June 3rd, 2017 by Kris Taff
"We have the right, the duty, and the joy to say that Pentecost goes on." Pope John Paul II
This Sunday, we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, and annual remembrance and invitation to experience the promised arrival of God's Holy Spirit upon the Church.
Pentecost was the answer given to Jesus' friends who asked about the final arrival of God's kingdom after the Resurrection. They would be witnesses in expanding regions, realms, and races when they received the Holy Spirit and were empowered by Him.
There is wonderful mystery here as we witness the ministry of Jesus, the Father, and the Spirit cooperating, deferring, and sharing in ministry to the disciples of Jesus. Between the upper room in Acts 2 and the earlier out-breathing of the Holy Spirit in John 20 to Jesus' overlapping instruction with the Holy Spirit during the days until the Ascension. (Acts 1.2bff) "...Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen."
Pentecost is history that reverberates not only with memory but with life. We see that in two ways this weekend.
First, our Costa Rica Mission team left this morning to serve and share the good news in the jungle of Costa Rica. As we pray for them each day and on Sunday, we remember that this is an instance of what Jesus had in mind when he described the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Second, we will celebrate the ministry of Deacon Barbara Kuhn this Sunday. The ascended Jesus gave many gifts to His church, and by the Holy Spirit raises up servants and ministers and teachers. Come hear Dcn. Barbara preach at 8 and join us at 9am in the Parish hall for a reception and opportunity to share your gratitude and thanks for her ministry here at New Covenant .
At 10 o'clock, we will look at three ways the Holy Spirit's ministry reshapes our experience and understanding of life with Jesus day by day. Jesus' ministry would have ended without Pentecost. Our ministry in His name would suffer the same fate.
But, that's why there is Feast on Sunday. Because Jesus' ministry did not end, and our is empowered to continue forward.
St Augustine preached that the work of Pentecost was one of growth, not displacement. Quoting from the Great Commission, he begins
"And that penance and remission of sins should be preached. in his name unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." It began at Jerusalem, and it has reached unto us. It is there, and it is here. For it did not cease there to come to us. It has grown forth not changed places.
I learned when I arrived at New Covenant that Pentecost Sunday was a day for wearing red. What a great custom that is. As you prepare for worship on Sunday, lets pray this prayer we first prayed last week.
O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
See you Sunday,