The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Gifts for growing community

Various abilities combine to make Jesus' word heard

As the rapidly forming Jesus community “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching” (Acts 2:42), members were taught some life-giving things about the Spirit. Jesus had taught his disciples much about the Spirit, and this teaching was shared throughout the community. The center of this teaching was that the Spirit was the power, purpose and presence of God, and that the work of the Spirit could be recognized in individuals as well as in community.

As they taught about the Spirit, the apostles referred to an event that was powerful, revealing and defining for them all. Each incorporated his remembrance of a gathering one day at what had come to be known as the House of the Holy Spirit. By all accounts the upper room of the house was fairly crowded, filled with an atmosphere of anxiety and anticipation. Many in the room were present also a few days earlier as Jesus gathered the disciples for the final time. He taught them once more about the Spirit and told them to wait in Jerusalem until the Spirit appeared to them. They would then receive the power and direction they needed to continue the ministry for which they had been chosen. So in reluctant obedience to Jesus, they nervously awaited the Spirit’s arrival.

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