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Crucified Before the Foundation of the World

"Crucified before the foundation of the world." What does that mean? How could that even happen? Historians and archaeologists ta...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Cross and The Flame

Acts 2:1-13 describes the scene in Jerusalem when the Holy Spirit fell on the believers in Christ who were gathered as he had instructed before he ascended into heaven.  It is not a lengthy passage.  The rest of the chapter, another 34 verses, describes Peter's sermon and the early coming together of believers to form the Church.

I belong to the United Methodist Church.  The Cross and the Flame symbolize the United Methodist Church around the world.  The cross attests to our faith that Jesus is the Savior, the Lord of the universe.  He died to redeem people from sin.  The flame represents the action of the Holy Spirit in empowering the church to carry the message of Jesus.  The symbol reminds the members of the centrality of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to our lives.  There are other symbols that remind us who we are in Christ, but this one speaks to who we are as a Church.

Today is Pentecost Sunday.  This day comes fifty days after Easter.  For Jews it marked the day they celebrated in honor of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments.  That is why there was such a large gathering of people from all over the world in Jerusalem.  That is why it is so important that this huge body of people witnessed the descent of the Spirit.  The miracle of language that allowed the believers who were inspired by the Spirit to witness to the visitors of foreign lands planted seeds of faith in far-flung places.  The Church grew exponetially from that time. 

As I study and pray and work in my church, I am impressed that the Holy Spirit was not a phenomenon for an ancient sect.  It is still the power of God for a new generation.  The Holy Spirit does unexpected things in expectant people.  Praise God!
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