June 8, 2019

Sermon Notes for Sunday the 9th June 2019. Pentecost

Sermon Notes for Sunday the 9th June 2019. Pentecost

Acts 2:1-21. The believers are filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and they start to praise God in various languages.
Psalm 104:26-36. The world and all its creatures depend on God for provision and breath – which leads the Psalmist to commit to praise God.
Romans 8:14-17. God has given us God’s Spirit by which we know we are God’s children, sharing both in God’s glory and God’s suffering.
John 14:8-17. Jesus promises the Holy Spirit to be an advocate for his followers, and to lead them into truth.

The Rev. Tania writes,

As what I call the “God’s Story” part of the Liturgical Calendar begins to draw to a close, we are prepared for the second half of the year –
the “Our Story” part which happens in Ordinary Time. And that preparation is in the form of a gift – the Pentecost gift of God’s Spirit, God’s community and God’s call.
It is easy, after all of the work of the calendar so far to just breathe a sigh of relief and just get through the last few weeks with as little effort and stress as possible. But, the Pentecost event needs our best efforts – and some new ways of thinking about it. Which I hope I’m helping to stir up in this message.
Perhaps the oldest mistake we make with the Pentecost event is to speak of it as the Spirit’s “coming” – as if God’s Spirit was absent from the world before this. Jesus gives us a clue to a different understanding, though, when he says that “the world cannot receive him because it isn’t looking for him…”
Pentecost is essentially a breakthrough in our human capacity to apprehend and experience God’s activity which is (and always has been) active in all of creation (including us).
At Pentecost we learn to look for God’s Spirit – and the readings for today make it clear that God’s Spirit can be seen and found anywhere and everywhere we look. In receiving the new awareness of God’s Spirit we find that we all speak a common Spirit-enabled language – the language of God-imaged, Spirit-filled, humanity. Once our eyes are opened to see God’s Spirit in all things (including those who are different from us, who are hostile toward us, and who are most repulsive to us), everything changes. We know ourselves (and all creatures) as St. Francis did – as God’s children and siblings of one another – and we willingly share Christ’s suffering (as Paul says) to bring God’s creation into awareness of this unity and community in God’s Spirit.
May your eyes be opened and your heart be filled as you celebrate the ever-present Spirit of God this week, and as you receive the empowerment of God for the journey ahead.

Blessings of presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Rev. Tania.