Pentecost Sunday — New Day Sermon
May 24, 2015
John 15.26-27; 16.4b-15
• Another festival w/ murky history
• We struggle to understand
Roots in Jewish history – often the case
• Celebrates gift of Law — Mt. Sinai
• 50 days after Passover
• Pente – kostas – literally 50 days
• Shavuot – Festival of Reaping
• Observed harvest of grain — 50 days growth
• So what about for us?
??? QUESTION ???
What does Pentecost means for you?
Gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church
• Tongues of fire present
• Interpretation of Languages
• BABEL REVERSED!
• Birthday of Church
• Soooo … that makes me think?
??? QUESTION ???
What does Gift of the Spirit mean for you?
Lutherans aren’t often very good at “Spirit”talk
• Much more practical & theological
• Grace …. Worship …. Service …. Education
• Spirit’s kinda-sorta in there.
• But don’t ask us to talk about it, right?
• I’m serious – Where is the Spirit in your life?
• “What does the Holy Spirit look like?”
In 1920 Habib Hazim born in Syria
• Raised in Greek Orthodox Church
of Antioch home
• Became a priest
• Eventually rose to Patriarch – highest service
• Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch
• GOCofA trace their mission to St. Paul.
• Specific verse from Paul’s letter to Galatians
For Ignatius, drew him out of his cloistered life into the life of the real world.
Consumed with the real questions of real people.
In 1968, at the Ecumenical Council of Churches Meeting at Uppsala, Sweden Patriarch Ignatius spoke these words:
Reminder of the emptiness of life in the Church – Christian would say ANYWHERE – without Spirit.
But then he followed with these words.
• Here Patriach found great hope.
• All couched within Paul.
Ignatius Found his life drawn into a challenging world of 60’s
• Described by most as a time of
• Signs of the times were — Alternate clothing … drug use … music choices.
• Issues of racism and sexism prevailed
• Riots and violence couched in call for “peace”
• Time when people left the church in droves.
• SOUND FAMILIAR???
Still at odds as people of different races.
• Drugs use is bordering on
epidemic proportions again
• Gap between the wealthy and the impoverished continues to grow
• Turning our planet into a trash heap.
I don’t know have any easier answers than you do.
• But maybe the call of Pentecost is to a unique life in the Spirit
• Life that is characterized by unity of a kind we have not known.
Miracle behind all the miracles on that day in Jerusalem.
• Believers found something in common
• Despite all the things that separated them.
• And we know there were many in the early church – who they followed … what they ate … what laws they observed … where they lived
In spite of their differences, they found a unity in Christ that transcended what the world told them.
NOT silliness of the 60’s peace and love.
NOR the illusion of the 21st century and our connections through social media.
Life in the Spirit – life that draws people together into a common bond.
Life that also turns their eyes outward to a world in need.
It may not be a perfect metaphor.
• But we have an example among us today.
Quilts made by a group of ladies who have grown exceptionally close over the years.
• And whose eyes are turned outward to world.
• Take random, unrelated pieces of tossed cloth
• Stitch together into unified, functional item.
• Not fancy … not newsworthy … helps others
Indicator of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our world?
• You tell me.