Saturday, 7 June 2014

Pentecost Sermon: Once for All

Acts 2: 1-21; 1 Corinthians 12: 3b-13

It’s Pentecost!
And once again we are reminded that the Holy Spirit is here
Was here
Will always be here

But what does that mean for each of us?
How does the presence of the Spirit affect us?
Effect change in us?

Well – actually that is not a difficult or challenging as it might sound...

Did you decide sometime in your youth that church was not for you?
That church was for other people?
And then... something nudged you
Something moved you
Something happened and suddenly you thought –maybe I’ll give it a go again?
Or maybe, church was never on your radar at all
Until you met others
Or you heard a story the triggered a response?

Or, perhaps, you have always been part of church
You cannot remember a time when church, or faith, or God was not part of your life
It has simply always been so

But from time to time it becomes more significant, or more important or more relevant...

In each of these scenarios
The thing which moves and inspires you is the Holy Spirit – whether you know it or not!

The Spirit is rightly compared to the wind;
We cannot see it, but we feel its effects all the time...
We see where it has been
We know when it blows...

After the day of Pentecost, when the disciples were filled with the Spirit all sorts of amazing and wondrous things were made possible

Bravery and courage
The ability to speak with passion and conviction
The insight to recognise God’s work, God’s potential – and act upon it

This did not mean they were suddenly saintly, godly men who always got everything right!
Peter was still impetuous and given to impulsive actions
James and John, still lost their tempers

But, alongside that they were equipped to answer God’s call and fulfil the task Jesus set for them
And this is as true today as it was then – when the Holy Spirit came she came forever!
She came for all people
She came for every generation
She it is who moves us and prompts us... and that is God’s amazing promise fulfilled – the Holy Spirit – God the Spirit ours forever!

Paul in his letter wanted to communicate this promise, this gift to the Corinthians, who were struggling to understand, to grasp just what God’s Spirit was doing for them
They still held onto the old ways of hierarchy and power play

This is the gist of what we heard this morning:

People, people, listen to me 
This is Paul speaking here, and I really want you to listen, concentrate!! You need to understand something...
It’s not you who calls Jesus Lord
At least not by yourselves!
If it wasn’t for the Holy Spirit, the Helper, the counsellor that Jesus himself promised to leave for us, if it wasn’t for the Spirit we’d be nothing! 
We’d know nothing  
we’d have nothing...
Understand me when I tell you it’s the Spirit that does it
Everything you have and everything you are comes through that Spirit
And there’s something else too
The Spirit is for all of us!
Old and young; slave and free; men and women; Jews or Greek... all are the same as far as the Spirit is concerned
The Spirit gives you gifts to use and share
And every gift is of equal value to the others
Just as every person is of equal value to the others
Jesus Christ is our head
And we are all part of his body
When you see the swallows fill the sky swooping and flying high... it looks like one huge mass, but we all know that there are hundreds, thousand of them; flying together; supporting each other; shielding each other; united as one...So are we too
All you little ones – you are part of us 
All you ancient ones – you are part of us
You slaves – you are part of the big picture too
And you foreigners – you’re in!!!
Whoever, wherever, whenever – in the unity of the Holy Spirit and the power of Jesus Christ, created by the Father, we are all together part of our God’s human family.So, no more divisions!
No more fighting!
No more refusing to share!
We are together
We are one
Celebrate it!! (written for Spill the Beans Pentecost 2014)

This is the message of Pentecost:
We are all together
Part of the same family: God’s family
The Spirit came
The Spirit stayed
The Spirit is for all
And in the power of the Holy Spirit

We can do anything!

1 comment:

  1. Amen! Yes, with the Spirit we can do anything.