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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sermon 05272012 Pentecost Sunday

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

Let us pray, Lord Jesus Christ, today we celebrate the fulfillment of the promised Holy Spirit with Pentecost.  When You returned to the Father it was not a prediction of what would occur, but a matter of fact that had yet to be fulfilled.  Today we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit in each of our lives and how the church is directly impacted by the work of the Holy Spirit in each of the lives of all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning.  AMEN.

As a child one of the neatest and most exciting events besides the circus, County Fair or State Fair was when the next location of the World’s Fair would be announced.  In 1982 and 1984, it was planned for Knoxville and New Orleans respectively.  Since Virginia bordered on Tennessee, we would hear of some of the preparations for the fair and it would be exciting.  Additionally since we as a family travelled from rural Southside Virginia to Pennsylvania and Iowa, we would atleast travel near where the big events would happen and these events were where dreams were had and promises of the future would be ‘revealed’.  Matter of fact, in the Captain America movie there is the reminder of 1939-40 when New York City hosted the World’s Fair.  And the father of the Iron Man, Tony Stark revealed a car that would defy gravity.  But as was shown, some predictions of the future would not be a reality.

In this morning’s Gospel lesson for Pentecost, Jesus Christ doesn’t predict the future.  When a prediction is made it is like the weather forecast, it can and does sometimes change, sometimes quiet dramatically.  But, Jesus Christ doesn’t predict the future, because His knowledge of what will occur is perfect.  Since God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit have as an attribute omniscience Jesus Christ knows what the future will be.  So from our Gospel this morning that occurs before Jesus Christ betrayal, trial, crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus is telling the disciples what will occur.  Jesus Christ reveals the future for the disciples so that they may believe.

For Jesus Christ telling what would occur has a purpose.  Just as Jesus Christ told the disciples that He would be betrayed, died, buried and ascend, Jesus in telling of the coming of the Holy Spirit and our reading the Acts account of Pentecost this morning opens a small window into the full plan of salvation.  The disciples needed to understand the purpose of Jesus life, death and resurrection as the fulfillment of the Old Testament Covenant.  Just as when the tower of Babel was constructed and the Lord confused their language, just as He cast out Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, God in and through Pentecost had a divine purpose in mind.  The divine purpose of God revealed through the giving of the Holy Spirit reveals that the Holy Spirit was given in order that the Holy Spirit would remind the disciples and teach us today the truth of what Jesus Christ said and did while He sojourned here on earth.  The role of the Holy Spirit is to reveal the truths of scripture, and the complete love of God manifest in Jesus Christ for all of mankind.

For Jesus Christ prepared His disciples for the coming of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus Christ knew who would betray Him.  Jesus Christ knew He would carry His Cross to Golgotha.  Jesus Christ knew the soldiers would cast lots for His clothing and watch Him suffer and die hanging on the Cross.  But, Jesus Christ also knew the disciples with whom He had walked the Kidron Valley and who had hung on His every word would be gathered in the Upper Room doubting the events of the last three days.  Jesus Christ knew that Thomas would have to see His Hands and Side in order to believe.  Jesus Christ knew that forty days after His resurrection He would ascend into Heaven.  Jesus Christ knew that today, on Pentecost, the Holy Spirit would descend upon His disciples and we would hear that scripture today in Goodland, KS.

Jesus Christ told of the Holy Spirit’s coming and reveals for the disciples and we His children 2000 years later that we have been told so we may believe.  We are to believe, not only the plan of salvation, but the reason for the coming of the Holy Spirit into our lives.  This has been accomplished through our baptism into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the seal of the promised Holy Spirit.  We recently celebrated the work of the Holy Spirit with the Baptism of Matthew and Abigail Hedge, but also when Lily Mays took personal responsibility for her own faith as a member of the Body of Christ.
May we today as we celebrate Pentecost believe again in our baptismal promises and affirm our faith with our confession of the Nicene Creed and be fed with Jesus Christ precious Body and Blood.  For Jesus Christ tells us today that though He has ascended to the Father, today we remember the giving of the Holy Spirit 50 days after His resurrection for a divine purpose.  For the Holy Spirit comes to help us believe because we have not seen and we may be blessed as Jesus said to Thomas, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.  For Jesus Christ fulfilled the plan of salvation and now the Holy Spirit comes to divinely inspire all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning to believe in the promises of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  AMEN.
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