As we count down towards the Olympics and prepare to host the world, my thoughts are directed towards the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. I have often asked people why did God choose to use the Jewish feast of Pentecost to give birth to his Church? In answering this question our attention must be drawn to God’s plan of saving both Jews and Greeks. This plan was revealed to Abraham in the promise that through him all the nations of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3). God’s plan of redemption, even though started with a nation, the end goal was that all humanity can have the chance to choose Jesus. In essence, the implication of the Church beginning on the day of Pentecost was that God was signifying that His Church was going to be culturally diverse.
The Jewish feast of Pentecost brought Jews who were from Palestine as well as Jews born outside of Palestine. Those from outside Palestine were those who have over the years been scattered or in Diaspora. It was these Jews and those who have decided to follow the Jewish religion that heard the disciples speaking in their language (Acts 2: 5-12). Perplexed by the phenomenon of the disciples speaking in their dialect, the people explained it away by jumping to conclusions that the disciples must have been drunk. Peter empowered by the power of the Holy Spirit seized the opportunity, explaining that it was too early to get drunk. He preached a powerful message that draw the audience to ask the question what shall we do? The result was the conversion of about 3 000 people.
Can the Churches in London be like Peter using the Olympics as an opportunity to engage the nations of the world with the Gospel? Some are definitely keen about the idea and are maximising the opportunity, while others could not be bothered. Those who could not be bothered have reasons. People are wondering how the UK is able to fund this momentous occasion in the midst of the austerity facing us as a country. Others, particularly those who live far away from where any of the action will be taking place in London cannot understand how their Church can engage with the event. Whatever reasons we have for not engaging with the games, let us remember that this might be the only opportunity in our life time to experience all nations coming to our shores. The last time the Olympics happen in the UK was in 1948, therefore let us like Peter discern the times and get involved. Who knows what fruit this might bare?