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“PENTECOST”

Meandering Melodies



 

 

The dear sister’s earnest question surprised me as we met on the Annual Meeting grounds recently. She expressed appreciation for the articles I’ve written about the Annual Meeting. Then she said, “Did anyone invite them to come?” My surprise must’ve shown on my face as I repeated her question. Then she said again that she wanted the people to be invited to come! My mind immediately started thinking about this. I told this dear sister that in the past the invitation had been extended and people had been invited to come. I also mumbled around about how some didn’t share the same desire that she had while realizing at the same time I may not have been very clear about that this time. I’m sorry for that lapse. It was a public worship service and you would have been welcome to be there. My parents were at the tent Monday night for the evening service. They said there were a lot of visitors that night. In fact, dad said they set up over 100 chairs around the outside the tent and they were all filled!

Annual Meeting scenes – our youngest grandson with our daughter Helen. -Photo by Susan Holsinger

Annual Meeting scenes – our youngest grandson with our daughter Helen. -Photo by Susan Holsinger

On Wednesday, the day the Dining Tent was raised, a dear reader of this column called to ask a few questions. It was raining that morning. He said, “Is this happening rain or shine?!” To which I replied, “Yes, it’s happening rain or shine!”

Another dear elderly reader wanted to come see the tent raised but walking on uneven ground was challenging. She asked if she could watch from her car. “Yes, you certainly can watch from your car and hopefully you are close enough to see it,” I replied. She sent me a very happy message saying she was there and got to see the tents go up! She shared that the brethren who were parking made sure she had a good spot to watch everything that was happening. That made me very happy.

One of the reasons for this Yearly Meeting is to come together on Pentecost to collectively celebrate the birthday of the church. The account in Acts is read of how the brethren were all in one accord in one place when the Holy Spirit was poured out on them. It was made manifest by cloven tongues of fire and every man heard the preaching in their own tongue or language. That must’ve really been something!

An ariel view of the Meeting Grounds 2024. -Photo by Susan Holsinger

An ariel view of the Meeting Grounds 2024. -Photo by Susan Holsinger

Let’s think back for a moment about what happened before this. After 3 1/2 years of ministry, Jesus was brutally put to death by crucifixion. Even though Jesus had told them He had to go away so the Comforter could come, they didn’t grasp the significance of what He was saying.

The days following the crucifixion were hard days for those who followed Him. The grave could not hold Him! Hallelujah! He is risen! Their joy was full that Jesus was once again in their midst.

The Bible doesn’t give a lot of details about the 40 days Jesus was here before He ascended to the Father. We know He appeared unto the 12 disciples several times. He had a special encounter with Thomas. John 20:30 says “And many signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.”

The Young Folks gathering under their tent on a farm south of Rossville. -Photo by Susan Holsinger

The Young Folks gathering under their tent on a farm south of Rossville. -Photo by Susan Holsinger

Acts 1:2 gives further witness by declaring “to whom also He shewed himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”

Have you ever wondered what the disciples thought when Jesus ascended to Heaven to be with His Father? They had just been asking Him if He was going to restore the kingdom of Israel. Somehow, they still didn’t grasp that the kingdom He came to create was in the hearts of men; in fact, His new law would be written there. Jesus was the fulfillment of the old law. He told them He had so much more for them and that they were going to receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon them.

And what Jesus said would happen did happen! They were gathered in Jerusalem. They were waiting and praying and preaching. They were continuing the work by selecting Matthias to be numbered with them. The Bible says when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all in one accord in one place (120 of them). And suddenly it happened! There was a sound from heaven as a rushing mighty wind. It filled the whole house where they were sitting. Cloven tongues like fire sat upon each of them. They were filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

When this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded because every man heard them speak in their own language. How could these men from Galilee speak the language they knew from their birth in so many different places?

Peter gives the best sermon in Acts 2:14-36. Take a moment to read it. When the multitude heard this sermon, their hearts were pricked! Yes, Annual Meeting is a big deal. The planning, the preparation, the work that is done; it is a big deal! Why? Why go to all this work, why all this preparation and planning? Why is it such a big deal?

Because men’s hearts are pricked!

These early brethren cried out to Peter and the rest of the apostles with a question that is still echoing down through the ages of time! “Men and Brethren, what shall we do?!!”

Peter was ready with a simple yet vital answer.

“Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

What a response there was! Three thousand souls were baptized that day! Imagine what a beautiful scene that was!

Then the account in Acts makes this proclamation; “and the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Now that’s a big deal! To our Lord and Savior be glory, both now and forever!

The Amish commemorate the ascension each year. Their businesses are closed, and they gather together with their families and do special things.

The Brethren commemorate Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out and the Church, the “Bride of Christ,” began. This is our Father’s work and it is marvelous in our eyes!

Preaching in the Council Tent on Sunday reminded us of some of the ways the Holy Spirit works.

One brother quoted this little ditty –

“Two natures dwell within my breast.

One is cursed, One is blessed.

One I love, One I hate.

The one I feed will dominate.”

He talked about wielding and yielding.

Wield is when we use our own strength to make something happen.

Yield is when we use God’s strength.

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is more of a yielding instead of a wielding.

“And His that gentle voice we hear,

Soft as the breath of even.

That checks each fault, that calms each fear,

And whispers us of Heaven.”

The weather over the meeting was perfect. Some would even say it was hot! There might be proof of that in the 60 gallons of ice cream the Lions Club sold in one day making a record-breaking day for them!

When you read this, we will have been to our Annual Meeting held in Cedarville University,

Ohio. No, we don’t put up big tents or have tent raising but it’s still a big deal!

It’s a time when we gather together collectively to worship the Lord and praise Him for the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit.

It’s a time of revival, a time of spiritual renewal, a time of fellowship, a time of communion, a time of connecting with the dear brethren and sisters from many different states, a time of testimony and reflection and even tears.

We expect the cup of our heart to be filled to the brim and run completely over! That’s the way God works! He fills up our cups. He gives us strength in this evil day. He gives us courage to stand against the onslaught of evil. He calls to us continually to “Come!”

This is your invitation! Right now! Today! You are invited to “Come and dine!” Come and join in the blood washed throng with those who are on the straight and narrow way the leads to life everlasting!

Come! And again, I say, “COME!”

It’s a big deal!

Affirmation for today:

“Hark! I hear our Captain calling!”

FYI:

Check out my booth #663 at “Sell It Here” in Lafayette!!!

Meandering Melodies Books and 3 CD’s are available.

Also, Do-It-Yourself Grief Kits.

Songs are available on iTunes, and Spotify etc. under Holsingers Heartfelt Harmonies.

Call/text 765-427-6296

Email: susan.holsinger@gmail.com

Website: www.SusanHolsinger.com

“Life is about seizing the moment when the opportunity presents itself!”

Susan Holsinger