This text is used for the Lectionary Year A on June 4, 2017.
The Lord Jesus always keeps his promises in his time and in his ways. He promised after he went away, the Holy Spirit would come to his disciples as a Helper to comfort, empower, and guide them in their gospel witness and work (John 16:5-15; Acts 1:1-8). On the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1), the timing was right for the fulfillment of this eternity-altering promise to unfold. The symbolism intertwined with the fulfillment of this promise is worth noticing while watching this holy moment initiated “from heaven” and instituted “on earth” take place (cf. Matthew 6:10).
Luke tells his readers the effects surrounding the Holy Spirit’s entrance came “from heaven” that included sounds like “a mighty rushing wind,” sights of “divided tongues as of fire” and results of those in the room who “began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:2-4). This promise was fulfilled after Jesus had ascended to heaven. Once Jesus was present in heaven, the creative power of God’s Spirit came down “from heaven” to enable the next phase of God’s redemptive work to be done “on earth.” The presence of God could begin in a new way on this historically significant day “on earth as it is in heaven.”