Our World Belongs to God 28
It was good to be together for worship yesterday as we reflected on Pentecost. Then we enjoyed a good turnout for online Coffee Hour, all together and divided into Faithgroups. Fittingly, "Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testimony" also focusses this week on the Holy Spirit. Today we look at the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
Paragraphs 1-6: Preamble (April 11-29)
Paragraphs 7-12: Creation (April 30-May 8)
Paragraphs 13-17: Fall (May 11-15)
Paragraphs 18-22:Redemption (May 18-22)
Paragraphs 23-27: Jesus Christ (May 25-29)
Paragraphs 28-30: Holy Spirit (June 1-3)
Paragraph 28 (Today)
At Pentecost, promises old and new are fulfilled.
The ascended Jesus becomes the baptizer,
drenching his followers with his Spirit,
creating a new community
where Father, Son, and Holy Spirit make their home.
Revived and filled with the breath of God,
women and men, young and old,
dream dreams and see visions.
[On the fulfillment of promises at Pentecost along with dreams and visions, see Acts 2:16-21. On the ascended Jesus as baptizer and also the imagery of drenching in baptism of the Spirit, see Luke 3:16; John 1:32-33; 20:22; and Acts 2:32-33. On the Spirit creating a new community, note Acts 2:41-47 following Pentecost. On the Father, Son, and Spirit making their home with God’s people, see John 14:15-24.]
The writers of this Testimony gave us many Scriptural references to consider today, so I will not burden you with many more words. Let me only remind you how often in the New Testament the Holy Spirit is referred to as water which is poured out, fills, washes, and quenches thirst. Scripture tells us not to "quench" the Spirit, rather, as the writers of Paragraph 28 invite us, to be "drenched" in the Spirit. For all of us, imperfect vessels that we are, this takes some focussed waiting. Our song today, suggested by Judi, is "I will wait for you." I invite you to wait, prayerfully and expectantly.
I repeat here part of Chong's congregational prayer from yesterday's worship, for us to pray together:
"Heavenly Father, we ask for your forgiveness for the sins of racism in our world. You know, Lord, of the senseless deaths of African-Americans in the United States. You know, Lord, of the outrage and the violence in the cities. You know too, Lord, the plight of Indigenous First Nations in Canada and the United States. You know, Lord, the rise of racism against Asians in both countries. You know so much more. So Lord, we ask for your healing of the nations. We ask that you purge the demons of racism away from our countries and our people. Change hearts, Lord, but change the systems and structures in our societies, too, systems that perpetuate injustice and prejudice. Lord, we pray that you may pour your Spirit like you did at Pentecost. Pour your Spirit out upon your worldwide church. Revive your church, O Lord; raise us up and use us as a channel of blessing to a hurting world."
In closing, let's together pray this portion of the Nicene Creed:
We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
God from God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made;
of the same essence as the Father.
Through him all things were made.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life.
He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
He spoke through the prophets.
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you" (2 Corinthians 13:13).
PS - My online office hours on Tuesday will be from 11am to noon, and 1-2pm. I'll be there if you want to talk or just say hi.
PSS - Please keep the elders in prayer as they meet tonight, and the Council as they meet tomorrow night.