Sunday, June 9, is Pentecost Sunday. As you have read my articles before, I am usually looking ahead to the Sunday scripture readings. Here are the readings that many Christian churches will be pondering next Sunday.
Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104; 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13 or Romans 8:8-17, the Gospel is from John 20:19-23 or John 14:15-16, 23b-26. I want to discuss the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel from John 20.
The reading from the Acts of the Apostles is such a profound story of Pentecost. What an experience the Apostles had that day!
Can you imagine being in the room with them and seeing the tongues of fire resting on them?
The apostles had just experienced the death and Resurrection of Jesus, his Ascension and I am sure they needed some assurance now that they were to carry on the mission of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit was their assurance that Jesus was still with them and they could do mighty things in the name of Jesus.
As you continue reading the Acts of the Apostles you can read the story of how they carried on Jesus’ work and they could only do it with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
As we read the Gospel from John 20:19-23, we read the story of Jesus’ appearance to the frightened apostles on Easter Sunday. The apostles are still behind locked doors unsure of their future and Jesus appears to them and says, “Peace be with you.”
Jesus shows them his hands and his side to prove that it really is Jesus. They were very happy to see that Jesus is alive again! Jesus continues and says again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
Jesus then gives them a commission, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” The apostles were blessed to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit to carry on Jesus’ work in the world.
Today we can rely on the help of the Holy Spirit to carry on our duties as Jesus directs. May we all use our gifts that God has given each of us. Our world needs us and God has promised to remain with us and assist us in our efforts to spread the Good News!