Blog Space of Rev. Adrian J. Pratt B.D, pastor at Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church, Ellicott City, MD

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Pentecost

Last week we finished up a series of sermons from Peter's first letter with some thoughts on “Casting Cares.” At Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church, this coming Sunday, June 4 2017, we meet around a table laid with bread and wine for a birthday celebration better known as “Pentecost Sunday.”

Following the Ascension of Jesus, the disciples were promised that the Holy Spirit would come to them and empower them for their work. The Church was born as the Holy Spirit descended with rushing wind and tongues of fire that energized the disciples as they gathered together in an upper room for worship and prayer.

That experience spread out into the streets. People heard, in their own languages, the disciples praising God. Peter stood before them and in Acts 2:16-17 we hear him declaring; This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.'”

The Baptist Preacher, Charles Spurgeon, once wroteWithout the Spirit of God we can do nothing. We are as ships without wind or chariots without steeds. Like branches without sap, we are withered. Like coals without fire, we are useless. As an offering without the sacrificial flame, we are unaccepted.

Our direction and our energy are dependent upon the action of God’s Spirit working in, through and around our lives. Without the Holy Spirit, Christian life degenerates into a hard slog to attain unreachable ideals. Without the action of God’s Spirit inspiring us and renewing us we maintain a graceless existence.

John’s gospel describes the Holy Spirit’s work as being like ‘Living Water.’ As the scripture has said, 'Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water.'" Now Jesus said this about the Spirit, which believers in Him were to receive.”(John 7:38-39.)

As summer approaches we can expect to experience some days with high temperatures. No doubt our weather broadcasters will be offering warnings telling us to stay hydrated and seek the shade.

Another image of the Holy Spirit is that of being a refreshing wind. On a blistering hot day there is nothing like catching a refreshing breeze to grant us some relief from the heat!

If we feel our Christian life has become dry and lifeless, maybe we need a Holy Ghost refreshing! How do we do that? Through prayer. Through meditating on God’s Word. Through worship. Through reminding ourselves that, every day we live, we live in the shadow of an Almighty God whose love is available to us through the love and grace of Jesus Christ, our Shepherd and our Savior.

For a musical interlude a version of the song “Spirit of the Living God.” Although we'll be singing this song as we approach the communion table I doubt it will be as spirited or dramatic as this particular version, performed by the wonderful gospel singer Vickie Winans, from her CD "Live In Detriot II."

May God grant us all a fresh anointing of His love!

Rev Adrian J. Pratt B.D.


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