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Introduction: The Road to Pentecost

The following is an excerpt from The Road to Pentecost book by Pastor Hunter and Pastor Dan. Pick up your copy after the service this Sunday!


INTRODUCTION

For many Christians, Easter Sunday punctuates the liturgical calendar—a calendar that annually rehearses the great events of Jesus’ life from Advent to Easter. We eat our remaining peeps, put away the egg dye, and settle down to ordinary time until Advent circles again, forgetting to celebrate two great events: Christ’s ascension into Heaven and Pentecost.

Christ Church, as a three streams congregation, is learning to walk in the full expression of liturgical, evangelical, and Pentecostal (also known as charismatic) life, but we cannot escape our birthing and historical identification in the Pentecostal stream. Our institutional DNA is made up of a rich history of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Pentecostalism, as culture, has a complicated history. Those of us with experience in the Pentecostal stream know well that the promise of the Holy Spirit’s prophetic revelation has been dangerously tempting to many a clerical charlatan. But, in spite of human marring of what God meant for good, Pentecostalism as theology and practice, is alive and well. The same Holy Spirit that visited the believers at Pentecost is the same Holy Spirit that visits us today. The church still has need for every gift that the Holy Spirit gives.

At Christ Church, we’re not bound by the cultural elements of traditional American Pentecostalism—though we love many of them, particularly the wonderful songs. Much deeper than cultural expression, we are determined to stand behind the theology that the Holy Spirit moves through the church giving some a word in tongues and others an interpretation. Some a word of knowledge and others a prophecy.

Many of you have found that experience in the Pentecostal stream has been nothing but winsome and wonderful. However, some of you feel burned out, burned over, and burned up. And still others of you are totally unfamiliar with the culture, theology, and practice of Pentecostal belief. But for all of us—truly, all of us—the Holy Spirit breathes invitation.

The Holy Spirit invites us to open our hearts to receive all that He would give us.

The Holy Spirit invites us to push the reset button on our expectation of what a Spirit-filled life is all about.

Finally, the Holy Spirit invites us to a renewal and deepening of His gifts.

This book is meant to be a devotional tool as we journey from Easter to Pentecost. There are weekly meditations to supplement our time with God each week between Sundays. There are also several brief articles focused on the Holy Spirit that you may find useful as we, together, prepare our hearts for Pentecost.

Our prayer is that as a church family we will see the Holy Spirit fill us with gifts and graces of His presence.

Consecrate this season with us as a season of expectation—a Holy Spirit advent—as we walk together on the Road to Pentecost.

—Dan Scott & Hunter Mobley, Epiphany 2015