All Together

Key Texts: Acts 2:1-2

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.

And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.

Today is Pentecost Sunday.

It is the traditional day in the Christian tradition when we pause to remember and celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the newly forming church in its infancy, just as Jesus promised.

The coming of the Spirit did a number of things.

The Spirit:

  • Empowered the believers to do all that Jesus had said they would be called to do in His name
  • Enabled them to come together in a way that had previously been difficult, breaking down barriers of language and culture, so that they could truly be one in the Spirit
  • Excited them to action as God’s people

Does it still do that for the Church today?  I believe it does.

These days some churches worry over declining membership and enthusiasm.  Others still enjoy large gatherings, but wonder what it is exactly that God is calling them to do in this time and place.

I believe the coming of the Holy Spirit offers answers for both those concerns.

If we would be faithful, effective, continuing to bring God glory in large and small ways alike, we must first and foremost come together in unified purpose: to follow God’s leading through the Spirit.

There is no place for doctrinal division and conflict.

Our world is a very hurting place – and we have the answer – in proclaiming God’s love and grace.

Let the Holy Spirit move us, guide us, strengthen us – now as the Spirit as done before.

The world awaits.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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