20 May Pentecost: “One Sound”
Have you ever attended a musical symphony? Perhaps it was a famous symphonic orchestra whose concerts were pricy and tickets were difficult to come by. The symphonic hall was magnificently ornate with the entire hall acoustically designed to create the purest listening environment for everyone, leaving all waiting with great anticipation. The concert was perfection at its best!
But if you were to arrive early, you would hear orchestral sounds that wouldn’t immediately seem like the assembly of some of the world’s greatest living musicians. Instead, you would be greeted with a cacophony of sounds from each section of the orchestra as they rehearsed for the concert.
On the left you would hear the strings carefully tuning each string—while others rehearsed their parts. On the right, the mighty brass instruments would echo about the chamber running through sequences of notes as they went through their various warm-up scales.
In front, the woodwinds would squeak and squawk as they whetted their reeds until each note resonated clearly. And in the back, the beating of the percussion instruments would fill the room with the final component of the organized confusion as each musician readied themselves for the concert.
But suddenly, from stage-left, the conductor enters the concert hall, tapping his baton at his conductor’s music stand and immediately the hall quiets. With the lifting of his hands, the entire group moves as one, instruments at the ready as a silent count begins. And then on the prearranged down beat, the sounds pour fourth—one sound; one mighty, melodic sound of absolute musical precision. One sound created by the collective sound of every instrument playing their part; creating both tempo and sensory movement as the notes heaved and flowing over the ears of the awaiting listeners.
As we consider the power of the day of Pentecost, we cannot help to consider the sound of the Upper Room. The Upper Room was the place of their choosing to wait in obedience to the final instructions of the Lord in Acts 1:4, “…wait for the Promise of the Father.”
The Upper Room
As they waited, we can imagine the chaos and noise of those disciples—120 strong waiting in the upper room. The noise of the different groups praying, trying in vain to understand the fullness of the instructions from the Lord. And they waited until the Day of Pentecost had fully come, and they were of one accord.
And then suddenly, a sound came from Heaven that filled the room. The sound as of a rushing mighty wind gives us thoughts of being in the center of a great storm. At that predestined moment, the purpose of Pentecost was made manifest as tongues of fire rested upon each of the 120 and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit! When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
The crowd outside the room, devout men from every nation gathered to hear the sound emanating from the upper room—except that each could hear in His own language! This magnificent noise, this sound, allowed them to hear as one—with one sound, the testimony of Jesus Our Lord, the Christ.
It is in this moment that the plan of God took one giant step forward in the lives of mankind. For where Christ came and touched some—the Holy Spirit came that all might be touched. The price of Christ on the cross not only redeemed the lost—but created a oneness in His Spirit. We should never forget this while we are busy “doing church.”
For every church dispute and falling away we have the drawing of the Holy Spirit, pulling us back toward the center of the Lord’s Will, toward the one sound of Pentecost. We must no longer allow anything to hold us back from our fullness in God that Christ died for. We must be a people who find our hope and our joy in that same sound of the Holy Spirit. The great symphony of God, in the upper room of our own hearts and minds…the one sound of Christ.