Summary: A Sermon for Pentecost Sunday
John 15: 26-27, 16: 4b-15
"The Unknown God"
26 ¶ But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me;
27 and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning.
4 But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them. "I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.
5 But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ’Where are you going?’
6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts.
7 ¶ Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
8 And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:
9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;
10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more;
11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
12 "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.RSV
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday.
Who’s birthday is it you might be wondering, well it is all of our, for today is the birthday of the church, today is Pentecost.
Are you excited? Does this day fill you with joy and happiness? Have you planned a celebration, our you friend, neighbor, and family coming over to celebrate?
Or maybe you are like King George in the following:
On July 4, 1776, the members of the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia signed the Declaration of Independence. With this action, the American Revolution was launched and a new nation was born.
It is ironic that on that very day George III, King of England, made this entry in his diary: "Nothing of any importance happened today. "
On the day of Pentecost, 120 followers of a Jesus were gathered together in Jerusalem. Suddenly the Spirit of God filled each one of them and marked them with tongues of fire. On that day the Church was born. But no historian of the time saw anything significant in that event.
For many Christians, the events of Pentecost, the events of God’s Spirit coming to this earth is like what King George said on the day the Declaration of Independence was signed,"nothing of any importance happened today."
Today is Pentecost, one of the 4 major festivals of the church year. Today we celebrate the coming of God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit into the lives of men and woman, today we celebrate the birthday of the church.
But, if you didn’t come to church today, if you maybe hadn’t read your daily devotional booklet, or perhaps if you hadn’t looked at the church calendar, you would have not known this was a major festival of the church year. Today is just as important as Christmas, just as important as Easter, just as important as the festival of the Ascension, but for some unknown reason, this festival, this holiday in the church year goes by almost unnoticed. Why is that??
Pentecost and the Spirit seems like the Unknown God. We know about God the father who was the creator as we look at nature all around us, we know about God the Son, Jesus Christ, the one who was born in a manager, died on a cross and rose on Easter Sunday. But what about this Unknown God, God the Holy Spirit.
Why do we have a such difficult time getting a handle on the Spirit of God? Maybe we don’t understand what exactly happened on this day. Maybe, talk about the Spirit is not so sweet as talk about a baby born in a manager, angels singing in the heavens, gifts being passed about and shepherds tending their sheep on quiet hillsides.
Maybe we don’t get excited about Pentecost like we do Easter because there is nothing to do. No eggs to color, no clothes to buy for the Easter Parade, no empty tomb.