Wednesday after Whit-sunday
Scripture: Acts 2:37-47 (NKJV)
2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
The Feast of Pentecost for the Jews was a festival to give thanks to the Lord for the firstfruits of the harvest. It was the middle feast of the three feasts set forth by Moses when all the Jews were to “appear before the Lord” (Ex. 23; Ex. 34). It came fifty days after the Feast of Unleavened bread, which happened at the time of the Passover. The last feast was the Feast of Ingathering, which was celebrated at the end of the year.
It is appropriate that, while the Jews were in Jerusalem giving thanks for the beginning of the harvest with the firstfruits that they had gathered, the Holy Ghost is poured out onto the first Jews to be converted to Christianity. Three thousand souls were added to the Christian Church that day; three thousand new converts. These were the firstfruits of the Christian Church.
They did the same thing that we do today, they were baptized, continued steadfastly in the Word, and celebrated their fellowship in the breaking of the bread of our Lord Jesus. They ate and drank His Body and Blood given in bread and wine for the remission of their sins.
Through these means the Church continued to grow. It grows in the same way today. Wherever two or three are gathered to hear God’s Word preached in its truth and purity, and the Sacraments are administered according to Christ’s institution, the Holy Ghost is there being poured out to add to the Church.
We pray: O God, who taught the hearts of Thy faithful people by sending to them the light of Thy Holy Spirit, bring us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort; through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.