Ancient Future Pentecost
When the day of Pentecost had come, they (the followers of Jesus) were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.7
Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia,
Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ 12All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ 13But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’
14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
17 “In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
What the prophet Joel said would happen happened. God promised it would. This Pentecost goes back to the ancient of days. It’s all a part of God’s master plan to bring unity to the world. And yet we have made it a point of contention, separation, disunity.
18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; It is made clear that this Holy Spirit is a gift for all peoples, not just the chosen ones.
And so, on this Pentecost – today – you and I are presented with a challenge. The Holy Spirit is related to God’s mighty acts ready to reach out and touch all people.
Not just the chosen ones.
In Isaiah we are promised that God would send an anointed servant and all the earth shall see the salvation of our God. Jesus will be the one who will restore Israel to God’s mission. To be a light of revelation to all peoples.
The miracle of Pentecost has to do with God’s mission. God’s mission to bring God’s light to bless all nations, to all peoples. To bless the world with and through those who live their lives in service to God. Jesus took up the mission -- The role of the Spirit anointed servant to the nations.
And on Pentecost the mission and the role of the Spirit anointed servant becomes ours. We are an embodiment of God’s saving grace over all the World – God’s tireless efforts to share God’s saving grace over all corners of the earth.
The miracle of Pentecost is that that’s possible. Will our neighbors see that we are the embodiment of God’s saving grace?
How about us today? When we are preoccupied not so much with being sprinkled by the Holy Spirit but with droplets of infectious human mist, what is the miracle of this Pentecost? It is still the same. God is choosing to bless the world through the servants of the faith, be it the Israelites, the disciples, the church, you. God’s mighty deeds of power through you. Amen!