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Wind Wind Blow on Me

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The Reading

Acts 2:1-21

When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs-- in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power." All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine."
But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
`In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
And I will show portents in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
The sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day.
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' "

The Sermon

Pentecost means fiftieth and it was originally known as the Feast of Weeks. It was celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover and it was one of three major Jewish feasts. The other two being Passover and the Feast of the Tabernacles.

In this reading from Acts the disciples are in a room and suddenly there is a great wind and then flaming tongues descend on each of them and they are filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives them the ability to speak in different tongues.

Just as Jesus had promised, the Holy Spirit paid a visit to these followers of Jesus and gave them a gift. I would like to think it was more than the ability to speak in tongues. The Spirit gave them strength and inspiration. They were moved to go out to the ends of the earth and spread Christ's message of love and hope and the promise of an eternal kingdom.

Up until this day they had been hanging back, hiding from the law if you will. But now, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and they knew they were destined to continue Christ's mission and from that day on they set about doing it. Legend tells us that many of them gave their lives for that mission.

So what about us? Do we want this kind of spirit? After all, this is a spirit that may move us in ways that we wouldn't normally go. The spirit may move us to go out into the world as well and not be timid about our faith. We are expected to live our faith and share the good news much like it was done all those thousands of years ago.

There is a perceived risk in doing this. God forbid, people might look at you funny. They might say talk about you. They might even refrain from telling you off color jokes. And... there is always the chance you might die for your beliefs.

Yes, the Holy Spirit, if you accept her in your lives, will change you. Are you prepared for that?


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