There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear.
1 John 4:18a
Peter stood with the other eleven apostles. He raised his voice and declared, “Judeans and everyone living in Jerusalem! Know this! Listen carefully to my words! These people aren’t drunk, as you suspect; after all, it’s only nine o’clock in the morning! Rather, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young will see visions. Your elders will dream dreams. Even upon my servants, men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will cause wonders to occur in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and a cloud of smoke. The sun will be changed into darkness, and the moon will be changed into blood, before the great and spectacular day of the Lord comes. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
This is one of those funny moments in scripture! As a response to those who claimed that the Spirit-filled disciples were drunk, Peter says: “They aren’t drunk; it’s only 9 AM! Where do you think you are, the Daytona 500?” Ok, Peter didn’t say the second part, but he was thinking it.
Peter continues by quoting from Joel, proclaiming that God will pour out God’s Spirit so that God’s followers would receive a new vision. Peter believes that the Spirit is poured out into this new church. All of Christ’s followers are called to proclaim, to dream big, and to speak truth.
There’s an important pronoun in this proclamation—your. Your sons and daughters, your young, your elders… This isn’t just an elect group of others. This is the responsibility of each of us. It’s natural to ask, “Me? Am I enough?” Am I (good, strong, smart, likeable) enough?
It’s hard to say whether any one of us can live up to our own standards. However, if you open yourself to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, you are always enough to be one of God’s earthly signs that God is doing a new thing.
Gracious God, I give you thanks for the birthday of the Church. Thank you for all of those who have shared the good news of Jesus for 2000 years. Thank you for doing a new thing! I want to be a part of the prophecy. Use my voice and my dreams, and encourage me to never hold anything back from you. Amen.
Spread the news of Christ into your corners of the world.
Don’t worry about whether you have what it takes.
You are God’s beloved child, and you have been gifted with all you need to follow Jesus faithfully.
Fear less and love more.