Week 7: A New Temple

May 23, 2021
Primary Text: Acts 2:1-21
Big Idea of the Message:  In Pentecost, a new day had begun, a new revelation that God’s dwelling place was within all people.

The Pentecost story is the fulfillment of a prophecy from the book of Joel in which it is declared that in “the last days,” the Spirit would be poured out from heaven on all people equally, and the systems and structures that had divided humans for so long would be dissolved. God would be revealed not to reside in temples made by humans, but rather in the true temples of the Spirit, human beings themselves.

God’s love is not limited to the people of Israel.  God’s presence is not limited to the temple.  The prophecies of Pentecost were prophecies of a day when the temple, with all its exclusive rights and potentially burdensome religious laws, would be done away with, and the revelation of God’s presence in all and through all would be experienced.  In Acts 2, a new community was birthed, one not bound by law but liberated by grace.  Together, united in the midst of all our diversity, we become the new temple through which the glory of God is made manifest on earth as in heaven.

All are welcome to be part of this new reality, and in fact, all already are a part of it.  The question is whether or not our eyes and ears are open to see and perceive the new reality.  After all, Jesus said we must be spiritually reborn in order to see the kingdom of God pulsating around us.

Discussion Questions:

  • Is the Pentecost story relevant to the life of Christians today?
  • Why is it important for us to remember this event each year?
  • Have we returned to some of our old ways—pre-Pentecost? If so, how?
  • Where do you see opportunities for coming together in unity that might have been neglected? 
  • How can we live into the Pentecost way of life more fully?
  • If we were to honor each human being as a vessel for the Spirit of God, how would that change how we interact with people we do not always see eye to eye with or might not understand?  How does that change how we view ourselves?
  •  Close your time together in prayer.