~`+`~FEAST OF PENTECOST SUNDAY~`+`~
Condensed from New Testament:
The biblical narrative of Pentecost is given in the second chapter of the Book of Acts.
Present were about one hundred and twenty followers of Christ (Acts 1:15), including the Twelve Apostles (i.e. the Eleven faithful disciples and Matthias who was Judas' replacement) (Acts 1:13, 26), his mother Mary, various other women disciples and his brothers (Acts 1:14). Their reception of Baptism in the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room is recounted in Acts 2:1–6:
" And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. "
While those on whom the Spirit had descended were speaking in many languages, the Apostle Peter stood up with the eleven and proclaimed to the crowd that this event was the fulfillment of the prophecy ("I will pour out my spirit"). In Acts 2:17, it reads: "'And in the last days,' God says, 'I will pour out my spirit upon every sort of flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy and your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams." He also mentions (2:15) that it was the third hour of the day (about 9:00 AM). Acts 2:41 then reports: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."
Peter stated that this event was the beginning of a continual outpouring that would be available to all believers from that point on, Jews and Gentiles alike.
Location of the first Pentecost:
The Cenacle on Mount Zion, claimed to be the location of the Last Supper and Pentecost. Bargil Pixner claims the original Church of the Apostles is located under the current structure.
Traditional interpretation holds that the Descent of the Holy Spirit took place in the Upper Room, or Cenacle, while celebrating the day of Pentecost (Shavuot). The Upper Room was first mentioned in Luke 22:12-13 ( "And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover."). This Upper Room was to be the location of the Last Supper and the institution of Holy Communion. The next mention of an Upper Room is in Acts 1:13-14, the continuation of the Luke narrative, authored by the same biblical writer.
Here the disciples and women wait and they gave themselves up to constant prayer: "And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren."
Then, in Acts 2:1–2, "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.", "They" refers to the aforementioned disciples, and it includes the women. The "place" referring to the same Upper Room where these persons had "continued with one accord in prayer and supplication".
Alternative interpretations suggest that "the house" mentioned was in fact the House of God, Herod's Temple. There were Judeans from all over the world in the Temple proper. These people saw and heard the people whom received the gift of spiritual birth of holy spirit. The location the Upper Room did not allow women. Therefore, The Temple proper among all the people present is the location of the out pouring of holy spirit. Acts Chapter 2.
~`+`~`THE FIRST DAY OF PENTECOST`~`+`~
A Sermon and Prayer for Pentecost Sunday - Year A
Acts 2:1-21; I Corinthians 12:1-13
"Pentecost: The Power and Presence of Christ"
READING: Acts 2:1-21; I Corinthians 12:1-13
SERMON : "Pentecost: The Power and Presence of Christ"
Rev. Richard J. Fairchild
Sources: The homily or sermon uses the opening and closing
illustrations of God's Birthday Gift but, along with the
Prayers of the People goes in a different direction than that
sermon and liturgy.
SERMON: "Pentecost: The Power and Presence of Christ"
Gracious God - bless now the words of my lips and the
meditations of our hearts. Breath your Spirit into us and
grant that we may hear and in hearing be led in the way you
want us to go. Amen.
I heard a story the other day, an amusing story, about a boy who was
wandering around the narthex of a large downtown church one Sunday morning
and stopped and examined a large bronze plaque that was hung on the wall.
"What are all those names up there?" he asked one of the ushers.
"Those are the names of people who died in the service." the usher
Curious, the boy asked the usher
- "which service, the 9:30 service or the 11 o'clock service?"
I am happy to report today that we are about,
what we are celebrating,
is a birth - not a death -
the birth of the church - the birth of Christ
in you and me - and in all who call on his name.
It is a significant day -
the day on which the first believers came alive in their faith,
the day when the Rock upon which Christ planted his church began to
support and uphold an incredible new life -
a life that has existed since the world began,
but which was poured out in a special fashion
and took on flesh in you and me
much as it took life in Jesus, the son of Mary, the son of God
so long ago.
Pentecost is an event that the world has long been promised
and which the people of God have long awaited.
Pentecost is the reversal of what occurred at the Tower of Babel when,
because of our sinfulness,
we became unable to understand one another.
It is the gifting of God to make us one
- and to make us one in the way he is one.
Pentecost is our becoming Christ in the world.
It is God taking on flesh
- not only in the least of those to whom we give water to drink or
clothes to wear;
but taking on flesh in us.
Praise be to God.
God keeps all his promises.
Pentecost gives us the eyes to see and the ears to hear.
The eyes to see that God is in the details,
that God is in the flesh - as well as in the Spirit.
And the ears to hear him speaking in our hearts
and upon the lips of others - in the rush of the wind.
The eyes to see and the ears to hear - as one - and as unique persons
valued and treasured so much by God that God comes to us as we are
and makes us even more truly who we are when we are His.
The story of the birth of the church, of that day some fifty days after the
death and resurrection of Christ Jesus that Jews and Christians call
Pentecost - tells us that this what God has done - and is yet doing.
The followers of Jesus are given the ability to speak the languages of all
those who are assembled in the city and beyond. God grants that we might
understand one another and that we might understand the good news - in just
the way we need to hear it.
Much as God communicates to each one of us here today.
We hear the gospel in our own language,
in our images,
with our own metaphors,
with our own ears.
Some today will be encouraged to spend more time in praise and wonder
to thank God for blessings,
others will hear that the power that they need for tomorrow's trials
and tribulations will come,
still others will take heart - knowing that God is present to them
at all times.
Whatever it is - it will be filled with God - and uniquely yours.
Pentecost is the birth of the Church.
It is God amongst us in power
making us not simply a group of believers
but Christ in the world unafraid-empowered
bearing the cross out of love,
and being raised from the Grave in glory.
`I am but a star in the heavens above
guiding over you in God's eternal love
I once was a soul like you on earth now
a heavenly star in miracle of rebirth!
~`In Loving Memory`~