Pfingsten 2011 - What Great Potential!

What Great Potential!

On every occasion when the people of God gather, with Christ in their midst, what vast possibilities exist! The community is more than an aggregation of individuals with their likes and dislikes, their gifts and hopes and dreams. Of course, there are individuals there and, in the plan of God, each is gifted for particular functions designed for the edification of all. Yet, the body is more than the sum of its parts, and the gathered community holds out hope for something new and powerful to happen, something that can transform all who participate in the moment and so help transform the world they inhabit.

Where two or three are gathered in the name of Christ - where people come together to worship the triune God - there should be a spirit of great expectancy. The reason is this: whatever the extent of our preparation for those occasions, however we assess the beauty and  form of that corporate experience, the one to whom we lift up our hearts, our voices and our minds, the one whose goodness leads us to experience the need to gather for worship, is present with us. And the presence of the Spirit quickens us, giving us fresh insights into the mind of Christ and providing us with new impetus for the exciting mission on which we are sent. We gather with gratitude for divine benevolence and in preparation for our going into the world as agents of God who sends us on mission in the name of Christ.

And this is the reason our gathering holds out such great potential. We come together as God's own people, created by the Father, loved by the Son, and enlightened and empowered by the Spirit. When the Spirit comes things do change. The face of the ground is renewed (Psalm 104:30) and the God, who is wrapped in light as a garment and who rides on the wings of the wind, turning wind and fire and flame into God's messengers (Psalm 104:1-4) surprises us! We receive a new lease on life. With our eyes wide open, we begin to see the world more clearly as the plane on which to work out the divine plan for the salvation of humankind and all creation. Then, we reach out to others across the barriers of language, ethnic identity and culture, and we share the good news that has the capacity to make all things new!

There is a sense in which every assembly for worship by the people of God is an experience of Pentecost. However, the rich gain this experience holds out may be lost in the mist of our unenlightened approach to the gathering and by the violent strength of our limited expectations of the gathering itself.

May our celebration of Pentecost 2011 remind us of the great potential that inheres in every gathering of the people of God for corporate worship. Our encounter with each other in the presence of the triune God gives us reason to say, "I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being" (Psalm 104:33).


Von Neville Callam, Generalsekretär des baptistischen Weltbundes (BWA) Infos zur BWA hier