Hello Brothers and Sisters –
This Sunday is Pentecost! In celebration of the Holy Spirit coming and appearing as tongues of fire, and alighting on the early believers like they were life-sized candles (Acts 2:3) – wear some bright colors – red, orange, yellow—this Sunday!
Tom Long, who has taught preaching for years, and is a darn good preacher himself, has noted that preaching the Pentecost event in Acts 2 can be more than a little intimidating: “What sermon can possibly come up to the drama of this passage?” At Pentecost a steady stream of audio-visual assaults our senses. Tom Long points out we’ve got everything from --
“a freight-train sized sound of wind from heaven, to
tongues of fire dancing on the heads of the disciples, plus
United Nations-styled multiple language proclamation, and
cries of amazement mingled with yelps of mockery among the hearers…”
All topped off with a killer sermon from Peter, and people jumping at the chance to follow Jesus… resulting in 3000 converts that day!
Um, so maybe you’ve noticed: It’s not always like this in the church! About the loudest sound we hear is some earsplitting feedback from the sound-system! And, well, we’ve usually got maybe ONE candle lit!
Maybe that’s why we tend to think, How about we just leave Pentecost to the Pentecostals?
Well…or, how about we become Pentecostal Presbyterians?!
I love Pentecost because it reminds me that the church is not pastor- or personality-dependent; the church is not 3-year-plan or written-mission-vision-values dependent; the church is not big numbers-, or program-, or gothic building-driven; but, the church is Spirit-dependent! Pentecost means the church is Spirit-created, Spirit-led and Spirit-sustained.
So c’mon Presbyterians – a little less handwringing!
Let’s get our Pentecost on, and keep it on!
Sermon texts for this Sunday: a quick read of Acts 2:1-13, and then John’s Pentecost at John 20:19-31 (you might recall we just read this text at Easter, too!)
See you Sunday!