Day of Pentecost: Whitsunday
May 28, 2023
First Reading: Acts: 2:1-21
Psalm: 104: 25-35,37
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
Gospel: John 20: 19-23
Almighty God, on this day you opened the way to eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, on God, for ever and ever. Amen
And They Were Filled with The Holy Spirit:
Our readings today on the Day of Pentecost, are recorded in the Book of Acts, people gathered in Jerusalem from all corners of the Roman Empire. They were coming from all economic interest, diverse cultures, and languages and different religious traditions.
It did not matter to God, His grace was given freely to all who heard the message preached by St. Peter, and thousands converted to Christ.
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as the fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
The early Christians had no buildings, no airplanes, no automobiles, no tv, radio or social media. Yet they turned their world upside down for Jesus the Christ. They started the spiritual revolution that shook the very foundation of the Roman Empire.
They faced opposition and overwhelming odds, they stayed courageous, bold, and full of faith. They lived their lives daily for Christ, no matter what others thought. They gladly suffered persecution and even death for their faith in Christ.
In the Old Testament, Moses had gone out and gathered seventy elders of the people, and the Lord came down in a cloud and he took some of the spirit on him and put the Holy Spirit on them, when the spirit rested upon them, they began to prophesied, but did not do it again.
Pentecost Sunday is 2000 years old; it began as and remains one of the major holidays on the Jewish calendar that occurs 50 days after Passover. The word Pentecost literally means “50th” For Christians, we mark our calendars for Christmas when Christ was born and Easter, His death and resurrection, and ascension. Pentecost is a very important and great day, it marks the birthday of the Christian church, the day when Peter preached. (Acts: 2: 1-21)
All were filled with the Holy Spirit, they began speaking other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
Some were amazed and wasn’t sure what it meant. Some sneered and thought they were filled with new wine. Peters spoke up, raised his voice, and addressed them.
Something happen to Peter and the other apostles, when the Holy Spirit was put upon them, they were changed forever, it set them on fire and in (Act: 17:6) “Here are those who are turning the world upside down.”
The importance of Pentecost marks the outpouring of the Holy Spirit by which human beings are equipped to do the work of God, Pentecost, is to remind all of us Christians, that Christ died for our sins and that when we are baptized, we accept that forgiveness, and very importantly we all need to receive the Holy Spirit in us, so we can continue the work as disciples in Christ Jesus.
We have all been given the Power of the Holy Spirit. All of God’s people, all countries, Everyone! Just as the disciples bold and fearless witness at Pentecost led to the conversion of more than 3,000 people, so too are we called to bear witness of God’s love for the world today. His love is freely given to all of humanity.
What does all of that mean in Acts: 2:1
The Fire represents the “Holy Spirit” transforming our inner life.
The Wind represents the “Holy Spirit” transforming the relationship among humans in their communities.
And the Languages represents the “Holy Spirit” transforming the relationships between human
The Holy Spirit compels us to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves. One way we do this is by reaching out to the unloved, the hard-to-love, and the rejected in our midst and loving them…. just as our Heavenly Father’s love for us, who are called by His name.
God places a seal on us when we received Christ. And that seal is a person the Holy Spirit. By the Spirit’s presence, God gives us security and establishes His ownership over us. Jesus promised his disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit… whose fruits are love, joy, peace, long-suffering kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control. These fruits are the qualities of Jesus that the Holy Spirit develops in our lives as we grow in our faith. The Holy Spirit transforms us the believer into the image of Christ and we share in the mission of the church and the teachings of Christ.
Take it from someone who has been visited by the Holy Spirit several times in my life and I believe the Holy Spirit is alive and well today. He continues to pour out on people of every language at Pentecost and draw people of every culture, language, and ethnicity into the family we call the church.
Today we celebrate the fruits, the gifts of the Holy Spirit that has been given to us and to all of God’s people. My prayer is, that we use this Day of Pentecost as an opportunity to open ourselves up to what God wants, not what we might personally prefer.
Leave today, renewed, and transformed into the image of Christ.
The Rev. Lola Culbreath