Posted by: morgan1965 | June 1, 2012

Pentecost: In The Aftermath of General Conference

The United Methodist Church’s 2012 General Conference is over, and since then, we  have celebrated Pentecost Sunday (May 27, 2012)  – Praise God. Pentecost calls our attention to our church’s mission which is “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Pentecost is not about church structure. It is not about clergy orders and guaranteed appointments. Pentecost is not based on a quadrennial budget. Pentecost is not focused on personal turf or power.

Pentecost is focused on the power of the Holy Spirit. “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:1-2). On the Day of Pentecost, God gave the disciples and their companions the power to do the work of ministry and mission that God had called them to do.

The disciples were empowered by the Holy Spirit which transformed their lives, making them doers of the Word. They lived God’s Word in Christian community, but they did not keep their blessings to themselves. In the name of Jesus Christ, they shared God’s Word with all the people whom they came into contact with. The disciples shared God’s Word in their teaching and their preaching, as well as their witness through their ministry of healing. The result was significant. “… And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47b). 

On the Day of Pentecost and beyond, the disciples publicly acknowledged Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Through their personal actions they confessed that Jesus was at the center of their personal lives. They were not ashamed. Peter proclaimed these words to the beggar with a handicapping condition: “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk” (Acts 3:6). The man was healed.

The disciples had an effective ministry, because they embraced the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God only was the foundation of their faith. Jesus was the one who authored their faith and perfected their faith. The Holy Spirit enabled their living a life of faith and doing the work of ministry and mission.   

In the aftermath of General Conference (petitions, legislative sessions, worship services, plenary sessions, votes cast and decisions made), I trust that we as a denomination will be able claim anew the power of  Pentecost, and move on with doing God’s ministry that has been entrusted to us. So then, I share this prayer hymn with you: 

“Breathe on me, Breath of God,

Fill me with life anew,

That I may love what thou dost love,

and do what thou wouldst do.”

[“The U.M. Hymnal, #420]

 

This is my prayer for the United Methodist Church and all of its members, lay and clergy.

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