Anyone and Everyone. A Pentecost Sermon on John 7:37-39
Anyone and Everyone
† I.H.S. †
May the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life not only bring you the comfort but also may it bring the love that will flow out others and change their lives!
Since it is the end of the school year, I thought it would be appropriate to give you all a little quiz about Pentecost this morning. The first is yes/no, the second is multiple choice.
Question #1 Is Pentecost only a New Testament “holy day.”
Nope, it was an Old Testament Feast, celebrating the harvest. At this point you can see what the rest of the harvest might look like, we see it commanded in Leviticus 23:15.
Question #2 How many people did the Holy Spirit fall upon at Pentecost.
A) 120 B) 12 C) I am not sure
How many think A? B? Anyone want to admit to C?
Well C was the right answer, and anyone who didn’t get both questions right has to stay after service for some much-needed catechesis. Don’t know what catechesis is? Well, it’s a lot like going to a doughnut shop with some friends and having a good discussion. All those who got the answers right can also come.
Back to the Holy Spirit, and Pentecost, which is the reason we are here today. If it wasn’t for the Holy Spirit, I am not sure we would be here together, and Pentecost is where the church came alive, as the Spirit falls on the people of God, creates in us faith, and transforms us into the Father’s children.
It is a feast day where we see that anyone who believes is welcome and that everyone who believes will be given the Holy Spirit, who will flow out of their lives into a world that is incredibly thirsty and need to know they are loved.
Anyone who believes
I want you to hear the invitation that Jesus gives in the Gospel, that anyone who is thirsty can come to Him.
It doesn’t matter your age, or your whether you are male or female. It doesn’t matter if you are 5 or 95, it doesn’t matter if you are from Indonesia, from Austria, from Guyana or even Boston.
On the first Pentecost they came from all over, religious people, people that came because of culture, we even know that some who weren’t Jewish, but simply curious about the God Jews worshiped came. Many didn’t know what they were thirsting for, like the crowd we heard about in Athens two weeks ago, but they knew they didn’t have the answers they needed in life.
They were thirsty,
Jesus goes on to talk about any that who believe in Him can not only come but that they can have that thirst quenched.
Believe in Him, not believe about him, or believe He was this or that. Believe in Him, trust Him, depend on Him, take God at His word to be involved in your life.
That is what believing in Him is about. As one pastor put it, the kind of belief, faith, and dependence that causes us to participate and contemplate on this incredible love. He described it this way,
Christian contemplation ponders, reflects, gazes, and delights in the wonders and the mysteries of God active in this world “reconciling the world to himself”
Even as we know and begin to trust that Jesus loves us this much, it takes us aback, it is too incredible, to amazing, and trusting in Him causes us delight and joy, as we explore as Paul urges us to
18 you’ll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! 19 Live full lives, full in the fullness of God
That is what happens as God makes us His children, it is a miracle of our baptism, of our Pentecost. It is the beginning of trusting God when He says, “I love you, let me provide and care for you,”
And when we come to know this love, it changes everything, for the Spirit has brought us to life.
Everyone will have the Spirit
Let’s go back to that second question for a moment, how many people did the Holy Spirit descend upon? We know it was more than 3132 because it wasn’t just the men, but their family, their wives and children that were baptized that day. And upon each of them, just as upon us, the promises of the Holy Spirit was made as sure as the water was wet.
It is what Jesus says about the Holy Spirit being poured out on us that is amazing, that from our hearts will flow the Holy Spirit. That from our hearts the love of God will pour out with the Spirit, reaching and touching those around us.
‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. 18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike— and they will prophesy.
All this talk of prophesying, it just means speaking for God, sharing His love, sharing the message that the Spirit uses to bring others to life and faith.
A message that we all have, empowered by the Spirit we all have been given, and share with those who like us, need to know they can trust in God, that they can depend on Him, that He is with them, and with us.
This promise of the Holy Spirit being given to anyone who believes, to everyone who believes is why Jesus was born, and died, and rose. It is why Jesus when He was drawn to heaven, did what He promised and had the Spirit given to us. The Comforter, the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit has come, and is yours, just as Jesus said.
He is here, as sure as God’s promise….
The Spirit is here, to transform our hearts, and flow from them to bring healing to this broken world.
And here in our hearts, the Comforter provides His incredible peace, and we can relax, protected by Jesus, our hearts and minds kept safe by Him. AMEN!