This blog will include the sermons I have preached as a lay minister with the Anglican Parish of South Queens in the Diocese of NS and PEI in the Anglican Church of Canada. Because my preaching schedule varies, the frequency of postings will vary.
I hope that these sermons will enrich your spiritual life as much as they have enriched mine.
Saturday, 4 October 2014
What is Pentecost?
The readings we have heard this afternoon are for the
day of Pentecost, which will be celebrated in churches this coming Sunday.
Pentecost marks the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples after Christ
ascended to heaven, and is also known as the birthday of the church.
The word “Pentecost” means 50th day, and it
occurs 50 days after Easter Sunday. It is a day to celebrate hope born of the
knowledge that God is at work among his people through the Holy Spirit. The
Holy Spirit represents God, gracious, enabling presence actively at work in his
people. It is a celebration of newness, of recreation, of renewal of purpose,
mission and calling of God’s people.
In the past, Pentecostal Sunday was also known as
Whitsunday or White Sunday because the church had a tradition of baptizing
people on Pentecost Sunday, just like the apostles baptized people in one of
today’s readings. Those who were baptized wore white robes that day-hence the
term Whitsunday, or White Sunday.
Pentecost Sunday starts the longest season of the
church year, a season that runs from Trinity Sunday to the 1st
Sunday of Advent. During this season, the church stresses vocation, evangelism,
missions, stewardship, almsgiving and other works of mercy and charity in ways
in which Christ empowers us by his grace to share the gospel with others-just
like I am sharing it with you today. All baptized believers are part of a group
that is called together to share Christ’s love. Those who are part of this
group have the Holy Spirit working in them. That means each member has tasks
that the Lord wants them to do, and these members have what it takes to do
these tasks thanks to the Holy Spirit. Whenever the Holy Spirit is at work,
people will come to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus. It is the Holy Spirit’s
job to teach us about Jesus and give honour and glory to him. The Holy Spirit
comes to live inside us when we ask Jesus into our hearts.
The event of the first Pentecost encourages us to open
ourselves once again to the Spirit that came that day, where all those present became
aware of the new community to which they now belonged. Their new experience was
shown in shared enthusiasm and in a sense of new identity and belonging to
Christ and to one another in the power of the Spirit. They expressed this in
different ways according to their own cultures and customs. The church was
brought together in unity that day through the Holy Spirit, and it is sustained
today through the presence and work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit guides
the church in the missionary endeavor throughout the world, and the Spirit
nurtures the Body of Christ, the church, in truth and love.