Pentecost

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 "(Jn 16,14 NGÜ). There is a lot in this one sentence. We know that the Spirit in us works to convince us that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. We also know through the revelation that Jesus is our older brother who loves us unconditionally and has reconciled us to our Father. Another way in which the Spirit fulfills what Jesus said is through his inspiration, how we can continue to 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 commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, as he said, you have heard from me." (Acts 1,4).

Because they followed the instructions of Jesus, the disciples could testify to the coming of the Holy Spirit with all their might. Acts 2,1-13 tells of this and the gift they received that day, as Jesus promised. First came a sound of a mighty wind, then tongues of fire, and then the Spirit showed its miraculous power, giving the disciples a special gift to proclaim the story of Jesus and the gospel. Most, perhaps all disciples, spoke in a miraculous way. The people who heard them were fascinated and amazed by the story of Jesus because they heard them in their own language from people who were considered uneducated and uncultivated (Galileans). Some of the crowd made fun of these events, claiming that the disciples were drunk. Such scoffers are still there today. The disciples were not drunk humanely (and it would be a mistaken interpretation of Scripture to claim that they were drunk in spirit).

The words of Peter to the assembled crowd can be found in Acts 2,14-41. He explained the authenticity of this miraculous event, in which language barriers were supernaturally dissolved, as a sign that now all human beings are united together in Christ. As a sign of God's love for all people and his desire that they all, including the people of other countries and nations belong to him. The Holy Spirit has made this message possible in the mother tongues of these people. Even today, the Holy Spirit allows the good news of Jesus Christ to be passed on in ways that are relevant and accessible to all people. It empowers ordinary believers to bear witness to his message in such a way as to reach the hearts of those whom God calls to Himself. In doing so, 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 Nicaea 325 n. Chr. we find only a brief statement to the Holy Spirit: "We believe in the Holy Spirit". Although this confession speaks a lot about God as Father and God as Son, we should not conclude that the authors of the confession hardly wanted to pay attention to the Holy Ghost. There is a reason for the relative anonymity of the spirit in the Nicene Creed. The theologian Kim Fabricius writes in one of his books, the Holy Spirit is the self-sacrificing anonymous member of the Trinity. As the Holy Spirit of Father and Son, he does not seek his own glory, but seeks to glorify the Son, who in turn glorifies the Father. The Spirit does this, among other things, in inspiring, empowering, and accompanying us to continue and fulfill the mission of Jesus in our contemporary world. 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 make friends, encourage, help, and spend time with people as they have done (and still do) today. When it comes to mission, then he is the cardiac surgeon and we are his nurses. As we engage in this joint operation with him, we experience the joy of what he does and fulfill his mission to man. Nothing in the Hebrew Scriptures or in the religious tradition of Judaism of the first century would have the disciples on the unique and prepare for the dramatic arrival of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Nothing in the symbol of bread dough (used by the Jews on the Feast of Unleavened Bread) could have led the disciples to let the Holy Ghost speak them in other languages ​​to empower them that day with the good news to say goodbye and to overcome linguistic boundaries. On the day of Pentecost God did indeed do something new. Peter understood this and explained to people that the last days had dawned (Act 2,16f.) - a truth much more important and significant than the miracle of 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 feast. When Paul said, "Let us celebrate the feast" (1, Kor 5,7f.), He did not mean Passover or Pentecost. He said that every time is a feast for Christians ... Because, what good has not happened yet? The Son of God became human for you. He freed you from death and called you to a kingdom. Did not you get good things - and still get them? You can not do anything but celebrate your entire life. Do not let anyone put you down because of poverty, illness or enmity. It's a party, everything - all your life! "

by Joseph Tkach


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