Today is the 75th anniversary of World War II D-Day; the first day of the Allied Forces invasion of Normandy. If that doesn’t mean much to you – take a moment to read Wikipedia or some other historical summary. It is always good to learn!
As many of you know, I enjoy history in general and WWII history in particular. If you have interests like mine then June 6, 1944 is a very important date. This is a day in history that has impact upon today both regarding freedom and the cost of that freedom. I grew up with stories of the Normandy landing from a neighbor and a great uncle of mine. Both men would never fail to choke up as they told me of the friends that they lost attempting to establish a beachhead.
A common theme of the men I have encountered that fought in WWII and other wars is that they want to live their lives honoring those that lost their lives in combat. They cannot bring them back, but they can at least say thank you as they remember and live the days they have been given. They can also tell the story that shaped who they became and why it matters.
In many ways, this is similar to our perspective following Pentecost. Acts 2 tells about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for all just as Jesus promised through the laying down of His life. He brought us freedom, hope, joy and an incredible story to tell. Jesus invaded the enemy’s territory and conquered everything that could destroy us.
It was 50 days after Easter and the followers of Jesus were gathered in Jerusalem. They were waiting and wondering what God was going to do and how He was going to do it. Then it happened! The Comforter, the Counselor or the Holy Spirit, whichever name you use doesn’t matter, was poured out on the followers of Jesus. The message of Jesus was proclaimed in a way that could be understood by all and people believed! The story of the Savior was going out to everyone; whether they were from near or far. The invitation to a life of freedom and fullness was being given to all – in their own language.
Today we are the ones that have been given the task of “storming the beach” for people imprisoned by fear, pride, loneliness, emptiness and lives that are ultimately going nowhere fast. We are called by our God to lay down our lives for others. This is done by giving our time, our resources and even giving up our preferences so that others can meet the God that loves them.
If this seems too big or too complex of a task for you to accomplish, then you are in the right frame of mind. It is out of this very true perspective, that we clearly appreciate and place our hope in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is the outpouring of God’s Spirit into His people. The guidance and power we need lives within us. We humbly step out in faith and reach into the lives of our families or friends because we are following Jesus.
This Pentecost event matters to us today and that is what we are considering on Sunday. See you then!
Today is our spiritual D-day!
Pastor Nick Mundis