6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Pentecost -- 2004

Matthew Eyerman

May 30, 2004


I. Introduction

1. what is the miracle in the first reading from Acts

2. tempted to say

a. strong wind

b. tongues as if of fire

3. certainly special effects capture our imagination

4. anyone see the new movie: The Day After Tomorrow

a. global warming causes new ice age

b. not very good acting

c. great special effects

5. fire and wind in Acts seems like a special effect

II. bridge

1. in reality, biblical scholars

2. we know that fire and wind are not God’s special effects

3. that fire and wind are the normal manifestations of God

4. remember

a. the pillar of fire that lead the Israelites from Egypt

b. the fire that consumed Solomon’s sacrifice in 2 Chron 7:1

c. the wind that breathed life into the Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones (37)

5. Psalm 29 combines both images

Ps 29:7 The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.8The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

6. leave the pyrotechnics alone

7. not at all miraculous

8. but there is a miracle in Acts 2

9. in fact there are 4 miracles in today’s readings

III. first miracle: all together ---- #1

1. the first miracle is the first line of Acts 2

Acts 2:1When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.

2. don’t skip past this miracle

3. think how much effort it took to get 12 men

a. by this time Matthias had replaced Judas

b. plus the other disciples

c. plus all the women

d. at in one place at one time

4. remember even fear of death did not initially bring them together

5. Thomas stayed away for a week

IV. first miracle: all together ---- #2

1. ever had the experience of being in the right place at the right time

2. can be simple

a. driving somewhere

b. and catch a series of green lights

c. or traffic suddenly opens up

3. can be a matter of timing

a. best friend calls at just the time you need

b. the answer to the last exam question jumps in your head right on time

4. can even be complex

a. Mary Marks died about a year ago

b. when I got the call the come to the hospital I was downtown

c. made it home to get the oils and to the hospital

d. all before she died

5. who works it out so that we are in the right place at the right time

6. not us

a. parents you know how hard get yourself &the kids ready each morning

b. kids you know how hard it is to get to school on time every day

c. some days you take that tardy slip as a prize

d. made it

7. who organizes our lives so we are in the right spot at the right time

8. He is an on time God and keeps us on time

9. that is a miracle

V. Second miracle: speaking in different languages --- #1

1. second speaking in different languages

2. let’s be clear what this is not

3. this is not speaking in tongues

a. we are familiar with this

b. crying out in estactic language praising God

4. Paul describes speaking in tongues as a gift of the Holy Spirit

1 Cori 14:2For those who speak in a tongue do not speak to other people but to God; for nobody understands them, since they are speaking mysteries in the Spirit.

5. purpose for speaking different languages in Acts is very different

6. purpose is not to praise God but to spread the Good News

7. the miracle is that God equips us to spread the Good News

VI. Second miracle: speaking in different languages ---- #2

1. the ability to speak in different languages

2. reversal of the curse of Babel

a. story from Genesis

b. everyone spoke the same language

c. worked together build a tower

d. tried to make humans in to gods

3. now equipped with the ability to speak different languages

4. take a fractured people and lead them to God

5. we are not building the tower of Babel

6. we are building the kingdom of God

7. we are equipped to do that

VII. second miracle --- speak different languages ---- #3

1. I am trying to make St. Columbanus multi-lingual

2. if we are to spread Good News we need to speak the language of that culture

3. we need to reach out past our culture and speak new languages

4. we will not repeat the sins of the past

a. when African Americans first came to this parish

b. the language of the culture was Irish Catholicism

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