Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pentecost Sunday

For our study this week, we are looking the Wisdom of Solomon 1:1-8, 

Wisdom, in this book is usually regarded as the Holy Spirit, and we are given a grave  warning.  The Holy Spirit will not be  with someone who plots evil, who is not disciplined, or participates in deceit.  The lesson from Joel today is usually believed to refer to the first Pentecost Sunday, but I believe that from time to time we see manifestations of the Spirit, like the Silesian Children's revival, the time of Meister Eckhart, where the Spirit manifests in power with healings, and where we see people acting like the New Testament Church.

Indeed, we had one of these manifestations near by at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer some years back.  The pastor of this church had  received the Holy Spirit in fullness, and many people came to see what was going on.  People were healed, people spoke in tongues,  people shared their home and a powerful community was growing up.  This all came to an end as sexual scandals by the Rector (chief priest) and elders came to light.  As long as the Rector fought these urges, the Holy Spirit transformed that church.  But when he allowed himself to dwell on temptation, it over came him, and the Holy Spirit departed.  From being a spiritual power house where addicts where healed, where people shared their goods, Church of the Redeemer has dropped into a place where it now shares a building with a Lutheran Church.

The mission of Jesus was to restore.  In our first lesson today, we saw at the tower of Bavel how God confused the languages, because of our pride.  On the Jewish day of Pentecost, we saw that about 3000 died for idolatry.  In Christian Pentecost, all hear in their own languages, and about 3000 are saved.  Those numbers are no accident.  Yeshua came to reconcile us with God the Father.  To do so, when we receive Yeshua in our baptism, we are filled with the Holy Spirit.  We can either allow allow that Spirit to guide us, or we can quench the Holy Spirit by plotting evil, participating in deceit, or by not having discipline.  If we want the true power of God, we must allow Him and Him alone to guide our lives.  When we are guided by the Holy Spirit, we are filled with power.

Look around, is your church guided by the Spirit.  Do you see mighty acts of power.  It is time for all of us to plead that God give us the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and to remove all evil from our lives.  God wants to transform us, but we need to be ready to cast evil out of our lives and out of our churches.   We can no longer call what is evil good, and what is good evil.  God laid down the guidelines for us.  Pray, study the  word, allow him to transform your life.