Summary: A sermon for Pentecost.
"We're Not Drunk It's Only 9 a.m."
The first Christian Church was a motley crew, if there ever was one!!!
If there ever was a more ‘messy’ looking group of people, this was it!
These folks came from just about every walk of life, speaking all kinds of different languages.
There is no way they could get along—let alone thrive and grow together!
Imagine, both Jews and converts to Judaism calling one another “brother”; “sister.”
Imagine Arabs and Israelites coming together in love for one another…
…breaking bread together, praying together, eating in one another’s homes, praising God together, and having everything in common!
On the day of the Jewish festival of Pentecost some 2,000 years ago there were 120 women and men whom the Bible describes as “believers.”
Many of them had lived and followed Jesus for quite a while.
They had watched Jesus love persons—all kinds of persons--in ways that no one else had ever loved before.
They had witnessed with their own eyes—miracles of healing and transformation.
They had heard Jesus describe, countless times, a Kingdom where unconditional love was the standard bearer and God was the One Who was fair and just and kind and merciful.
They heard about the dream, they even caught glimpses of it…
…they got caught up in the excitement of it…
…but they didn’t really understand it.
Then the day came when their Leader was arrested, taken from them and executed in the most cruel and demeaning of ways!
It scared them to death and seemed to smash their hopes and the dream…
…but only for a few days…
…because this same Jesus Who they had come to love and adore, despite the fact that they did not fully understand Him or His message…
…came back to life and lived among them once more.
Then, after 40 days Jesus left them again.
But not before giving them these instructions, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.
For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
They didn’t have a clue what Jesus was talking about, but they waited none the less…
…this little band of funny folks…
…former prostitutes, tax collectors, blue collar fishermen, folks who had once been lame and crippled, people who had been demon possessed and lepers, persons who had been despised and shunned by the world!...
…they trusted and dared believe what they did not understand.
And then it happened.
"They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them to speak."
The crowds of people in the streets "were all surprised and bewildered. Some asked each other, 'What does this mean?'
Others jeered at them, saying, 'They're full of new wine'"--in other words--they are drunk!!!
But Peter stood and with a loud voice said, "These people aren't drunk, as you suspect; after all, it's only nine o'clock in the morning!"
And then Peter preached a sermon about how this is what was "spoken through the prophet Joel" and that we can experience both God's purpose for us and the beginning of the age to come by allowing God to set up God's throne in our hearts.
"And those who accepted Peter's message were baptized.
God brought about three thousand people into the [Church] that day."
And right away, as we are told in Acts 2:42-47, "All the believers were united and shared everything. They would sell pieces of property and possessions and distribute the proceeds to everyone who needed them...
...they praised God and demonstrated God's goodness to everyone."
And, "The Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved."
To be saved is to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and to begin to be renewed into our original image--the image of God--the image we had before we rebelled in the Garden.
It is to become part of God's new creation.
It is to continually be receiving the love of God and then reflecting that love back toward all of creation.
It is our true destiny.
It is what we were created to do.
And yet so many of us miss it!!!
If you are not doing what you were created to do; if you are not being who you were created to be--you cannot be happy, you cannot be at peace.
..."renew the thinking of [your mind] by the Spirit...[clothing yourself] with the new person created according to God's image..."
You know what I want more than anything in the entire world?