In the middle of waiting for the Holy Spirit…

Middle Places Archive

Originally published May 5, 2013 on middleplaces.com

The Middle Places theme for May is Celebration!  We celebrated CHRIST’s Birth at Christmas and walked with HIM to the Cross at Easter.  We waited for HIM, rejoiced when HE arose! We cried with the disciples, “He is risen, indeed!” …now what?  Where do we go from here?

The Book of Acts records that CHRIST spent forty days with HIS disciples teaching them about the Kingdom of God. An important part of this time was the Great Commission, as Christ commanded them to go into all the world and preach the Good News…

but they were to wait…

for the HOLY SPIRIT to come…

How often we get a message for the LORD and we are ready to charge out the door…

but HE commands us to wait…

wait for the Power,

wait for the fullness of time,

wait for HIM!

The LORD created time and uses it at HIS WILL to signify and connect things for us. Most associate the term Pentecost with the coming of the HOLY SPIRIT described in the second chapter of Acts and this is correct but the richness of the time is so much deeper!

Jesus’ celebration of Passover with his disciples is a traditional part of HOLY WEEK but most are unaware of the Old Testament significance of Pentecost and its relation to Passover. Pentecost is the literal Greek translation for “the fiftieth day” and the Jewish celebration of Shavuot or the “Festival of Weeks”.  Shavuot commemorates the day Moses came down Mount Sinai. This is often referred to as the conclusion of Passover because the purpose of the Passover was not just to free the Israelites physically from the Egyptians but to reunite them spiritually to YHWH as HIS Chosen People. The Giving of the Law signified this unique relationship and the completion of the Passover Purpose.

So for those of us counting and considering the significance of Sacred Time: Jesus died, arose and taught HIS disciples for forty days before ascending back to heaven.  He told them to wait for the HOLY SPIRIT. The Pentecost was celebrated fifty days after the second day of Passover. Jesus taught his disciples for forty days so the celebration of Pentecost occurred about ten days after Jesus returned to heaven.

The disciples were assembled and celebrating Pentecost (the giving of the Law) when the HOLY SPIRIT came down and filled them.

There are significant similarities and differences between the two Pentecosts.  Both are evidences of the LORD coming down with a mighty rushing wind and fire but the second time was not upon a far off mountain where the people could not approach.  The SPIRIT filled their room and actually rested upon the worshipers within the walls of their celebration.  The first time there was One Voice from the mountain; the second time there were many voices and they spoke in multiple and diverse languages, confirming the command of the Great Commission to go and tell the Good News!

This year Pentecost falls on May 19, 2013.  For those of us counting the time, waiting for HIS RETURN let us be ready… Easter was not the end but only the beginning of this adventure… Are you still walking with HIM?  Are you still seeking HIM as you did in the days leading up to Christmas and then to Easter?  The gift of the Holy Spirit signified the beginning of the Great Commission and the opportunity for most of us (Gentiles) to be included in the covenant.

Walk with the HOLY SPIRIT during these days coming up to the celebration of Pentecost. Ask HIM to reveal to YOU the GRACE FULL balance of the Old and New Testaments and the significance of Sacred Time devoted and holy to HIM.  Continue with our celebration of May, the Good News and God’s love for you today!

Keep Walking

Middle Places Archive

Originally Published March 31, 2013 on Middleplaces.com

Jesus traveled the countryside
…walking toward His purpose and destiny…

Along the way He healed the lame and blind
…and He kept walking…

and crowds would gather to hear Him teach
…and He kept walking…

He taught many lessons along the dusty roads to HIS disciples…trying to help them understand
…and He kept walking…

And all the way, they were heading for that particular time and place outside the walls of Jerusalem
…and He kept walking…

The crowds waved and shouted Hosannas even then Jesus knew that their hearts were fickle and they would turn on Him…
…and He kept walking…

Jesus knew that every step He took was one step closer to His death.
…and He kept walking…

He knew as He discipled them that one of His companions on the road would betray Him unto death
…and He kept walking…

He knew that even as He washed their feet that they did not understand the service He was meant to perform
…and He kept walking…

As He broke the bread and drank the wine and heard their declarations of fidelity that even His closest confidants would scatter and hide.
…and He kept walking…

He knew that He would be falsely tried and convicted
…and He kept walking…

He knew the struggle was not against flesh and blood but against cosmic powers over this present darkness
…and He kept walking…

He knew that although it was a spiritual battle there was a requirement of blood to be spilled and flesh to be torn
…and He kept walking…

He knew that His mother would not understand… He knew that His friends would feel abandoned
…and He kept walking…

He knew that the excruciating pain of the cross would be light compared to the turning away of His Father
…and He kept walking…

He knew that the story did not end on Friday but Sunday was coming
…and He kept walking…

He knew that if He was faithful to the end, His joy would be complete and redemption would be made possible
…and He kept walking…

He knew that when all of it was through, He would return to the One from whom He came
…and He kept walking…

He knew that upon the appointed time He would return again…
…and He kept walking…

Matthew 30:25-30 “At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was Your gracious will. All things have been handed over to Me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”

He invited me to walk with Him… to be “yoked” (coupled, paired, joined securely) to share the weight of the cross with Him
…and He kept walking…

He invited me knowing that at times He would have to carry me
…and He kept walking… am I willing to walk step by step with Him?

He invites me to care for the sick, the brokenhearted, the least of these
…and keep walking with Him…

He invites me to take the bread and the wine knowing that at times even my closest brothers & sisters will fail me
…and keep walking with Him…

He invites me to know that I will be mocked and despised for submitting to this yoke
…and keep walking with Him…

He invites you to walk with us… to accompany us through a lost and sin darkened world
…In the Spirit of Christ we will keep walking…

For the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross. For the joy of reconciling us to the Father, Jesus endured the cross.
…In the Spirit of Christ we will keep walking..

Inspired by a passage in Emilie Griffin’s book “Small Surrenders: A Lenten Journey”