In, By, and Of the Spirit!
Texts: Propers for the Day
Pentecost Sunday, A
27And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, “My lord Moses, stop them.” 29But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!”
Do pastors get jealous when people want to hear from someone else more than them? Be honest, you sat up to listen to what Hope and Becca had to say in a way that I would guess you haven’t done for your pastor in some time. And I don’t blame your for that. So am I jealous? No more than Moses was jealous of Eldad and Medad in the Old Testament reading. Hope and Becca have worked really hard over the past two years. They have been faithful and diligent. They carefully crafted the words of their confession for today. I am glad that you all have had the chance to hear the Christian faith proclaimed by these young women. Would that every single member of this congregation were so moved by the Spirit to take their faith so seriously, work so diligently at it, and proclaim it half as well!
And moved by the Spirit is the very promise of God on this Pentecost Sunday: 17‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy ... 21And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”
Everything in the Holy Christian Church, the Family of God, is Of the Holy Spirit because all of it points us back to Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit calls and gathers and enlightens every one of us, just as He called and enlightened Hope and Becca to speak so clearly! The Word of God is spoken into the hearts and lives of God’s people Sunday after Sunday, and it prophecies to all the world that there is no need to fear, no need to despair, no need to fight your way to the top or seek comfort in worldly and fleeting promises. By the gift of the Holy Spirit working in that Word, we can live as His family in Faith, and Patience, Forgiveness, and Trust. God promised. God will deliver. Indeed, God has already delivered!
In Holy Baptism the Holy Spirit is poured out upon young and old, rich and poor, male and female. All are included in this staggering grace that adopts us all as Sons and Daughters of God. And as his children the Spirit then blesses us through God’s Word to be able to share the Gospel with one another, and with the world around us. And it is easier than you think. (Right Girls?) Your Pastor is always happy to be there to bounce ideas off of, or do practice conversations with, and even better, God has promised to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to calling on His name and speaking of His glories to those around us!
38Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Today is not a graduation or an ending. It is not really a new beginning either. It is a recognition of the living waters of Faith that have been flowing in these two lives from the moment of their Baptisms and will continue to do until they are blessed to stand before the river of life that flows from the Throne of God. It is a recognition that in each and every one of our lives in, by and through the Holy Spirit we are made bold to confess the Holy Christian faith (even over the internet!) because we know the Truth. The Truth that has kept us all these years.
And that Truth is that everyone of us is saved by the work of Christ and not by what we do or don’t do. Not by how eloquent our words are, or how successful our arguments sound. We are not saved by how faithfully committed we remain day in and day out. There will be times when Jesus is the last thing on your mind and there is very little room for Him in your heart. I know because it happens to all of us. It is sad, but true. Yet what is also true is that you will always be firmly held in Jesus’s heart. You will always be on His mind.
And because of that undying love He has for you, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. You will be saved, I will be saved anyone and everyone will be saved only because The Lord saved them by living and dying and rising again! And it is in the Holy Spirit that we cling to that Truth, and rejoice in that promise, and proclaim that Good News! You are a beloved member of God’s Holy Family in Christ, and in Truth! And while that may not be anything new, it is certainly wonderful and life changing!