Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pentecost


Acts 2:1-11
1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13
Jn 14:15-16, 23b-26

There they sat, the followers of Jesus, doing precisely what he had asked of them,
While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for "the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
I doubt they found this a difficult thing to do, they were too traumatized to do much else. Far too much had been going on in the past few weeks for them to deal with adequately. Jesus is taken from them and put to a violent and bloody death. No sooner than they begin to deal with the impact of this tragedy, Jesus is back, not dead at all, indeed he is risen from the dead. Through the next few weeks, as they attempt to grasp the enormity of what this rising from the dead means, Jesus leaves again, in spectacular fashion. Trying to understand what was happening, fearful of the reaction of the religious leaders, sitting and waiting probably seemed like a very good idea. Then it happened, the promise that Jesus made was fulfilled. The Holy Spirit came upon them and the meaning of all that had occurred opened to them. The Advocate that Jesus promised came, and now they knew what to do, they knew what to say, and fear of the religious authorities would not keep them from saying it. They began to preach and teach to all who would hear, all who would listen. They began to boldly tell the world about Jesus, not mindful of the cost.
That same Spirit, that same Advocate comes to each of us, each of us baptized into the Body of Christ. We should be out telling all who will listen about the Good News of Jesus Christ, about rising from the dead, the forgiveness of sin, and what all of that means. We should, but too often we take the stance of the followers of Jesus before the Spirit filled them. Too often we sit in our parishes, isolated and insulated from the world. Our particular church, our own parish, becomes, for us, the Church. We fail to see the larger Church, and our place in it. The Church and the world are so much bigger than the boundaries of our parish. There is a whole world out there in need of hearing what we know, that Jesus lives! That Jesus came to earth, lived, died for our sins, and rose from the dead, gaining for us eternal life! In reaching out to the world, to those who are hungry, physically and spiritually, to those who are homeless, physically and spiritually, to those who are in need, physically and spiritually, we are doing what Jesus asks of us. What are we afraid of? That some may think us strange? That we may be ridiculed? Maybe some will, but some will not, and some will listen and hear. It is up to us, to overcome our reluctance, it is up to us to live what we say we believe. This Pentecost let us pray for the grace to live our faith, to reach out and spread the Good News. This Pentecost let us pray together,
Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth! Amen

Deacon John
Pentecost
May 27, 2007