When Jesus ascended to heaven after the crucifixion his final instructions to the disciples were to go back and wait. Before they were ever supposed to go to Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth to make disciples they were first instructed to wait. So the disciples returned to Jerusalem as instructed, they huddled in a small room, terrified, cowering in fear and hiding from the world. When the Holy Spirit came to them on the Pentecost day they stopped hiding and ventured out into the streets of Jerusalem unafraid and on fire for Christ. Eventually it led them to carry the gospel to the four corners of the world. The Holy Spirit moves people from the inside out, from hidden places to the world outside. On this Pentecost Sunday we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit that emboldens us to do the work of God in the world.
Small Group Questions: Sunday, May 15, 2016
- In reading Acts 2:1-4, 17-21 (or just Acts 2:1-21) and/or recalling the sermon you listened to, what did you find most interesting or important?
- Jesus instructed his disciples to wait, why do we have such trouble waiting?
- When have you experienced the wisdom and that comes from a prolonged time of waiting, listening, struggling, discerning? Share with your group?
- Talk about a moment when you were moved to stop hiding from others, to stop being afraid…a moment when you discovered strength you didn’t know you had, a courage and boldness you weren’t sure you possessed.
- What is something you want to do, but you need the help of the Holy Spirit to be able to attempt? Do you believe the Holy Spirit able to do this?
Taking the Next Step of Discipleship
It marks the birth and beginning of the church: the day when people from different places, different tribes, speaking different languages were moved by the Holy Spirit to become one body, one mind, one heart and one spirit. This week pay particular attention to someone who doesn’t look like you, think like you or sound like you. Look beneath the surface, past the obvious differences, and remember that the one you’re looking at hurts like you, laughs like you, dreams like you, and loves the people in their lives just like you do. When you finally see them as a real person, you realize deep down they are very much like you. When you tear down a wall and build a bridge, something like church is born and ever so slightly the world is fundamentally changed.