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Sunday, May 19, 2013

05192013 Sermon 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!  Heavenly Father today we celebrate Your sending the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.  Enable us to welcome the Holy Spirit and remember that this gift is the fulfillment of the promise You made to Your disciples and to us in our baptism into Jesus life, death and resurrection.  For the Holy Spirit comes to give life and truth abundantly and enable us to be bold with our faith for the spreading of the Gospel message for all of mankind, including all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning.  AMEN.

“You have control.” This statement is usually made between two individuals who sit at the controls of a multi-million dollar aircraft that has either hundreds of passengers sitting aft of the flight deck or with lots of cargo that is destined for locations across the globe.  Ironically this ‘measure of control’ is important, because without the hands on the yoke to control the destination, the airplane would be destined for trouble.  In the church today a better question for us to ask is , “Who is in control?”

Today we celebrate the entrance of the Holy Spirit into the lives of the disciples.  Fifty days ago, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave.  Good Friday the disciples mourned the crucifixion of Jesus Christ Who had walked with them, healed the sick, fed the poor, taught the disciples and people the truths of the Kingdom of God, but with His crucifixion the disciples were lost.  Then early on Sunday morning in the garden, Jesus Christ Who had risen from the dead appeared to Mary and ultimately to His disciple in the Upper Room.  For the next forty days the disciples had revealed to them the further truths about the Kingdom of God.  How it required Jesus Christ to come and live among us, suffer at the hands of the synagogue officials, be crucified and die in order for the plan of salvation to be fulfilled.  This was in order that all of mankind may be offered life and salvation through Jesus Christ.  This is the free gift given so we might live with Him in His Kingdom for all eternity.

Then forty days after His resurrection, Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven leaving His disciples alone and now sits at the right hand of God.  We showed that last week with the moving of the Christ Candle from next to the baptismal font to the altar.  This fulfills not only scripture, but also our Apostle’s and Nicene Creed where we confess Jesus Christ sitting at the Right Hand of God the Father.

Now fifty days after Jesus resurrection, Jesus promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit is fulfilled.  Jesus Christ while here before the trials and tribulations of the last days, told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would be coming.  And today we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost.  Notice the red paraments, the change in the opening sentence.  All of this is our celebration of Pentecost and the giving of the Holy Spirit.  Thus we can ask the question, “Who is in control?”

Unlike the airplane that has cables and hydraulics to control the direction, speed, altitude and destination of the airplane, we, the church have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit to maintain control.  The Holy Spirit’s job is three fold, to call, gather and enlighten us.

The Holy Spirit just like we use cell phones is here to call us to the responsibilities of the church and our baptism into Jesus life, death and resurrection.  With Jesus return to the Father in Heaven, the Holy Spirit comes to convict us of our sin and point us back or turn us around from our sinful ways and head us back in the direction God calls us in with our baptism.  The Holy Spirit was sent to insure that our focus is not on ourselves and our sinful desires, but focused solely upon Jesus Christ and the spreading of the message of salvation for all mankind.

Not only does the Holy Spirit call us, He gathers us here together to praise God and be strengthened by each other, but especially the promises God has made to us.  The Holy Spirit is here to remind us of the promises Jesus Christ made while here on earth, but also to feed us with the Heavenly food of Jesus Christ precious Body and Blood in the Lord’s Supper as we do today.  In the communion liturgy we pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit to bless the meal we receive that offers us life and salvation.  For in our receiving the precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ we are empowered by the Holy Spirit with the strength and fortitude of God through our baptism of each and every one of us that enables us to point to God and His promises.

And finally the Holy Spirit is here to enlighten us.  With the gift of Jesus Christ precious Body and Blood we are enlightened to the gifts of life and salvation through the work of the Holy Spirit in each of our lives.  God clearly continues to work through the Holy Spirit in our lives today.  We pray for the Holy Spirit when we as a congregation make decisions that are important, whether the building of a new sanctuary like was done in 1947, the education wing in the late 1960’s or even recently with your calling me as your pastor.  We should daily pray for the Holy Spirit to help each of us make all of our decisions so they are God pleasing and for God’s message of forgiveness to be spread to all the nations.

Just as pilots have control of the aircraft, even farmers have control of the tractors whether planting corn, spraying for weeds or cultivating the ground in preparation for planting.  The Holy Spirit that we celebrate today on Pentecost comes to cultivate we God’s children through our baptism for the express opportunity to not only spread the Gospel message, but live lives of faith.  Remember last week I asked what kind of impact you wanted to make upon people’s lives?  This week, I ask you, “Who is in control?”  You with your desires to get and have all the toys, all the benefits of membership in the church without shouldering the responsibility that God is calling you to through the Holy Spirit.  Who do you serve?  God or man?

Well, with the power of the Holy Spirit God can use You to not only proclaim Christ crucified for all of mankind, but model for all of mankind how He called You by the Gospel, enlightened You with His Gifts and has sanctified and kept all of us in the one true faith.  For this is the gift of God given at Pentecost and which we celebrate today for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel celebrating our Pentecost.  AMEN.
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