The day of Pentecost was known as the day of harvest. According to the Old Testament, the Pentecost was one of the three major festivals where Jews expected something new to happen. Pentecost represented the first fruits of the harvest of God’s salvation. It marked the start that things were about to change.
In the New Testament, Pentecost marked the beginning of the church – the growth of the kingdom of God through the contagious outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The birth of the church began with the Spirit changing the old from the new. The Spirit built the church on God’s terms, not ours.
In today's church, the Pentecost fire has been active amongst our Latino brothers and sisters. Under the leadership of the Consejo Latino board, a joint agreement led the way for twenty-five churches in Venezuela to join the Christian Reformed Church. Through training and discipleship, the churches officially joined Classis California South in 2022.
One of the leaders, Mithra Villafane shared in 2021, “I was an outsider, too, when I came into the CRC 18 years ago.” Now she heads the recruitment for Consejo Latino. When she joined the CRC, she accepted the theology and practices that were different to her, and she has come to deeply love them.
“It’s the same as family values.” Villafane says. “We train people to respect these family values. We have a beautiful denomination, very warm. [The people entering] feel respected, valued, and that is so important.” (The Banner; Feb. 26, 2021)
My friends, the Holy Spirit continues to do things that can’t be explained or figured out. Yes, we have minds and intellect that we must use to His glory, but the mystery of God’s divine action in the world isn’t about what we can wrap around our minds. The church is more than buildings, budgets and bills. It’s always about people! He’s always up to something new in order to help us notice the outbreak of the ever moving and expanding Kingdom of God.
Let the church say, “Amen!”