Wisdom for the Week
Let’s Go Out!
May 23, 2021
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NRSV)
On the Day of Pentecost, the disciples of Jesus Christ – 120 men and women – received the Gift of the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus had promised. They’d been waiting together in the Upper Room for ten days for this promised Gift, singing, praying, and praising, and finally on Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon them in thrilling, unmistakable, empowering ways.
Peter’s sermon to the onlookers who had gathered to investigate the commotion, testified of the glory of God and that Jesus Christ was both Lord and Savior. Three thousand men and women came to believe on Jesus that day, and it became the birthday of The Church.
I imagine that the Upper Room was a glorious place. Believers gathered together in celebration and thanksgiving, and now forever marked by a shared, common experience. I imagine that peace, love, and joy abounded as they reveled in the Spirit now made real to them. And I imagine that it must have been hard for them to even think about leaving that place where they’d shared so many memories and had such a life-changing experience.
But leave they did. They went back to their communities, and to the places where people gathered, taking the good news of the Gospel with them, and testifying to the saving power of Jesus Christ. And the Bible tells us that many souls were added to the Kingdom daily (Acts 2:47).
It was in this way that God’s Church grew. Not because they remained in the Upper Room, but because they went into the world! Not because they stayed in, but because they got out! Yes, the Church – our buildings, our members – are wonderful, Spirit filled communities, full of common memory and shared experiences, and we are grateful to God for our gathering spaces and our gathered people. But let us acknowledge that there is a great big world out there needing and yearning for what we have found: salvation, community, love, joy, and peace. We’ve been in; now let’s go out!
The Holy Spirit gives us the power to be witnesses to Jesus Christ in our homes, in our cities, in our country, and in all the world. To be living, breathing examples of God’s grace., mercy, and justice. To preach the Gospel, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to set the captives free, and to declare the goodness of The Lord. Let’s go out!
This Pentecost season, I invite you to seek the infilling of the Holy Spirit in your own life. Seek God earnestly for this promised Power! And I invite you to think about ways that you might “leave the Upper Room” and go out, taking your witness with you, and walking with God wherever God leads so that many more might follow and join us back in Temple, praying, praising, and giving glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let’s go out!
About the Author:
Bishop Leah Daughtry is the Presiding Prelate of The House of the Lord Churches. Where faith meets politics. Womanist, public theologian, entrepreneur. God chaser, Justice seeker. Organizer, activist, author. Daughter, sister, auntie, mother-by-oath, friend. Yarn Addict. Shoe queen. Wearer of Pink & Green.