Acts 2 is a very long chapter and to use it as a starting point to write a Pastoral Heartbeat is a very challenging task. I can only focus on the central theme of Acts 2 which is the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the Church on the Day of Pentecost. The Day of Pentecost is a Jewish feast held 50 days after Passover when the first fruits of barley harvest were presented to God. It is also called the day of the first fruits.
In the Old Testament, the Day of Pentecost was to remember the day in which the law was given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. In the New Testament, it commemorates the day when the holy spirit was poured on the disciples in Jerusalem after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Acts 2 we saw 3000 souls were added in one day on the day of Pentecost!
The believers in the early church continued steadfastly in fellowship with one another, believing in the same Jesus, sharing the proceeds from selling their possessions, share the same love for God, share the same desire to worship Him, share the same struggles and share the same victory (Acts 2 : 45 to 46).
Bible commentators also shared that Acts 2 shows us how the Holy Spirit reversed the curse of Babel and set up a new community through the gospel. The picture of this community is a reminder of what a church can be. The early church is something we can look back with a nostalgic setting of how a church community despite its many imperfections, should be.
In Acts 2:44-46 we see that 3000 new believers were baptized in one day and they were transformed in how they viewed their possessions and their time. They had compassion for one another, humility and their devotion to one another was truly inspiring. Contrast it to the individualism in present day churches!
In the book of Acts, we see how the church prayed, worshipped and praised God’s presence in their midst. The new Christian community in the early church experienced the presence of God deeply. As a church we may move through a series of sermons and intense bible studies for the entire year but we may never really experience God. Peter said we should long and crave for Jesus not just His words.
This new community was also not inward looking because in verse 47, it said “praising God and having favor with all the people And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” In other words, this new community is not just focused inwardly but always has a burden for the unsaved. They must have reached out, hence in this verse, it said, And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
We often talk about the early church but it is their devotion, selfless contributions and genuine faith among the believers that truly inspired us . Today it is still a beacon for all of us to learn and draw lessons from.
A/P Lee Fook Choon