There are many topics that would be suitable for a Pentecost sermon: God dwells in people, God gives spiritual unity, God gives new identity, God writes his law in our hearts, God reconciles people to themselves and many more. One theme that has been spreading in my thoughts for Pentecost preparation this year is based on what Jesus said what the Holy Spirit would do after he rose and went to heaven.
"He will reveal my glory; for what he will proclaim to you, he receives from me " (John 16,14 NG). There is a lot in this one sentence. We know that the Spirit in us is working to convince us that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. We also know from revelation that Jesus is our older brother, who loves us unconditionally and has reconciled us with our Father. Another way that the Spirit fulfills what Jesus said is through inspiration, how we can carry the good news in our relationships with others.
A good example of this is when we read about the birth of the New Testament Church on Pentecost, ten days after Jesus' Ascension. Jesus told his disciples to wait for this day and the events that would happen that day: "And when he was with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which he said you heard from me." (Acts 1,4) .
Because they followed Jesus' instructions, the disciples witnessed the coming of the Holy Spirit with all his might. Acts 2,1: 13 tells of this and the gift that they received that day, as Jesus promised them. First came the sound of a tremendous wind, then tongues of fire, and then the spirit showed its miraculous power by giving the disciples a special gift for preaching the story of Jesus and the gospel. Most, perhaps all, of the disciples spoke miraculously. The people who heard them were fascinated and amazed by the story of Jesus because they heard it in their own language from people who were considered uneducated and uncultivated (Galilean). Some of the masses made fun of these events and claimed that the disciples were drunk. Such mockers still exist today. From a human point of view, the disciples were not drunk (and it would be a misinterpretation of Scripture to claim that they were spiritually drunk).
We find Peter's words to the assembled crowd in Acts 2,14: 41-325. He declared the authenticity of this miraculous event, in which language barriers were supernaturally broken, as a sign that all people are now united in Christ. As a sign of God's love for all people and his desire that they all belong to him, including people from other countries and nations. The Holy Spirit made this message possible in the mother tongues of these people. Even today, the Holy Spirit enables the good news of Jesus Christ to be passed on in a way that is relevant and accessible to all people. He enables ordinary believers to testify of His message in such a way as to reach the hearts of people whom God calls to Himself. In this way, the Holy Spirit refers people to Jesus, the Lord of the universe, who shines light on everything and everyone in this cosmos. In the Creed of Nicea AD we find only a brief statement on the Holy Spirit: "We believe in the Holy Spirit". Although this confession speaks a great deal about God as a father and God as a son, we should not conclude that the confession's authors hardly wanted to pay attention to the Holy Spirit. There is a reason for the relative anonymity of the mind in the Nicene Creed. The theologian Kim Fabricius writes in one of his books that the Holy Spirit is the self-humble anonymous member of the Trinity. As the Holy Spirit of Father and Son, he is not looking for his own honor, but is careful to glorify the Son, who in turn glorifies the Father. The spirit does this, among other things, when it inspires, empowers and accompanies us to continue and fulfill Jesus' mission in our world today. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus does the meaningful work and at the same time invites us to participate in it in the same way, for example by making friends, encouraging them, helping them and spending time with them, as He did (and still does today). When it comes to mission, he's the cardiac surgeon and we're our nurses. If we participate in this joint operation with him, we will experience the joy of what he is doing and fulfill his mission to human beings. Nothing in the Hebrew scriptures or in the religious tradition of Judaism of the first century would have made the disciples unique and prepare for the dramatic arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Nothing in the symbol of the bread dough (used by the Jews on the Feast of Unleavened Bread) could have led the disciples to let the Holy Spirit speak them in other languages, to enable them that day to share the good news and to limit language overcome. On Pentecost, God actually did something new. Peter understood this and told people that the last days had come (Acts 2,16 f.) - a truth that was much more important and meaningful than the miracle of speaking in tongues.
In Jewish thought, the idea of the last days has been associated with the many Old Testament prophecies of the coming of the Messiah and the kingdom of God. Peter said that a new time had come. We call them the time of grace and truth, the church age or the time of the new covenant in spirit. Since Pentecost, after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, God is acting in this world in a new way. Pentecost still reminds us of this truth today. We do not celebrate Pentecost like an old celebration of a covenant with God. Celebrating what God has done for us this day is not part of the church tradition - not just of our denomination but of many others as well.
At Pentecost, we celebrate the redemptive acts of God in the last days, when a deeper working of the Holy Spirit renews us, transforms and equips us to become his disciples.- Those disciples who carry on the good news in words and deeds, in a small and sometimes great way, all to the glory of our God and Redeemer - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I remember a quote from John Chrysostom. Chrysostom is a Greek word meaning "gold mouth". This nickname came from his wonderful way of preaching.
He said: “Our whole life is a festival. When Paul said "So let's celebrate the festival" (1 Corinthians 5,7f.), He did not mean the Passover or Pentecost. He said that every time is a festival for Christians ... Because what good hasn't happened yet? The Son of God became human for you. He saved you from death and called you to a kingdom. Haven't you received good things - and still receive them? There is nothing else you can do but celebrate a party all your life. Do not let anyone feel depressed because of poverty, illness, or hostility. It is a festival, everything - all your life! “.
by Joseph Tkach