Summary: Pentecost Sunday
May 11, 2008
All scriptures marked ESV: The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ac 2:1-13). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Let Us Pray
While I was in Kuwait, I watched several times in the DFAC the coverage of the Pope’s arrival to the US. This was Pope Benedict’s first visit to the States. There was much said about this visit. And there were several Catholic Masses celebrated in stadiums in Washington and New York.
America rolled out the red carpet for the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Our country has had similar welcoming celebrations, maybe not always this large, for other world figures that arrive on our shores.
Have you ever been to a ceremony where a high ranking public figure was welcomed? Maybe it was a Four Star General making a visit. Maybe it was a Governor of your State. I was once at the Southern Baptist Convention when the President came to speak.
It is always amazing to me to see the activities surrounding the arrival of important figures to an area or to visit a group of people.
We open our Bible this morning to the second chapter of Acts. This is the story of Pentecost. This passage describes the arrival of the Holy Spirit into the World.
Jesus had promised that he would be sending a comforter which is the Holy Ghost, and, quoting from John 14:26;
“whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (Jn 14:26, ESV)
And here at Pentecost is where the promise is made complete.
Look with me at Acts 2:1-13.
2 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” (Ac 2:1-13, ESV).
As we look at this passage today, we see how the Holy Spirit came down to the people of God and how the Holy Spirit moved through the community.
This is a great passage to look at on our first Sunday of the deployment—because this is exactly what we need to be seeing on this FOB, in this service, and in our units, throughout this year.
We need to see the Holy Spirit descend on us here and move through our community.
I pray that this morning, we will all walk away with a greater understanding of what the Holy Spirit can mean in a community and how to meet the challenges that lay before us.
The very first observation that I take away from this passage is that upon the introduction of the Holy Spirit
1. The people came together.
At the beginning of the story, in verse two, we find the disciples twelve disciples gathered together and we are not told particularly where exactly they were. Then we see, in verse 5 that there are
“devout men from every nation under heaven.” (Acts 2:5, ESV)
All over the world, there are worshipers of the Most Holy God dwelling in Jerusalem.
Then the Spirit moves.
6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. (Acts 2:6, ESV)
Each of these devout people, gather together at the sound of the Holy Spirit rushing in.
Isn’t it amazing to how people will flock to see someone of impprtance?
Last week was the running of the Kentucky Derby. I lived in Louisville for several years and the Derby is a crazy time for the city, especially the night before. The night before is when all of the celebrity parties happen. Throughout the day, people flock to these party locations looking for the best spot to see the celebrities on their annual pilgrimage to the Derby. I was always amazed by the crowds that would come out to see them.