Pentecost Vigil and Pentecost Sunday – 20 May 2018
Pentecost Vigil •• Genesis 11:1-9 •• Psalm 33 •• Romans 8:22-27 •• + John 7:37-39 ••
Pentecost Sunday •• Acts 2:1-11 •• Psalm 104 •• 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13 or Galatians 5:16-25 •• + John 20:19-23 ••
Title: “Pentecost. Reason, Faith, Coordination, Confidence ”
[__01__] By the time I was ready to leave home after senior year of high school for college, I knew something – a little bit – about curfews, returning home on time, not staying out too late.
Nevertheless, after one particular late-arrival incident, my father took me aside and said … you know, someday, staying out too late could really cost you something … the next day, something you need to be present, something or someone whom you do not want to miss.
In this case, this “correction” or explanation was an appeal by my father not to remind my of my CULPABILITY (or potential blame or guilt) but rather of my COMMITMENTS.
I wish I could tell you that I have never missed an alarm clock … but, nevertheless, the lesson about commitment was meaningful to me.
Occasionally, I do need – we all need – a wake up call.
[__02__] And, I suggest that our real wake-up calls in life are not simply about our “COORDINATION” mentally or intellectually … but also about our CONFIDENCE, spiritually and personally.
In this case, I am using the word “COORDINATION” to refer to the things we know by reason, by logic, by science, by intellect.
And, I am using the word “CONFIDENCE” to refer to what we know by belief, by faith, through God.
We need wake-up calls to help us in both COORDINATION and CONFIDENCE.
[__03__] On Pentecost Sunday, at the beginning of Acts, chapter 2, we see that the disciples are gathered in one place, they are – naturally – intellectually at least – drawn to each other. They have each experienced the event of Jesus’ Passion and Death.
They each fear for their own safety and lives for the same reason. So, they are COORDINATED – co-located – and hiding out.
They disciples were all together for the same reason and with the same REASONING in their mind.
They are also coordinated in that they do not believe in the Resurrection quite yet. They have been told about it, but they are not quite rejoicing or confident. They need a wake-up call.
Their journey will include a wake-up call.
[__04__] Our journeys in life, our steps and stages in life – also include wake-up calls.
However, we may not want others to know that we need a wake-up call… we may not ourselves admit we need one.
For example, if I am called to re-examine my life, my assumptions, I do not do this according to scheduled alarms on my phone. Rather, it comes from outside of me, and at moments unexpected, and moments uncomfortable.
[__05__] In mid-June, the World Cup of Soccer (football) will start in Russia. And, the teams there are striving for coordination – in passing, shooting, defense, offense, cornerkicks and set plays. Coordination is the goal. Coordination scores goals.
However, the winning teams are not set apart as high-achievers simply because of coordination in the things that they can see … but also confident about the things that they cannot see.
They are confident in each other.
[__06__] The Lord desires – Pentecost Sunday and all the time – not only that we are mentally coordinated with the 10 Commandments and the rules of the game which we can see, but also that we seek a personal, spiritual relationship with Him each day.
[__07__] Several years ago, I recall that my mother told me that someone reported to her something that my father had said about my mom or the family or something … something that was supposed to make her react with either humor or rage.
She reacted in neither way to the speaker but simply responded that there was no need for either humor or rage..because she know that the report was completely false: “your father would never say that.”
That is not just mental coordination, that’s spiritual confidence.
[__08__] On Pentecost Sunday, the disciples receive a gift of not only what to say, but also the gift of communicating this in many languages simultaneously. That is awesome coordination !! …but, of course, it is not simply computer-technology.
But, they are not simply transformed into expert and instantaneous UN United Nations translators.
They are not uniting the nations by translation, but uniting the nations by their personal transformation.
Rather, the apostles are speaking in the other’s languages not only because they have memorized what to say …but they also have been given – a gift to know – what God wants them to say and do.
The Holy Spirit is their translator (coordination) …but also their conscience & confidence.
[__09__] On Pentecost Sunday, we also recall that God comes – the Holy Spirit comes – to translate and to complete what we may not be able to say on our own, to give us the desire for repentance – or for forgiveness – that we might not have on our own, to give us a desire for generosity or charity that we might not have on our own.
The Holy Spirit in this regard is both a transformer with energy and coordination and a translator with confidence and with God’s word, so that our joy might be complete. This joy – this rejoicing in the resurrection – is our wake-up call. [__fin__]