We celebrated Pentecost last Sunday. In the sermon, the singing, and the praying, the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit was confirmed. The presence of the Holy Spirit and the display of his power led the believers at Pentecost to “praise God and to demonstrate his goodness to everyone.” (Acts 2:47)
This sounds like the purpose of the church. We, the church, are to worship God and then find ways to serve him. But first, according to Peter, we must get our heart right with God. Acts 2:38 says to “Change your hearts and lives. Each of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
After getting right with God these early believers fell in love with each other. Okay, that isn’t exactly what the Bible says, but that is what happened. Acts 2:42-47 tells us how this love was manifested. Some translations say they were well thought of by the community. As a result of demonstrating their love for God and each other, others were brought into the community of faith.
I submit to you that during this time of isolation the St. Andrew’s congregation has “praised God and demonstrated his love to everyone.” You, the congregation, have worshipped God in spite of being separated from each other. You have “demonstrated his goodness” when you provided meals for frontline personnel and for families with economic challenges. You demonstrated his goodness when you provided funds for housing issues and when you came out to support the live streaming of worship. Also included are the ways you did ministry to and with every age level in the church. Staying in touch with each other electronically was not perfect, but it has allowed church management and ministry to continue.
Only God knows what the future holds, but we know that whatever it is we will continue to “praise God and demonstrate his goodness to everyone.” How do I know this? Because we are the church.