclaim this good news to you. I am even more glad that he has called us all to this one place that we may share this gospel truth with our community and world. I hope you feel this same excitement. I pray that you all sense God’s calling our congregation to be about the exciting work of sharing the good news of his Son Jesus in ways that we have not considered before. This is what Pentecost is all about.

It isn’t about wearing your red dress or red shirt to church on Sunday. It isn’t about confirming our youth as they complete their initial study of the catechism. Pentecost is about the Holy Spirit of God blowing through the hearts and minds of believers, filling us with all the confidence, strength, excitement and assurance the disciples had so long ago.

Think about all the times where you were at your wit’s end and didn’t know where to turn. Think about those times of uncertainty when God’s peace suddenly filled your heart and you realized you were not alone in your struggle. Now, think about the world around you, the things you have heard and seen. Don’t’ you think the world needs to hear this good news of great joy? This is what Pentecost is all about. It is about disciples of Jesus Christ going into the world sharing the good news of salvation with our neighbor.

Family of St. Jacob’s, we are Pentecost people. Jesus calls us to share the gospel with the world around us. He calls us to love our neighbor, meet the needs of others, carry their burden, and shower them with the love of God. This is what Peter and the apostles did in Jerusalem so long ago. The same Holy Spirit fills us, and though his gifts, we are also well equipped to do the work of the gospel. May we all be diligent in sharing our faith with others.

Grace and peace,

Pastor David Nuottila
From the Pastor’s Heart