are the Scripture readings as scheduled in the "Revised Common
Lectionary," an ecumenical schedule of readings of Holy Scripture. Our
sermons are based on these readings.
Pentecost, (Year A)
1:6 So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, is this the
time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?"
1:7 He replied, "It is not for you to know the times or periods that the
Father has set by his own authority.
1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you
will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of
1:9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud
took him out of their sight.
1:10 While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men
in white robes stood by them.
1:11 They said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward
heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in
the same way as you saw him go into heaven."
1:12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is
near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey away.
1:13 When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they
were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas,
Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas
son of James.
1:14 All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with
certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.
This is the Word Of The Lord; Thanks Be To God.
Pentecost, (Year A)
104:24 O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
104:25 Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are
there, living things both small and great.
104:26 There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.
104:27 These all look to you to give them their food in due season;
104:28 when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they
are filled with good things.
104:29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their
breath, they die and return to their dust.
104:29 When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the
face of the ground.
104:30 May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his
104:31 who looks onthe earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and
104:32 I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God
while I have being.
104:33 May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD.
104:35b Bless the LORD, O my soul. Praise the LORD!
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
Pentecost, (Year A)
. 12:3b No one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit.
12:4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
12:5 and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord;
12:6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who
activates all of them in everyone.
12:7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
12:8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another
the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,
12:9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the
12:10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the
discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the
interpretation of tongues.
12:11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each
one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
12:12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of
the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
12:13 For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks,
slaves or free--and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
This is the Word Of The Lord; Thanks Be To God.
Pentecost, (Year A)
7:37 On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing
there, he cried out, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me,
7:38 and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, 'Out
of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water.'"
7:39 Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive;
for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Reader: This is the Gospel of the Lord; Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Brother Benedict, Sermon 175
As I said two weeks ago I have been looking forward to connecting the Pentecost
event to the Mount Sinai event through this sermon.
Pentecost is a Jewish Feast. Like the other Jewish Feasts it has changed and
developed over the centuries. God instituted the Feast of Pentecost to remind
the people that every good gift comes from God. Remember, Jesus refers to the
Holy Spirit as the promised gift of God. In Leviticus 23:15-22 we have the
original instructions on how the Chosen People were to celebrate this Feast of
These instructions were given years before they actually celebrated their first
harvest in the promised land.
The parallels to our Season of the Resurrection are so amazing when we remember
our Resurrection Season started with the Passover. Likewise, it took
forty-seven days to travel from the Red Sea to the foothills of Mount Sinai.
Once they had arrived, God instructed Moses to have the people purify
themselves in preparation for a sinful people to meet their holy God. The
preparation took three days. Moses told the people God desired to meet with
them. Exodus 19:8 says they replied: "All that the Lord has spoken we will
do." Fifty days after the Red Sea, and the Feast of Passover, Israel
approached Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments.
The Bible tells us as Moses ascended the mountain, the ground shook, and mighty
wind blew and roared in the desert below. Fire was seen as though the top of
the mountain was on fire. Notice the parallels to the mighty wind that blew in
the Upper Room and the tongues of fire that appeared over the heads of the 120
believers when the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost.
To help us see the wisdom of this, I am again using the book; "His Glory
Revealed," by Pastor John Hagee for most of this material. On page, 73 he
writes: "According to the Midrash, a rabbinical commentary on the
Scriptures, when God gave the Torah He displayed untold marvels to Israel with
His voice. God spoke and the voice reverberated throughout the whole world, and
all the people witnessed the thundering (Ex. 20:18). According to Jewish
tradition, when God spoke to Moses, He not only spoke in Hebrew, but His voice
split into seventy voices, in seventy languages, so that all the nations should
understand...." (Hagee, pg., 74) Pastor Hagee got this information from
material he found on Hebraic Heritage Ministries Internationalís Web page:
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/2175/chp6.html. John Hagee shows the reason
there were seventy languages because the nations were formed according the
number of the children of Israel. Exodus 1:1-5 says the number of children who
came to Egypt at the invitation of Joseph was seventy and this is why the
rabbis believe God spoke in seventy languages. Of course the Midrash is
rabbinical dogma, but it is worth thinking about. What is amazing about this
possibility is that at the Feast of Pentecost, atop Mount Sinai, God set the stage
for the Pentecost coming of the Holy Spirit fifty days after Jesus rose from
the dead. The Israelites didnít realize that as they heard the trumpet and
watched the fire of God descending upon Mount Sinai with the powerful rushing
winds, they were seeing something God would do for the Bride of Christ on the
same Feast, the Feast of Pentecost after Jesus ascended to heaven.
Hidden in these two Pentecost events is the meaning behind the two leavened
loaves of bread that God was about to dictate be offered on Pentecost. One loaf
represented Israel, Godís Chosen People and the first giving of the Law of God
at Mt. Sinai, the first Covenant; the second loaf represented the Church, the
Bride of Christ the people who would receive the New Covenant of God described
in Jeremiah 31:31. Why would God require leavened bread when leaven represents
sin in the Bible? Perhaps it is because though God had two Chosen People,
Israel and the Church, God knew they would remain a sinful people all the days
they remained in their natural bodies and so God takes the sacrificial bread
with leaven in it. God was also showing that God would make a way for the
Chosen People and the Bride of Christ would be able to deal with their sins.
