Notes from Message 05 31 20 Pentecost Sunday Acts 2:1-21

Children’s message: 


Pentecost and the tongues of fire: the Holy Spirit

Disciples went out talking about Jesus 

Everyone heard in their own language! 


Jesus loves you, in multiple languages 

almasih yuhabik  (Arabic) 

Yēsū ài nǐ  (Chinese) 

Jésus t’aime (French) 

Jezi renmen ou (Haitian Creole) 

Jesus te ama  (Spanish) 


It is not just in language but it is everything about you 

God loves all the differences and uniqueness that make you special 

God’s wants to work through your unique gifts and abilities 

To bring love and joy to the world!


One Spirit with many members and gifts (Paul to the Corinthians)

To remember: 

Song: The Hokie Pokie 

"You put your left hand in, in put your left out..."


Adult Message:


Kind of a creepy stalker vibe with the Jesus/ Holy Spirit combo 

Like always around, 

watching to make sure we don’t mess up, 

Of course, all with the understanding 

that they are there to help! 


One song I remember hearing as a kid: 

By the Police

"Every breath you take, every step you make..."


Except when I was a kid it was the Puff Daddy (now P Diddy) version 

Tribute to Biggie Smalls


Where the singer says 

“Every step I take, every move I make, every single day, I’ll be missing you.

Thinking of the day, when you went away 

What a life to take what a bond to break I’ll be missing you..."


For the disciples 

To lose their leader, to lose their guide, 

their teacher, their friend, 

In such a way… it was 



They were left pretty much rudder-less on their own 

But they did spend their time in prayer Luke says 



In that sense 

This Easter season has been very fitting for Coronavirus 

The Church after Jesus left, 

sat around for what like 50 days, 

praying, studying, supporting one another.  

Didn't do much

Until that Holy Spirit arrived

and then it all started popping open.  


Peter starts preaching like he never had before 

The disciples go out all over the place 

Philip and "the Ethiopian Eunuch" – 

Samaria – Greece and Turkey – Rome - India even 


I think we are at that place now… 

We have been sitting around 

And now it is time to do something 

But the answer might not be to going back 

to everything is normal 

right away 


This is the type of wind, of fire 

That is doing something new 

It is going to be different!  

Yet similar... 

Connected to, and related to what has happened before 


In the Spirit of those events 

Just like in the Acts of the Apostles 

Connected to ancient stories (Tower of Babel)  

Everyone head their own language this time 

Bringing people together  

After being separated  


The disciples were sent out to new people 

From all kinds of cultures as we have seen  

Sharing the good news of Jesus Christ 

Of God’s love and grace for all people  

In their own languages even!! 


That makes me excited for the day we will  

All be able to be united in love 

Obviously that day has not come…  


Impossible not to talk about the murder of Mr. Floyd 

And the ensuing outburst of anger 

from communities in Minneapolis and across the country.


Though I am of course a non-violent proponent  

MLK said that riots are the language of the unheard 

We need to listen and understand 

where this anger is coming from  

I saw a good example of this from the chief of police in Atlanta Erika Shields, she came out to speak with the leaders of the protests, out in the open.  She said she could not tolerate destruction of property but she wanted to listen to their concerns. 

At least a good step in the direction… 


This may not be something we want to hear - 

But the riots in Minneapolis in many ways 

should be pointing me right back to here, 

to my own heart 

To the continued evil that has plagued humanity 

since time immemorial  

That still resides right here 

 it pains me, destroys my soul  


Author Karen Gonzalez tweeted this: 

Praying and lamenting for Minneapolis today, but the lives of black people are more important than the looted Target and the burned-down police precinct. Protests and resistance are never perfect, but it's the only way change has ever been achieved. If you just want "peace" today, ask yourself if it's true peace that brings justice to our black neighbors or if it's the false peace of no conflict but no justice either. 

"They have treated the wound of my people carelessly, saying, 'Peace, peace,' when there is no peace." Jer. 6:14 


As the Psalm says, all creation is imbued 

with the spirit, the life-force of God 

We are all connected and related – 

we all get our life from God 


MLK said you cannot have justice 

If anyone experiences injustice

This goes for all forms of injustice there is no doubt about it 


We are seeing anger and frustration built up 

A symptom of something deeper 

A deep injustice that has infected the soul of our country 

since before its founding 


What can we do?   

Where is the Spirit directing us? 


My personal perspective  

Is that one, 

we need to be grounded in God’s love for all people.


And two, we need to stay grounded  

By focusing on building relationships with real people  


To listen first 

Avoid judging  

Listen to the stories of our neighbors 

Grow to love and care for others  

From different cultural and geographical backgrounds  


Note at Pentecost the differences do not go away  

They still have their languages  

They hear in their own languages  

And they are brought together  

With difference of culture  


What human arrogance and pride had pulled apart 

In Christ is brought back together 

to this message of love and redemption  


Only relationships of love can be the remedy 

Relationships that move us 

from our comfortable complacency 

to action to make a difference  

As if it were my own family suffering injustice  

Which, indeed it is… 


That goes for Racism, 

and any other way that people experience 

oppression and injustice 


We are seeing the signs of unrest 

19 And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. 20 The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day. 21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' (From Acts 2)


Centered in Christ 

We can forge relationships of mutual love and respect 

With repentance, we can work toward 

Mutual reconciliation and forgiveness 

With all of God’s children 


The winds are blowing 

Out of the darkness, out of the despair 

Together we can create something new 

Something bright and powerful 


Let us call to the Spirit, the Tempest, the Whirlwind 

To remake us anew, in the image of Christ! 


In the power of God’s love, Amen!