The disciples were together in prayer when the Holy Spirit came upon them as “tongues of fire.” The first gift the Spirit bestowed on them was the gift of speaking in many languages, but this gift would have borne little fruit unless the Spirit had also given them Courage.
A crowd gathered because of the noise the disciples were making. They could not contain the Spirit that had been given them. The Spirit drove them out of their safe space, out to where the people were. The Spirit wasn’t given to make them comfortable in their little, contained church. The Spirit demanded that they reach out and grow the Church by preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ.
This Pentecost Sunday, we receive the same great commission from Jesus. We are called by our Baptism to go forth, proclaiming the Gospel with our very lives. We are compelled to speak of Jesus every day of our lives. He is that important! Jesus was very clear about our need to go out and represent Him to the world: “You also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning,” and “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Mission is not optional; it is our great commission from our Head as Members of His Body.
Let us pray for the Spirit’s Gift of Courage, that we might go forth and bear witness to Christ in what we say and do.