The Unfolding Drama of God

Jon Brown

READ : Acts 2:1-4

When the day of Pentecost arrived . . . (v. 1)

“Pentecost” is the English form of the Greek word used to describe the Jewish festival known as Shavu’ot. Shavu’ot was set aside every year to remember God’s giving of the law on Mount Sinai. The people of God had been delivered from slavery in Egypt and were being brought towards the freedom of the Promised Land. Between deliverance and freedom, though, they were wandering in the wilderness. It was during their wilderness wandering that God showed up and gave the law. Right in the wandering middle, between deliverance and freedom, God shows up with moral guidance for the direction of their lives.

Christians remember Pentecost not primarily in light of the giving of the law but rather for God’s giving of the Spirit. The Spirit’s descending was not a surprise move, as if God suddenly decided to go in a different direction. Rather, it was the fulfillment of something God had been up to for a long time, namely, giving guidance in the wandering middle. No longer wandering between slavery in Egypt, looking to the geographical boundary of a nation, but now the Spirit, walking with us in the wandering middle between Christ’s first coming and his coming again. Even as we wander, still the Spirit walks with us, guiding, directing, urging, and empowering us as we participate in the unfolding drama of God’s salvation in the world.

PRAYER

Guide us, Holy Spirit, as we wander in the middle. Amen.