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Tag Archives: Acts 2

The Holy Spirit (a sermon)

We hold to many mysteries within our Christian faith which we do not understand, cannot fully comprehend, and cannot fully explain or describe to another.

Next Sunday, we will explore a HUGE mystery of faith attempting to more fully understand the Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit as a whole. But, this morning we will focus on one piece of the Trinity, which is a piece we do not tend to focus upon.

One day in seminary, we were discussing the Holy Trinity and our Christian claim that it should be ‘balanced’, meaning that the three “persons” (due to a lack of appropriate term) should be balanced and equaled, thus no one “person” of the Trinity should be given more attention or precedent.

One classmate stated “well, you know those Pentecostals have an unbalanced Trinity”.

I responded, “I suppose you are arguing the idea that Pentecostals focus heavily on the Holy Spirit compared to God the Father and God the Son (Jesus Christ)”.

After he confirmed it, I continued “if we want to hold that criticism of the Pentecostals, we need to accept the same criticism of ourselves and the Lutheran tradition as practiced”.

It was an unpopular opinion. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2019 in Sermons

 

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Come, Holy Spirit! Come!

I love Pentecost.

This is not necessarily “normal” for Lutherans. Lutherans, similar to most ‘mainline’ Christian denominations, are intimidated by the Holy Spirit because we do not know what to do with it.

I have recently shared that Jesus was a radical teacher, however Jesus is ‘safe’ and essentially predictable in his words, teachings to the disciples, and actions.

The Holy Spirit, however, is an entirely different ball game. The Holy Spirit cannot be confined, contained, or controlled because it is too spirited, bold, and courageous… dare I say ‘feisty’. I love it, but we do not know how to deal with it.

Since we do not know how to deal with it, one Sunday a year we ‘let’ the Holy Spirit loose in our churches. It is the festival of Pentecost, thus we decorate with the color of red and the images of flames because fire is a perfect symbol/image for the Holy Spirit and its unpredictability. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2018 in Sermons

 

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Wild One: the Holy Spirit and Its Gifts

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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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Shepherd? Sheep? Sheep Herding Dog?

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Most Sundays, we don’t notice a common theme through out all of our scriptures. It is usually a little bit of a challenge to see a common theme or thread that connects our, well in Easter, both New Testament readings, the Psalm, and the Gospel; but this fourth Sunday in Easter is always the Sunday of the Good Shepherd. Each year, we have a set of common texts about what that means.

In our Acts (2:42-47) text, we have an idealistic image of the early church, one where all the believers lived in unity together and no one was in need or want. They lived a life of fellowship. You might ask, what does that have to do with the other texts that all have to deal with the shepherd. I’ll get back to that in a moment.

Most of our sermon today is going to deal with Psalm 23, a very beloved Psalm, and the parable in John 10 (1-10). The parable of the shepherd, the gatekeeper, and the sheep. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2017 in Sermons

 

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