Pentecost is one of my favorite seasons within the Church Year. Acts 2 gets my mind going and my blood pumping with its imagery and promise.
“mighty rushing wind”
“tongues as of fire”
“This Jesus, . . . God raised Him up.”
“You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Read far enough and we get a fuller picture, past tongues of fire and the laid-out plan of God for salvation. God invites us into the promise of His Spirit in and with us, for not just ourselves, but for our homes and for our families,
“The promise is for you and for your children” (Acts 2:39).
It's so easy to think of faith and of the Spirit as personal. The Father exalted the Son and sent the Spirit as our Guide, our Helper, our Comforter for every moment of life. And this promise is not just for us. The Holy Spirit is not limited to me, myself, and I. We received Him personally at our Baptism, but He is a gift meant to be shared, particularly in our homes.
When our homes seem scattered, exhausted, cranky, or sorrow-filled—take heart! The Holy Spirit has not forsaken you, and so He does not forsake your home. His fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, and more! The very things we'd love to see more of in our families, in our homes.
Acts 2 doesn't just give us the knowledge of the Holy Spirit. It gives us concrete ways we can build our families and homes up, letting the Spirit move and breathe between our four walls, letting Him do His thing—helping, comforting, guiding, counseling—every day in our homes.
Read the Word
The Spirit isn't a mystery anymore. He doesn't just show up whenever and wherever, although He can. God promises us that He is always connected to His Word (1 Thessalonians 2:13). We cannot come to faith on our own. We cannot understand the things of God on our own. That is the Spirit's work, but 1 Thessalonians 5:19-20 reminds us that we can certainly say, “No, thank You.”
“Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies.”
When we refuse or ignore the Word of God in our homes, God can still work, but we absolutely know and see His work when we open the Word and read it. Read it on your own in your home. Read it with your spouse. Read it with your children. Read it with visitors. When we open the Bible and gather around it, we are encouraged, we find answers and discernment for our problems, and those fruits of the Spirit become easier to spot with our Spirit-opened eyes.
Tell of His Works
The disciples on the Day of Pentecost weren't just idly speaking mumbo jumbo. Acts 2:11 tells us what they were speaking:
“Both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”
What works of God have you read about in Scripture? What works of God have you seen in your life, in your family's life, and in the lives of those around you? Tell of them together, recount them, give thanks because of them. The Spirit works on our perspective, our wonky emotions, and our family trials through the miracle that is God at work!
Tell about His work in your day over dinner. Set aside a time at bedtime to read a Bible story book. Sometimes, in dark times, we can't see His work, so simply reading it from His Word brings the work of the Spirit alive, bringing comfort from the Comforter, strength from our Helper.
Live and Worship with the Family of God
Are you active in the Body of Christ? Do you have a church home?
Our homes are better places—not easier places, but God-filled places—when we are connected with others who are filled with the Spirit. We all want Acts 2:46 kind of homes:
“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts.”
Attending to the Body of Christ in worship was not optional for those early Christians, because it wasn't seen as a secondary part of God's plan. He had the redemption work of the Son, the outpouring of the Spirit, and the creation of the Church in mind from the beginning. They gathered in the temple, they gathered in their homes, they gathered around food, they gathered to give, they gathered to praise. Let the Holy Spirit work by giving your family an extended family, an extended home to celebrate His gifts in and with—this is the work of the Church.
What a gift they received that first Pentecost centuries ago, and what a gift we receive when we tell of it! Tell of it again, tell of it together, this mighty work, this Mighty God— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—for you and for your children.
Read more about the Holy Spirit's gifts to the church in The Mighty & The Mysterious.