Wear something red for Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. The day when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples as flames.
Sermon Notes for Pentecost, May 20, 2018
For two thousand years Jesus has been on trial. The Bible even lays out the strongest evidence against him. Pentecost refutes those claims.
At the start of his ministry the devil had taunted him: “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘on their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’ ” (Matthew 4:6) One of the criminals executed with him repeats this theme: “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” (Luke 23:39)
Jesus warned his followers that they would be put out of the synagogues. (John 16:2)
Christ’s resurrection and the presence of the Holy Spirit changes everything. Even the cross, an instrument designed to demoralize those who might rebel against Rome has become an instrument for our salvation and to promote Christ.
I will have more to say about John 15:26-27 and 16:4b-15 and the Advocate at 8:15 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 20th at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.
Robert Shaw, Pastor
In Greek or Hebrew, the word typically translated as Spirit also means breath or wind. Thomas Troeger plays on that ambiguity in his words for this Sunday’s anthem: “Wind Who Makes All Winds that Blow.” He shifts back and forth between physical winds and metaphorical winds reminding us that the Holy Spirit is indeed all around us, blowing and burning deep within and filling us with power. Richard Jeffery’s music, as arranged by Mark Kellner, surges and drives those who hear these notes.
Our choir will be accompanied by Melissa Grady on cello and by Pamela Irwin on flute, all under the expressive direction of Kavan Gillespie.
A Tip for Parents
What keeps a plane or a bird up in the air?
When children learn the word “why” they begin to question everything. “Why is the sky blue?” “Why do we have to eat peas?” “Why do I have to go to bed?” Eventually I learned our children were not so much interested in learning how things work, but to hear a story, or to merely delay bedtime a few minutes.
Children quickly grasp the idea of air —that we cannot see— moving over a wing as providing lift that keeps a plane or a bird in the air. They experience it when a gust lifts a hat from their head or pushes them down a sidewalk.
So too does the Holy Spirit work in our lives, even if we cannot see it nor measure it using any physical principal. Often we describe these events as coincidences or serendipity. The opening verses of the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, point to the Holy Spirit working in peoples’ lives.