The nature and characteristics of ‘the new normal’ are on everyone’s minds as we long for an end to the current Coronavirus crisis. One feature that is likely to remain for some considerable time is social distancing – keeping 2 metres apart from everyone other than your own household.
Today is Pentecost Sunday when we remember and celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. I believe that the events then and subsequently, as recorded in the book of Acts, are ‘the new normal’ for the Christian church. Some of the features of this expected normality include:
- powerful, Biblical, convicting preaching;
- spiritual gifts, including prophecy and healing;
- much spiritual fruit, including many being saved, baptised and added to the church;
- the church being devoted to teaching, fellowship, the Lord’s Supper and prayer;
- deep care and love for each other; and
Clearly social distancing wasn’t part of this new normal – “when the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place” (Acts 2v1)!
We sometimes sing a song which includes the words “we need another Pentecost, send the fire today” and I fully understand the misgivings some may have about such a desire – surely Pentecost was a unique moment in Christian history? Whilst this is true, it wasn’t to be a one-off occasion – rather the dawning of a new age – and my heart is for us all to experience the normality of being filled with the Holy Spirit daily. So, please Lord, send the fire today. It is in that sense that we need another Pentecost!
Peace and Grace