On Pentecost Sunday we celebrate the day that God sent the Holy Spirit to the followers of Jesus and gave them power to share the gospel message in every language. He had poured out His Spirit to all at the same time to prove that the gospel message was for everyone equally.
17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
On Pentecost as we celebrate our spiritual equality, we must face the realities of ongoing inequality among people. This week we saw again the horrors of police brutality in the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. In front of a crowd with cell phones filming him, a white police officer held his knee on the throat of an unarmed, handcuffed black man lying on the ground pleading for air. The whole world has now witnessed the murder of George Floyd. That officer is now charged with third degree murder, but that will not bring George Floyd back to his family.
The pent-up pain, and anger of African American people and their allies in response to this evil is now exploding all over our country. Police brutality is real and nothing new. On August 28, 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his “I Have A Dream Speech” said “There are those who ask the devotees of civil rights ‘When will you be satisfied?’ We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.”
We are blessed in Lincolnton to have a police chief like Rodney Jordan who leads his department in partnering with the community in ways that keep us safe while respecting the rights and dignity of all people. Most police departments work hard to prevent police brutality but the pervasive racism in our world that causes some officers to abuse their power against minority people must be stopped.
Want to do something to celebrate our equality in the Spirit shown on Pentecost? Then speak the truth about racism with power against those who continue to promote it. It is not just police officers – it is anyone who treats another person as unworthy of dignity, respect, and equality based on their race.
On Pentecost, Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and given power to spread the good news of God’s love for all people. He had a revelation that Jews and Gentiles are equal in the sight of God, speaking truth with power to the Jewish culture of the day in Acts 10:34-35 “Peter began to speak: “I now realize that it is true that God treats everyone on the same basis. 35 Those who fear him and do what is right are acceptable to him, no matter what race they belong to.”
The Holy Spirit can help you speak truth with power against any bias, hatred, or discrimination on the basis of race, gender, gender identity, age, class, nationality, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, or any other characteristic of human diversity because God poured out His Spirit on all people equally.
Rev. Smith is Associate Pastor of Exodus Missionary Outreach Church in Hickory and can be reached at 828-962-8196, email@example.com or P.O. Box 3311 Hickory NC 28603