Sermon for the Feast of Pentecost

Today we complete our reading of the Acts of the Apostles with the story of the Pentecost that changed everything. From the very beginning the church which began to coalesce that day was about God’s message to the world.

Regardless of language or gender for although Peter refers to the men present, women who had journeyed with Jesus and rejoiced in his new life were present when the Holy Spirit came in a new way.

And it caused such joy among them that their mood is mistaken for drunkenness.

When was the last time that Episcopalians were accused of being drunk with enthusiasm for God? Probably not for a long time, but that is okay because Jesus looks for us to faithful for the long haul.

And that is the underlying theme for St. John’s this Pentecost as 7 young people claim places as members of this church renewing the promises made for them at baptism and a mother Kimberly Malone and her son Logan join Christ’s body the church and St. John’s through the rite of baptism.

Today Kim and her son Logan take new steps in their relationship to God just as those believers who experienced the coming of the Holy Spirit with the power to transform their lives in service to Christ.

This new relationship is about what Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome—the new relationship as children of God and if children then heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ of all the good that God has for the creatures of this earth.

It is truly a startling statement of present and future relationship. It is a relationship that we see time and again if we will but take the time to see.

Taking the time to see is what Jesus is getting at as he responds to Philip’s request to see the Father. He says, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and still you do not know me?”

Jesus goes on to say that Philip should look at the works done by Jesus if he will not understand the words which Jesus has spoken in their presence.

And Jesus commends to them the coming of the Holy Spirit whom he calls the Advocate which will be with believers forever and will be God within us.

I found myself wondering how many who call themselves Christians have a vibrant relationship with God in any aspect not just with Jesus. Despite the words of our Lord passed down through the works of the Evangelists, despite the positive things done by Christians in the name of Jesus, despite what is there to see each and every day, people don’t get it. Many are so wrapped up with their own situations that they take no time to develop spiritually.

And yet there are others who see Christ working miracles even in the midst of squalor and hunger. When we are prepared to reframe our point of reference so that the work of God becomes central to our lives, then we will be freed to see God more clearly and empowered by the Holy Spirit to do God’s will for us and through us.