Pentecost & Communal Living
Written by: Louie Vetter on Monday, May 28th, 2012
The Pentecostal holidays are some of the most important days that Hutterites celebrate because those days commemorate the descent of the the Holy Spirit on Christ’s Apostles, the beginning of the early Church and the arrival of the first apostolic communities. Hutterites follow this example and share material goods in common.
After Jesus was crucified and then rose from the dead, he spent 40 days on earth showing himself to be alive to many and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
Then before Jesus ascended into heaven he instructed his apostles that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which was to be the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit.
The apostles then returned to Jerusalem and according to Acts 1:14 “continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.” And in Acts 2 we can read when the day of Pentecost came:
(2) “There came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. (3) And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. (4) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
This new gift of the Holy Spirit moved the apostles to preach to the masses in Jerusalem, (37) Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles “Men and brethren, what shall we do”?
(38)Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (39) For the promise is unto you, and all your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
One might ask; How does the Lord call us? The answer to that question is ‘through his Gospel’, as we see in 2 Thessalonians 2:14. “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” and as the apostle Paul says in Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
(41)Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about 3000 souls. (42)And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (44)And all that believed were together, and had all things common; (45)And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
So here we see that one of the very first acts that this new gift of the Holy Spirit compelled these believers to do was to form community and to hold all things in common.
We as Hutterites believe that this early act was very significant and was the will of God, even as David had foreseen and prophesied in Psalms 133; (1) Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
God’s ultimate plan for humans is to be and dwell with Him and all believers forever and ever in His majesty, and what better way to prepare for that glorious time then to practice community here on earth.
Where if we fault and hurt a fellow brother or member we reconcile.
Where we cannot simply ignore different personalities (that clash with ours) but learn to live together and sort out our differences.
Where all our effort and work is not for our personal gain, but for the gain of the whole community, the old and sick that can’t provide for themselves anymore, the widowed, the young…
Maybe that’s why the Holy Spirit compelled the very first Christians to form community. Maybe its a foreshadow of the kingdom that is to come