This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost as the global church.

On the day of Pentecost, in Acts chapter 2, those who heard Peter’s message asked him, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ (v. 12).

As I think about Pentecost this year, I think that that is an important question for the church to reflect on. This time, a self-reflection question: What shall we do? As I thought about that with all the uncertainty that is around us in the world today, four important reminders came to me.

Number one: the sound of the rushing wind that came into the room where the disciples were, the descending of the Holy Spirit and the settling of the tongues of fire upon them, gives me a reminder of God’s covenanting with his people on Mount Sinai. This time not the fire of God upon the mountains—the fire of God settling on his people. The faithful God at Sinai was visiting his people again. It reminds me of Jesus specifically mentioning to the disciples to ‘wait for the promise of my Father’ (Luke 24:49).

May this Pentecost remind every believer in Christ—God is faithful to his promises.

The coming of the Holy Spirit is not only an event to remember—it reminds us of the fulfilling of God’s promises through the biblical story. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, the story of God is a story of the fulfillment of the promises of God. That’s what Luke captures significantly here: God is with his people. As you waver through the uncertainties of the world around us, may this Pentecost remind every believer in Christ—God is faithful to his promises.

The second thing that comes to my mind is the love of God for the nations. God’s mission is a mission of his love to the nations. Beautiful to read that God chooses the significant sign of different languages on the day of Pentecost. And all God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven heard the disciples speaking in their own tongues. ‘Utterly amazed they asked, “Then how is it that each of us hear them speaking in our own native language?”‘ (Acts 2:7-8).

Pentecost must remind us of God’s desire, of God’s mission, that his wonderful works—that his love—will be communicated in all languages around the world.

Pentecost must remind us of God’s desire, of God’s mission, that his wonderful works—that his love—will be communicated in all languages around the world.

What a time to celebrate the global diversity in God’s church and the challenge of God being known among the nations! What a time for us to look beyond our little corners to God’s global mission and the desire of God that his wonderful works be known among all the nations.

What shall we do? The message of Peter on Pentecost also reminds me of the centrality of Christ in the gospel. Peter is clear when he preaches that day referring to Christ—his work, his death, his resurrection—as the hope of God to all nations.

‘God has raised Jesus to life and we are all witnesses of it. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has brought out what you now see and hear. Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah’ (Acts 2:32-44, 36). I am reminded at Pentecost that this message of Christ—the gospel—must be preached.

Finally, the community of God’s people. If the world is waiting to see one thing, it is the unity, the community, the expression of God’s love among God’s people and for the world. Scripture makes it very clear: ‘All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold their property and possessions to give to anyone who had need, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their numbers’ (Acts 2:44, 45, 47b).

If the world is waiting to see one thing, it is the unity, the community, the expression of God’s love among God’s people and for the world.

In a world that is broken by all kinds of racial tensions and wars, in a world that has the gap between the rich and the poor widening, the world is waiting to see the unity of God’s people and the practical expression of God’s love through his people, bringing hope to a world that is losing hope.

This Pentecost, I pray that the fire of God’s Holy Spirit will rest on you as an individual, reminding you of God’s faithfulness to his covenant in Christ.

I pray that God will broaden our vision to see the desire of God and the glory of God among the nations, the wonders of God communicated in all languages.

I pray that we will come back to the centrality of Christ and the cross in the gospel, and I pray that the beauty of unity—the beauty of God’s love among God’s people—will be the greatest testimony in a world that is looking for hope.

The Lord bless you—the Lord bless your church. And may the Spirit of God move to bring God’s glory upon the nations. Happy Pentecost Sunday—the Lord be with all.

Watch Nana’s full message:

This Pentecost, I pray that the fire of God’s Holy Spirit will rest on you as an individual, reminding you of God’s faithfulness to his covenant in Christ.

 

Nana Yaw Offei Awuku serves as the global associate director for generations for the Lausanne Movement. In this role he leads the Lausanne Younger Leaders Generation initiative (YLGen). He graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Massachusetts, US) with an MA in evangelism and world mission, and is currently a PhD candidate with Biola University. Nana is married to Beth, and they have three children: Christy-Joy, Eben-Joy, and Laura-Joy.

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