Pentecost conversations & ponderings…

Acts 2:1-4. When the day of Pentecost came. Pastel & pen. 26 May 2012.Yesterday we are looked at the story of Pentecost as found in Acts 2. It’s a day that Christians across the world celebrate. Pentecost is not as well-known or as popular as Christmas and Easter, though it commemorates a historic event in Christian history. In many ways, Pentecost is considered as the birthday of the church.

So lets look at the text found in Act 2:1-13

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” 13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

One of the interesting things about this passage is that it’s on this day that God sends the promised Holy Spirit.  Pentecost was a Jewish holiday that came 50 days after the Passover.  For over a thousand years Israel had been celebrating this holiday established by God after he brought them out of slavery in Egypt.  It was a celebration of the hope of God’s salvation.

Interestingly – Jesus’ death and resurrected coincided with the Passover.  In hindsight it is easy to see that the whole purpose of the Passover really pointed to Jesus.  The victory over death that came from the resurrection of Jesus, not only freed his followers from the slavery of death, but it also ushered in a new kingdom.  In other words, the Passover completely describes the victory of Jesus. [but that is another sermon for another time]

HERE IN ACTS 2 THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT COINCIDES WITH THE DAY OF PENTECOST.  This is the backdrop that God choose to give here in Acts 2.  Pentecost was this wonderful joyful celebration at the end of the harvest.  It was a response from the people praising God for the fruit or the harvest that came to God’s people in the land that God promised.

DURING OUR SERMON…we made a number of observations that come from this story…1. about Jesus being the literal fruit of the kingdom of God 2. that in pentecost the barrier between us and God has been broken, 3. that the barrier between humanity is also broken -connecting to the tower of babel story, 4. that the intent is that this story is bigger then us that it is intended to go from the church out into the community and world.

IMAGES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT…we also spend time looking at four images of the Holy Spirit as a way to ponder what it looks like to encounter the Holy Spirit today in our everyday living.  Those images where breath, wind, water, & fire.  In looking at these images we took time to ponder if we had ever experienced the Holy Spirit in any of these ways.

CONNECTION CARD QUESTIONS…

This story ends with two responses seen in verse  12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” 13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”  In other words some responded with wonder and interest and the other of scoffing and disbelief?

1. When it comes to the Holy Spirit in your life how do you respond?  With wonder and interest or disregard and disbelief?

2.  What role [if at all] would you say the Holy Spirit plays in your daily life?

3.  Of the four images of the Spirit [breath, wind, water, fire] which have you experienced the least and which have you experienced the most.

LISTEN TO THE SERMON…if you’d like to hear the entire sermon click HERE

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