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Pentecost

May 11, 2008

Feast of Pentecost                      Trinity Lutheran Church
11 May 2008                                Murdock, NE

+ Jesu Juva +

Acts 2:1-21

What a Pentecost surprise!  Pentecost gifts from heaven.  Heavenly Pentecost gifts from the Lord Jesus Christ.  For He has risen from the dead.  He has been given all authority in heaven and earth. 

And so the Pentecost giving is surprisingly extravagant.  “A noise like a violent rushing wind that fills the house.  Tongues of fire resting” on each apostle in this little house church.  And then each apostle speaking in “tongues.”  Different languages from the Arabic and Middle Eastern world.  And each person, no matter from what nation, could understand an apostle speaking their own language. 

Who’s responsible for this amazing and marvelous Pentecost?  The Lord Jesus who gives the Holy Spirit as He promised.  Jesus told the apostles that the Holy Spirit would come upon them.  And then would officially begin their apostolic ministry.  To bear witness to Jesus as the Savior of not only Jews but all Gentiles too.

All this catches the Pentecost crowd off guard.  So surprised that some claim that the apostles have drinking problem.  “They’re all just a bunch of drunks!” 

“Nonsense,” declares Peter!  “We never drink this early in the day!  You might but we sure don’t!  You’re missing the big picture here.  The noise like violent rushing wind, the tongues of fire, and the various languages we speak fulfill Joel’s prophecy about the coming of the last days.  The last days are upon you!  You saw what happened.  But here’s an even bigger surprise:  the gift of the Holy Spirit is for you too!  For you men and women gathered here.  For your sons and daughters, grandparents, and anyone else you can name.  For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved.”

With that last statement Peter gets to the heart of it all doesn’t he?  “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  That’s what this Pentecost surprise is all about.  

So the Lord equips the apostles with the Spirit.  The Spirit will use their sermons to kill sinners in order to raise them from the dead.  Law and Gospel.  God’s wrath and God’s promises.  Holy Spirit filled apostolic ministry in the church.

Are you jealous?  Wish you had something like this first Pentecost surprise?  Wouldn’t it be cool to hear a noise like a violent wind rush through this house?  See tongues of fire on the preacher?  And hear all kinds of different languages?

Well, surprise, surprise, surprise!  You’ve have the gifts too.  The Holy Spirit and all His gifts.  Through the language you hear today.  Used to be German a long time ago.  But now it’s English. 

Holy Spirit filled you are!  He called you to faith in Jesus through the preaching of the Gospel in words you could understand.  He has enlightened you with the gift of salvation in Jesus when the apostolic minister baptized in the Triune Name.  There heaven broke wide open for you for Christ’s sake.  Paradise came boring down on you at the font.  And the Spirit descended upon you with that Word in the water to transfer into Christ’s kingdom.  To be His own and to live with Him in His kingdom forever.

Every Sunday is a little Pentecost!  The Holy Spirit fills you in the Word read and preached.  The only wind you hear is the air that comes from my lungs as I read and preach.  But in that hot air the Spirit is at work.  Sustaining and strengthening you trust in Jesus only.  And in the everyday language of English the sermon Holy Spirit-s you.  Kills you in your sins.  Raises from the dead because the Holy Spirited sermon is that Jesus died for you.  That He rose for you.  All your sin is forgiven.  None left out His dying.  You are a new creation in Christ.  The old has passed.  The new has come. 

No, I haven’t been drinking this morning.  It has been days since any Russian vodka has touched my lips.  I’m stone cold sober when I tell you that you have been gifted with the Holy Spirit!  Consequently, you call on the Lord’s Name and you are saved!  Right here!  Right now!  In these gray and latter days. 

And with the Holy Spirit filled Gospel there is always more.  It’s an invitation to have a drink.  Jesus serves up Himself:  “If any one is thirsty let him come to me and drink.  He who believes in Me as the Scriptures say, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”  Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit.  Faith in Jesus and Holy Spirit always go together.  You believe in Jesus.  And so you’ve been Pentecost-ed too. 

See you next Sunday for another round of every Sunday a little Pentecost!   Another round of Holy Spirit filled Word and Sacrament for your life now and forever. “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”     Happy Pentecost. 

In the Name of Jesus.      

 

         

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