Ancient Wisdom: June 8, 2014 (Year A)

Read:  Numbers 11-24-30

Meditation:  “Distributing the Spirit”

Today is Pentecost Sunday, the day we often call “the birthday of the church.”  Our minds go immediately to Acts 2, as we recall the Spirit’s being poured out on everyone in the upper room.

But today’s Old Testament lesson reminds us that God did not wait until the Day of Pentecost to distribute the Spirit to a community.  It happened when Moses needed help to lead the people of Israel.  God told Moses to gather seventy elders, and when they were together, God took some of the Spirit that was on Moses and put it on them.

This is the pentecostal principle:  when we need help, we find it in Spirit-filled community.  And when God wants to do a new thing in community (as on the Day of Pentecost), God pours out the Spirit on everyone.  Privatized spirituality and isolated leadership are not the marks of God’s people.

About jstevenharper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 31 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
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