Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” – John 20:21-22 (NRSV)
- What type of peace is Jesus offering?
- What does it mean to be sent out by Jesus?
- How important is it to you that Jesus sends you out?
- Do you experience the Holy Spirit as you go out?
- If so, how have you experienced the Holy Spirit?
On June 11, 1988 a concert called “Freedom Festival” was held in London. Musicians throughout the world came together to hold a concert in honor of Nelson Mandela on his 70th birthday and to make a stand against apartheid in South Africa. The concert began with Sting working the crowd into a frenzy.
Then, musician after musician took the stage to sing while speeches were given in between sets. Over 72,000 people were loving each minute watching it in person while it is estimated over a billion people watched on television across the world! When Stevie Wonder made a surprise appearance, the crowd was even more worked up.
Toward the end of the 10-hour concert, Dire Straits was performing and the crowd was singing to every song. Then the final act came on stage — Jessye Norman an American soprano. She was not considered a rock star, and as she slowly came on stage the crowd was getting restless, hoping Dire Straits would come back and sing another song.
Some people were shouting out for another musician while she positioned herself behind the microphone. Then in a beautiful a cappella she began to sing “Amazing Grace.”
When you hear her start singing you can hear the crowd still somewhat upset, and then quickly a hush falls over them. As she kept on going the crowd began to gently sing with her. Later, Norman confessed that she had no idea what power fell over the crowd that night.
There is no doubt that the power she experienced was the Holy Spirit, ensuring that people were still sent out from that concert to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. What was a grand concert became church because people experienced the Holy Spirit!
God is still at work all over the place, breathing the Holy Spirit onto us in order that we can be sent out to do the work of God. Today, let us pray that we caught up in this wave of glory that is the Holy Spirit!