web analytics

Tag Archive | "Pentecost"

The Fire of Pentecost


CS-United-MethodistPastor Steve Lindeman

Cedar Springs United Methodist Church

140 S. Main St. • Cedar Springs, MI  49319

 

“1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.” (Acts 2:1-3 NIV)

This past Sunday, Churches in this community, and around the world celebrated Pentecost—the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the twelve Disciples and others who had gathered with them. Pentecost is considered by many to be the birthday of the church. The gift of this celebration, which is the Holy Spirit, is most often represented by a flame because the souls of those gathered were lit “afire” with its power.

I think the use of fire to symbolize the power of the Holy Spirit is very appropriate. Not because it brings light and heat, but instead, because of how it spreads. Let me explain. Picture in your mind a bottle of water and several cups. If I were to pour water from the bottle into each of the cups, each would receive a smaller portion of the whole. Each time that I pour out water, it is not replaced; as each cup receives water, there is less in the original bottle. Think of the water as humanity’s power and strength and resources. If we rely only upon ourselves, the water, like that in the bottle, will eventually run out.

But, that is not how it works with God. Now, instead of water, picture in your mind several candles. If I had just one candle lit, and passed the flame from wick to wick, the first flame is not diminished or reduced as the fire spreads to the next candle. This is how it is with the power and strength and resources of God. As the fire is spread among those who seek to be disciples of Jesus Christ, the original flame remains, and the fire becomes stronger.

Just as the Spirit spread among those who gathered almost 2,000 years ago, may it also spread through us today. Let the power of the Holy Spirit, burn like a fire within each of us, so that we know the love and the grace and the wisdom of God, which passes our understanding, and is infinite.

Posted in From the PulpitComments (0)

Pentecost


The Rev. David Meyers

Holy Spirit Episcopal Church

1200 Post Dr., Belmont, MI  49306

 

This article is written at the beginning of the season of Pentecost. Pentecost begins on the 50th day after Easter. The season occupies most of the remainder of the calendar year and celebrates the birth, action, and mission of the church. We know Pentecost primarily as the time in which the Holy Spirit visited the disciples in the form of tongues of fire. The Spirit’s presence gave them understanding and power to do the mission of Christ. They emerged from a state of disorganization to a position of knowledge and power. A group of ragtag followers received an identity out of which the gospel took root and made an impact on the world.

There is, however, another form of Pentecost that is less well known.  A much older celebration occurred among the Hebrew people as the feast of Shavuot or the Feast of Weeks. In the Jewish tradition, Pentecost or Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai.  Subsequently, the Hebrews developed the awareness that they were the people of God. As Easter and Passover are celebrated at the same time, so are the two Pentecosts.

The two feasts of Pentecost follow a pattern. In both, the people were lost. They were waiting and wandering. In both, God gave the gift of himself, in the word and in flame. The presence of God in the lives of the followers resulted in a new identity in both cases. The people understood that God had chosen them and, in return, they dedicated themselves to God.

These two major Pentecosts might be prototypes to an ongoing cycle of Pentecosts. These major events are, at some level, enacted in the life of each individual.  We all have our personal Pentecosts. For wanderers seeking God, there will be events in which God visits with a gift. That gift might be miraculous or might be seen in kindness, goodness, relationship, or sacrament. When people receive that gift and are aware of the presence of God, then new things happen. Dedication, faithfulness, change, and even rebirth all can be the result.

Friends, we are all wanderers. Even those with a strong belief system, find themselves occasionally groping in the dark. The task is to be attentive to God. Look for those gifts through which God visits and invites his people. When awareness of the gift occurs, then life is transformed and new identity awakens.

Posted in From the PulpitComments (0)


advert
Kent Theatre
Ensley Team Five Star Realty
Advertising Rates Brochure

Get the Cedar Springs Post in your mailbox for only $35.00 a year!