Tag Archives: 1 Corinthians 12

Whoa, Holy Spirit, Whoa!

Our Acts scripture begun with 120 of Jesus’ followers gathered, spiritually and physically, in Jerusalem. These followers included the eleven, Jesus’ mother and brothers, and other men AND women, who had spent ten days in conversation, praying ‘Come, Holy Spirit Come’ with increasing impatience.

But, which Holy Spirit are they praying will come…
… the calming, comforting presence;
… the driving force, the motor, that will drive the Jesus movement forward gently;
… or the wild, uncontrollable source of inspiration and action.

Suddenly, a violent wind blows through the room. WHOA!

Suddenly, tongues (or flames) of fire rest upon the 120 men AND women. WHOA!

Suddenly, this chaos grabs the attention of the crowd outside. Jews of EVERY nation. WHOA!

Suddenly, the 120 are forced from the building, into the world witnessing to Christ in word and deed. WHOA!

Suddenly, the 120 can be understood by ALL in their native languages. WHOA!

Suddenly, Peter begins to preach and 3000 in the crowd join the Jesus movement. WHOA!

Apparently, it was the wild, uncontrollable Holy Spirit of inspiration and action that arrived. The Holy Spirit that most, especially mainline traditions, are the LEAST comfortable. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 31, 2020 in Sermons


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The Year of the Lord’s Favor

Since we have not been together in church for a couple of weeks, let us take a look at where we have been.

In this season of the “Time after Epiphany” is a time of ‘little’ epiphanies about who Jesus is and the mission of his ministry.

The first Sunday missed was the Baptism of Our Lord.

Before the Epiphany, we spoke about the 12-year-old Jesus in the temple giving a little attitude to his parents, Mary and Joseph, saying:

“How did you NOT know where I was? Of Course, I would be in my Father’s house”.

Afterwards, Jesus grew in favor according to the gospels but we do not encounter Jesus again until his baptism at approximately age 30. According to Luke, immediately after his baptism, Jesus is praying when the heaven opens, the Holy Spirit descends upon him, and he hears the voice of God saying:

“You are my Son, the beloved, with you I am well pleased”.

Apparently, Jesus needed time to discern (or ponder) this, so the Holy Spirit sent him into the wilderness for 40 days and nights. We will have this scripture next season (Lent).

Jesus has had his ‘temptation in the wilderness’.

Jesus has been to a wedding party Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on January 27, 2019 in Sermons


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This morning we have the infamous scripture of Jesus at a wedding party and according to scripture performing his first (at least public) miracle: turning water into wine.

The weddings of the biblical era were seven-day long affairs. Although family, friends, and the community would by custom bring food and wine to share (imagine a biblical pitch-in), it was ultimately the responsibility of the bride and groom to ensure the food and wine flowed freely for those seven days. If not, it would not simply tarnish but destroy the family reputation and bring shame upon them because the assumption was:

  1. they did not have the financial resources needed and/or
  2. they lacked sufficient social ties.

This story sheds light on a couple epiphanies.

  1. The first epiphany is that Jesus is a miracle worker, thus able to work outside the confines of our natural law and order to make the extra-ordinary happen. The disciples and servants witness it and believe in Jesus, as a Rabbi and miracle-worker.
  2. The second epiphany is that Jesus, especially in Luke, enjoyed a good party. Jesus was able and willing to provide the good time, the good life, and the good wine abundantly for the remaining wedding celebration.

Colleagues and I spoke this week about our lack of comfort with miracles, Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on January 24, 2019 in Sermons


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Wild One: the Holy Spirit and Its Gifts


Its Pentecost!! Yahoo!!

I was talking earlier today about how we focus on Pentecost as this festival day, where we get to wear red and we get all excited about it. We get all excited about the Holy Spirit. Yet, it seems so odd to me that we do this; Pentecost seems like an odd thing for me.

We struggle with the Spirit and what the Spirit calls us to do. So, I want to talk about how it influenced the disciples.

Do you remember last week?
Christ has ascended back to the Father. The disciples were hidden in an upper room, praying ‘thy kingdom come, thy will be done’. But the truth is, Christ had already sent them into the world to carry on his mission.

I talked about how we are invited, encouraged, and brought into that same mission through our baptismal promises; nurtured by the faithful, nurtured by Word and Sacrament. We are called to proclaim the Word in word and deed. We’re called to seek justice, to act with mercy and compassion, to love, and to serve.

But, the disciples are in an upstairs room praying ‘thy kingdom come, thy will be done’. Where is the action?

The analogy I used last week was the relay runner, because we are called to get a head-start while the one running up behind us is bringing us the drive or motivation to continue.

That motivation, that drive happened at Pentecost. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 7, 2017 in Sermons


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