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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

25 April 2012: Brian Blogg, Petersfield United Reformed Church

Are we up to the challenge?

It was just at this time of year almost 2000 years ago that those first Jewish followers of Jesus had been celebrating Easter or, as they would have called it, Passover. But Passover itself had been far from a celebration for they had seen their Master, the one in whom they had pinned their hopes, taken and crucified by the Romans.

The resurrection a couple of days later may have gladdened their hearts but it hardly changed their behaviour, for a week later when, with the exception of Thomas, they had all seen the risen Christ they were still to be found behind closed doors. The next five weeks saw them being taught by Jesus 'about the kingdom of God' but still they were not ready to face the world. Then, as they stood overlooking Jerusalem, Jesus told them to go back into the city and wait. Apparently knowing the facts wasn't enough for he said "wait for the gift my Father promised". In obedience they did just that. Waited for another ten days until on the Jewish feast of Pentecost they received in quite a dramatic fashion that gift; the gift of the Holy Spirit indwelling and empowering.

They were now ready to face the world. Emboldened by the Spirit and ready to die if need be they went out to the people, performed miracles and preached with tremendous power that sins could be forgiven and new life was to be found only in the name of Jesus.

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