Monthly Archives: June 2014

Pentecost Power

“Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be individual flames of fire alighting on each one of them.” (Acts 2:2,3 CEB)

I wonder what Peter and those gathered with him were thinking that morning? Were they looking forward to celebrating the Jewish Pentecost? Were they getting anxious waiting for that power from the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised ten days ago?

What happened that morning was powerful. No still, small voice from God; no calm angel providing information about an impending birth; no men in white robes sharing about an already risen Lord.

This was big. It was loud, it was filled with energy. It was amazing and it was powerful. This Holy Spirit that seems to whisper to our hearts and behave more like a light breeze arrives in Jerusalem with extraordinary and amazing power.

And that’s when Peter delivered the most important sermon of his career, up to that point. He reached back into scripture, reminding the crowd and all of us of Joel’s words. This prophecy is inclusive of gender and race and reaches out to young and old alike.

What I love about that passage from Joel, though, is that we will see visions and dream dreams. Perhaps the power of Pentecost is to be found in our visions and dreams. We have dreams of a bright future and that tomorrow will be better.

What are your dreams? What are the dreams of your family? What are the dreams of your particular church or worship community? How does Spirit speak to you?

Though Spirit arrived with explosive noise and fireworks, we also know Spirit to be that still, small voice.

And it’s us who must be still in order to pay attention to what she has to say.

Listen…what is she calling you to be and to do today?

All glory and honor be to God.

Amen.

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Waiting for the Spirit

“While they were eating together, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised. He said, “This is what you heard from me. John baptized with water, but in only a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:-5)

He was with them only 40 days. 40 precious days of instruction from the Risen One. 40 days that passed all too swiftly. There was so much to take in. His arrest, trial and crucifixion followed by the amazing resurrection. Their heads must have been spinning.

When Jesus ascended, they stood on that hill watching. What would you do? I would stand there gazing at clouds, too! But, time passes and it’s time to move on.

What I find interesting is what they do next. Moving on doesn’t mean activity out in the world. Moving on means finding the next right step to take. And that means gathering as a congregation and remaining in prayer. “all were united in their devotion to prayer…” (Acts 1:14a)

All were united. All were devoted. All prayed.

I don’t know about you, but there are way too many distractions for me to be able to pray. I have to leave my cell phone and TV and other distractions in another room. I require a quiet place so I can be alone with Spirit.

I worry that I won’t be able to say the words and then I remember that Jesus is there for that.

I worry that I won’t have enough time. Then I remember that I can keep the conversation going all day as I move through my day.

I worry that God won’t be happy with my attitude. Well, that’s what prayer is for, isn’t it? To take unhealthy attitudes and thoughts and turn them over to God? Spirit has a remarkable way of turning them into blessings.

Pray early. Pray often. Pray whenever you can; pray whenever you must; pray whenever you have need; pray whenever you experience joy or gratitude.

This is the eve of Pentecost. Next Sunday we celebrate the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church. This week is a time of anticipation.

Anticipation means that we wait. We can wait anxiously and allow the worries of the day to intrude. Or we can wait in devotion and give those worries to God.

Perhaps waiting in prayer wouldn’t be a bad idea.

It worked out pretty well for the disciples.

All glory and honor be to God.

Amen.


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