The Lighthouse Keeper

Greetings from Pastor Kerry, former pastor of Spring City UMC. This blog contains my sermon outlines and/or manuscripts from my pastorate among the people of Spring City PA, from 2006 to 2011. Pastor Dennis is now the lighthouse keeper. Come and worship on Sundays at 10:00 a.m.!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

"Power Up!"

May 27, 2007
Pentecost Sunday!
Memorial Day Weekend

from Romans 8:14-17 and Acts 2:1-21

"All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit" – Acts 2:4

My sermon outline:

• What is Pentecost? We wear red, HS colors, we remember it as the scripture told it, with the tongues of fire and the proclamation of the gospel, sometime after Jesus ascended, when they received the power promised by Jesus in 1:8, we call it the birthday of the Church, but it goes back more than that...

• Shauvot, agricultural holiday, one of three great annual feasts, religious community come together, also giving of law (50 days post exodus, ex 19:1; described in Lev 23:5-21 and Deut 16:8-10): affirm covenant, recommit. Even included a candle lit for deceased loved ones.

• All gathered, 120. Together 10 days in prayer, since ascension. KJV all with one accord. All together b/c Shauvot, all together expectantly awaiting power.

• Play train whistle. Unmistakable. Lets you know what’s coming. Same with motorcycle. Let you know what’s coming. Same with God. (Play wind). Violent. Not cuddly.

"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."

• The mighty wind might remind you of Ezekiel 37, where God tells the prophet to prophesy to the wind, the breath. Might remind you of John 3 when Jesus talks about wind and the spirit of God. Reminded me of Genesis 1 when a wind/the spirit of God swept across the face of the deep.

• Then there’s something like tongues of fire. Again, power – don’t play with fire... Might be reminded of the burning bush, when God spoke to Moses, or the pillar of fire by which God led the Israelites. Fire used throughout Bible to refer to God’s holiness, purity, glory, truth, to protection of God’s people, purification of them, to God’s wrath. To the altar fires which the priests kept burning for God. JtB had told of baptism by fire

• Supernatural wind plus supernatural fire = God’s unmistakable presence.

• Following all of this, the believers jump into action: they streamed out of the house into the international gathering and told about God’s deeds of power. The God who caused that noise and fire, that is the God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Moses and of David. It is the God who rescued our ancestors from captivity and who spoke through the prophets and who did miraculous things through his Son Jesus Christ whom he raised from the dead. As the prophet Joel said would happen, God has poured out his spirit on all flesh, and we are witnesses to Almighty God and his saving works! This same God invites us to be his children, to receive life as God intended it to be.

• What does Pentecost mean for us? It’s a reminder that God’s life-giving and saving power is available not just to a bunch of 1st century Jews or folks from a bunch of ancient nations, it’s available to us. It’s available to anyone who can be told about it. You don’t have to be rich enough or go to the right church or live on the right side of the tracks to have access to God’s power, to commune with God the Father Son and Holy Spirit, you don’t have to be a great musician or scholar or whatever, God has invited you to be his child and ambassador.

• Pentecost is a reminder and a commission.

• Gather in community, in prayer, in worship and in Word, in expectation.

• Add Power of God... Act. Tell.

• "And God who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6).

Prayer for God’s Spirit to breathe on us: Hymn 420

- Pastor Kerry
This Sunday: 59 in worship.