Sermon 23 May 2021t


Pentecost sermon based on Acts 2:1-21.Revd Tudor Vaughan Roberts

In Luke’s gospel  the coming of the gospel, the coming of Jesus, happens as the Holy Spirit moves upon people; John the Baptist a/c to Luke 1:13 will be filled with Holy Spirit even before he is born.

Mary is told by Gabriel, Luke 1:35, that the Holy Spirit wil overshadow her, will come upon her, in fact as Elizabeth, John’s mother meets the pregnant Mary (with Jesus in her womb) the Holy Spirit fills her as John leaps in her womb.

So, in Luke we see the Holy Spirit with babies in the womb, with the very young and with women. Do you and I see how radical God is?

As Jesus is presented in the Temple Simeon, Joseph, Mary, baby Jesus and Anna are caught up in praise to God by who? the Holy Spirit, so the Holy Spirit is there at the birth of Jesus and the coming of the Gospel through Jesus.

Now, in the first chapters of Acts read for us today we see the Birth of the Church not the Birthday of the Church as my birthday is on 25/09 but the birth OF the Church. The Church is birthed through the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, and now some 50 days after Pentecost and the first barley harvest there is now the festival of weeks, being the celebration of the Covenant through Noah and Moses, and also celebrations for the first wheat harvest. And at this time, in that place, the Holy Spirit make himself very present and known and felt.

Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the Papal household writes  “the first teaching of Acts is that the primary activity of the Church is the proclamation of the dead and risen Christ. “This man (says St Peter)  you killed But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death,(Acts 2:23-24) When a baby comes into the light a shriek or a wail indicates that it is alive and breathing the same way the Church make its entrance into the world on the day of Pentecost emitting a cry that makes it recognizable as a living Church”.

If we read Acts 2, we see things that are in place and that things that take place.

In Place are the scriptures that were written prophetically about the role of the Spirit, so we have Ezekiel 37 read in Church, and Joel whom Peter refers to in his Sermon in Acts 2.

In place as we recognized last week is that God had so engineered things that the Apostles were twelve once again match fit and ready for what Jesus had promised would come.

In Place as Acts 2 Vs 1 says is the fact the apostles had all come together. I said last week Acts is the letter Par excellence of corporate mission, corporate vision, corporate worship, and corporate living. Acts is not about one-man not St Peter nor St Paul, instead it is about a newly enabled and mission ready team that became the Church of the First Century.

In place was the festival of Pentecost also called the festival of weeks, the first harvest  of wheat and the celebration of the covenant made with Noah and Moses.

Secondly were things that took place on the day of Pentecost:

A sound like the blowing of a strong wind came and filled the house where the 120 disciples were.

They saw what seemed to be tongues of flames that rested on each person ‘s head.

They were filled with the Holy Spirit.

They spoke out in languages that as the people from outside listened in they could understand in their very own native tongue. How amazing.

The Holy Spirit came in visible audible power on the 120 or so disciples and we assume that somehow, they then came out from their building and interacted with the 2 to 3,000 people who it says came to faith that very first Pentecost. They heard them each one speaking in their native tongue and language.

So, this was the context of Pentecost, a truly global event No one knows why the Countries that Luke mentions were chosen but it could be they are representative of where the Jewish diaspora had gone to live. Europe seems to be not mentioned.

So, we see God at work in:

Circumstances/ Cultures /Celebrations

So, we see God as Lord of circumstances, Lord of cultures, and tribes and this day in that Place (Jerusalem) the Lord allows a wonderful celebration when 3000 people come to faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord.

There is nothing about this Pentecost celebration that is quiet; Its Noisy! There is Bewilderment, Amazement, Perplexity, Questioning.

Its early in the morning when this happens The disciples are very joyful, and they get accused of being drunk! But St Peter says its only nine a clock in the Morning. In the 1970’s a church in Seattle Washington, a quiet traditional high Anglican Church led by the Revd Bennett got transformed by a Movement of the Holy Spirit they were overcome by Joy, people said sorry and were filled with the Spirit ,many came toa renewed  faith in Jesus, it was a pure act of grace by a God of mercy. The Vicar wrote a book called its  9 o’clock in the Morning! ( 2.00 £ second hand on Amazon)

Nine o’clock in the Morning: Amazon.co.uk: Bennett, Dennis J.: 9780902088207: Books

You see, Pentecost was unique yes, but it keeps happening see the Welsh and Scottish Revivals. Pray that may be so, right here for us.

Peter brings order and gets them to focus on what God has done and preached the sermon of his life quoting Joel.

My Spirt says Joel wil come on all flesh, boys and girl’s servants too, young men old men.

When we read the letters of St Paul especially Romans, we see so many greeting to Men and Women and we know that the early Christian congregations met in people’s homes and would have been made up of boys and girls, Men and women, slave and free.

So, this Pentecost.

1)Take every opportunity to meet with other Christians on Zoom and in Church and in gardens (homes too soon)
Acts is the No 1 book of getting together to encounter God. God delights to work where there is Unity.

2) Secondly Refresh yourself on the Global perspective of faith, there are 2.8 billion Christians. The amazing thing is that The Bible is fully translated into 700 languages and partially translated (either OT or NT) into 3,700 languages.

Just as at Pentecost people can read and hear God in either their mother tongue or the language that they might know well (there are 7,000 languages in the world)

A global Christian is a happy Christian as you can see what God is doing worldwide.

3) Thirdly to renew our faith, learn how God breaks through into this world through.

Sound

Through Seeing things

Ask God to speak to you through creation as well as through his word.

God is through the Holy Spirit, the wildness of God and loves to stir up the Church to go beyond the boundaries to where the lost are. Come Holy Spirit.

 

Tudor Roberts

God, who as at this time

taught the hearts of your faithful people

by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit:

grant us by the same Spirit

to have a right judgement in all things

and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;

through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

(or)

Holy Spirit, sent by the Father,

ignite in us your holy fire;

strengthen your children with the gift of faith,

revive your Church with the breath of love,

and renew the face of the earth,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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