Daily Bread May 20

The Spirit of Truth
Jane M. Gardner, presiding evangelist

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” -Acts 2:37-38

For the Feast of Weeks, as it was known in the Old Testament, a very diverse group assembled in Jerusalem. This celebration at the end of spring harvest arrived with praise and thanksgiving to God. For some Jewish attendees it also involved an annual covenant renewal.

For the early disciples of Jesus, Pentecost became a time of discerning the way forward. What had happened to Jesus during and after the Passover week was past. How should they move forward?

After experiencing the promised power of the Holy Spirit, Peter began to preach. The assembled people initially accused Peter of being drunk but were subsequently struck by the powerful nature of his message and his testimony of the resurrected Christ. When they asked Peter what they should do in response to this heart-transforming message, he was quick to respond, “Repent, and be baptized.” It is another moment involving covenant renewal-a call to new life!

Today God’s Spirit continually invites us into covenant relationship. At Pentecost, even for those who have already been baptized, the invitation is:

Come and celebrate the wonder of God fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
Come and sense the Spirit’s presence.
Come and be renewed.
Come and see.

When we respond to this invitation, God promises to walk with us. God also nudges, cajoles, and guides us outside of ourselves into mission. Can we be like Peter and boldly declare our testimony of the resurrected Christ as we invite others?

The message of Pentecost is that God is calling us into a future that makes a difference in people’s lives-to move outside the church walls and proclaim our heart-transforming message. It made a difference 2000 years ago; it will make a difference today.

…those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. -Acts 2:41-42

Prayer Phrase

I am about to do a new thing, now it springs forth… (Isaiah 43:19).

Spiritual Practice

A New Thing

Breathe deeply and listen within. Where is the Spirit doing a new thing in you? How do you feel about the new thing that might be emerging? Are you excited, resistant, fearful, hopeful? Take whatever you are experiencing to prayer. Breathe deeply and listen around you. Where is the Spirit doing a new thing in your community? Pay attention to how it feels to discern the Spirit’s activity and presence within and around you.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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