Greetings church family,
Grace and peace to each of you this week as we anticipate Pentecost this Sunday! This Sunday, we celebrate new birth, new life - New life that comes upon us suddenly, unmerited, irresistibly!
Our texts this week on the one hand point us to the singular reality of the coming of God's Spirit upon God's people, yet on the other hand, point us to the vast scope of what that means! Psalm 104 reminds us that all of creation, all creatures, possess life only by God, only in God. Without God there is literally NO life! John 7 points us to the radical new moment, the new way that God's life comes to us in Jesus, through the Spirit - life that is no longer received from external things, but rather, life that flows like a river from within us! 1 Corinthians 12 reminds us that the Spirit's coming is not just a one-time event, not just one moment that "happened" in the past, but that the Spirit is at work in and among the body forevermore, gifting us each uniquely with ways we can serve one another and reflect the goodness of the life we receive in God.
In the passage from Numbers, Moses longs for a reality, a moment where ALL of God's people would be prophets, would receive God's Spirit and speak the blessing and goodness of God to the world! This reality, this glory that lives in the mind, in the dreams, of Moses, is what Peter confesses has come to pass at Pentecost! At Pentecost, the church is reanimated after seemingly having been effectively defeated, and is then propelled outward from Jerusalem in all new directions! This moment continues with us today, we have been propelled by the Spirit of God right into Chico, California! What a glorious thing to consider. God has sent us, propelled us, by the Spirit, right into our very moment. Through the power of the Spirit, our lives are being transformed before our very eyes, in the presence of our neighbors, to the glory of God. What a remarkable story we have to tell - we are witnesses of the miraculous!
God bless you this week as you consider your place in the Pentecost story. This Sunday we celebrate and recognize the reality that we live in this very day, this very moment, every day of our lives. The life of God, the life of the age to come, has BURST into our moment, our age, our lives, our inner beings. God is doing something spectacular - are we paying attention?!
Many blessings to you this week, friends, in Christ, in the Word; In the Spirit!
Scriptures For This Week: May 31st, 2020
24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.
26 Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28 And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, “My lord Moses, stop them!” 29 But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!” 30 And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.
37 On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, 38 and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
24 O Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
25 Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
creeping things innumerable are there,
living things both small and great.
26 There go the ships,
and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.
27 These all look to you
to give them their food in due season;
28 when you give to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
when you take away their breath, they die
and return to their dust.
30 When you send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the ground.
31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the Lord.
35 (b) Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Praise the Lord!
Acts 2:1-21 (Also see Joel 2:28-32)
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6 And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7 Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” 12 All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”
14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
17 ‘In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show portents in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
20 The sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
No one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.