Pentecost

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Day of Pentecost (May 20, 2018)

Acts 2:1-21  •  Psalm 104:24-34, 35b  •  Romans 8:22-27 •  John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

Romans 8:22-27 New Living Translation (NLT)


This Sunday is Pentecost. In recent years, churches have celebrated Pentecost by throwing a party and in many ways, Pentecost needs to be celebrated, because it really is the birthday of the church universal.  Many Jews were in Jerusalem – 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection. It was the Feast of Weeks, or the Feast of the First Fruits.  Jesus had told his disciples, which numbered at least 120 to tarry (or to stay) in Jerusalem until the promised gift arrived.  During the Feast of Weeks, the disciples were gathered in an upper room (I wonder if it was the same upper room where Jesus had his last meal with the 12,) and they were praying.  As they were praying, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they – as Jesus promised – became witnesses to the power of God and they told their story – in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the rest of the world.  

For our text today, I want to focus on the last two verses in our reading for today. The reason for celebrating Pentecost in our culture today is because of the work of the Holy Spirit.  Listen to what Paul writes:

26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

Have you ever been in the place where you know you are to pray, but you don’t know what or what for?  It is the Holy Spirit who works in our lives. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.  Sometimes it’s hard to comprehend that the Holy Spirit would take our random thoughts and pray to the Father – intercede to the Father on our behalf.  Without that, living the Christian life would be difficult at best.  As I think about it, I know that I need a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit in my life.  I think all of us need it – because we leak.  Today, as we celebrate Pentecost, let us pray for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit.

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