God would provide the Lamb and the sacrifice.
The Prophet Jeremiah recorded the prophecy of the New Covenant that Jesus would
initiate. The New Covenant would not be written on tablets of stone as was the
old one, but would be written on the hearts of the covenant people. Lets read
that covenant: "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will
make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah - not
according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took
them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they
broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this covenant that I
will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put
My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people." (Jer. 31:31-33)
This new Covenant was established by Jesus fifty days after the Passover
Sabbath, during the Feast of Weeks. It was established by God in the giving of
the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
The second version (or development) of Pentecost was not viewed as important as
the first, according to author Hayyim Schauss. He writes that during the period
of the second temple, the time of Christ, Pentecost "did not play a great
role in the Jewish life... It was obviously a festival observed only in the
Temple, and not to any noticeable extent outside of Jerusalem. The holiday
first attained importance when it became the festival of the giving of the
Torah, of God revealing Himself on Mount Sinai." (Hagee, pg. 79 quoting
Schauss, The Jewish Festivals, pg. 89). Although the Festival of Pentecost was
not as important in the time of Christ as it was in the time of Moses, it was
still a pilgrimage festival, meaning thousands of Jews returned to Jerusalem to
fulfill the commands of the Lord. Therefore, on the Day of Pentecost described
in Acts we can be sure people were there from every corner of the known earth.
What is amazing is nearly every aspect of the Mount Sinai event was repeated on
the Christian Pentecost when God honored the Bride of Christ, the second
leavened loaf, the recipients of the New Covenant. There were 120 men gathered
in the upper room. At first that doesnít sound significant but listen to this.
In order to have a synagogue or a congregation Jewish law required ten people,
this is called a minyan. This may mean there were ten people from each of the
twelve tribes of Israel present when the Holy Spirit descended on the Church.
There was a mighty rushing wind just like at Mt. Sinai. The fire rested over
the heads of the believers similar to the way it appeared on Mt. Sinai.
Just as God spoke in every known language at Mt. Sinai, so the disciples began
to speak in every language that was in Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost
(Acts 2:6). This time God expanded the scope of the event by giving holy
empowerment to the Bride Of Christ and making apostles, prophets, evangelists,
pastors, teachers, administrators, and other servants of the church from the
women and the men who were present. This time the Commandments of God were
written on the human heart (Jer. 31:33; 2 Cor. 3:3). When Moses came down the
mountain and found Israel lost in idolatry three thousand died because of their
unbelief, but on the Christian Pentecost, three thousand became believers and
were saved. We understand the Law was written on stone and given in the letter
at Mt. Sinai, but the Spirit of the Law was given at Christian Pentecost and
written on individual believerís hearts. (Rom. 2:29; 7:6). This time power
Paul proclaimed, "For the kingdom of God is not in word but in
power." (1 Cor. 4:20) The word power is from the Greek word dunamis,
(Strongís # 1411). It means force, specifically a miraculous power, power,
strength, mighty (wonderful) work... and from it we get English words like
dynamite, dynamic, dynamism, etc. This was power from God to do the very works
of God. From that day there was power in His Name, power in His Gospel, power
in the Blood of Christ, power in the Body of Christ, and power in the church.
Now, the Holy Spirit was charged with continuing the very ministry of Jesus in
the hearts and in the bodies of believers.
How do we bring this home to each of us personally. The Holy Spirit is given to
us for the purpose of evangelization. We have discovered that simply being here
and opening the doors is not enough to bring the people in who need the Gospel.
No, instead, the Holy Spirit gives us the divine power to be able to go forth
and witness to others about the great works of God. All of us know many people
who have not heard the full Gospel of Christ with its totally awesome and
healing truths. The truth is we sometimes feel shy, or we lack the confidence
we need to bring Christ into our conversations or situations. What we need to
realize is we are not asked to witness to God on our own power and ability.
This is the work of Jesus Christ in the world and the Holy Spirit is there to
empower us to be able to do this work. In other words we must rely on the Holy
Spirit within us to do the witnessing and spreading of the Gospel.
The Holy Spirit comes with many different gifts of ministry to the Church so
that we can successfully be the Body Of Christ. The second reading said some of
these gifts are words of wisdom, words of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing,
working of miracles, gifts of prophecy, discernment of spirits, and the gift of
tongues. Paul said; "All these are activated by one and the same Spirit,
who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses." (1 Cor
All of the functions of the Holy Spirit are in answer to Godí promise and to
the promise of Jesus to give the Church the Holy Spirit so that the ministry of
Jesus may continue. It isnít enough to be members of the church. We must be
filled with the Holy Spirit for their to be any living ministry of Christ. As
this season of Pentecost opens this weekend let us begin a tremendous season of
growth and open our hearts to have the New Covenant written on our hearts and
to be made into the living Body Of Christ.
. May Almighty God bless all of us, in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the
Holy Spirit, Amen.