The Feast of Holy Pentecost
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Delivered By
Pr. Mark D. Lovett
Delivered On
May 24, 2015
Central Passage
John 14:23-31
Description

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Those men in Jerusalem who would mock the apostles for being drunk were not entirely wrong. They were filled with new wine. They were filled with the Holy Spirit as our Lord said earlier, “No one pours new wine into old wineskins but pours new wine into new wineskins.” And the apostle says later, “Do not be drunk with much wine but be filled with the Holy Spirit.” On Pentecost the Lord once again filled jars of purification with new wine as He had foreshadowed Pentecost at the wedding in Cana. Only this time the jars were jars of clay meant for preaching and teaching, meant for the purification of all men by the word of God, and the new wine was not of the grape but proceeds from the Father.

The significance of Pentecost should not be lost on us because without it we would not be gathered here to the Lord. We would not have ever tasted of the Lord to know that He is good. We would not have brought our children to Holy Baptism to be washed by water and the word. Pentecost is the day the Lord God breathed new life into the world and filled the whole earth with His love. It is the day the Lord God moved again over the face of the whole earth and put all things in order. Pentecost is as much a part of the new creation as is the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ who said, “Behold, I make all things new.” The Lord Jesus makes all things new by pouring out the Holy Spirit on all flesh and covering the world with it.

And Pentecost is not something that just happened some 2,000 years ago; a day of history that came and went that we give homage to. Today is the day of Pentecost. Not simply according to the Church Year but because today the Lord is pouring out the Spirit on all flesh. The Day of Pentecost arrived some 2,000 years ago and it is still happening today. It is still happening because the word of the Lord is still being proclaimed which is how the Holy Spirit is poured out. The Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, who is God Himself, does not arbitrarily flit about the earth hither and yon. He accompanies the Word of God who is also God Himself so that wherever the Word of God is proclaimed there the Spirit of God is poured out and there all things are made new.

But just as the Spirit of God is not an arbitrary spirit that hovers here and there but can be found where the Word of God is proclaimed, neither is the Word of God an arbitrary word about God or some attribute of God. It is not the word of God to say that God is holy or all-wise or all-powerful. Those are words about God but they are not the Word of God. The Word of God is the proclamation of the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. Lots of people talk about God but only the Church of God proclaims the Word of God. This is because only the Church of God has the Spirit of God by which the Word is preached and sinners are saved.

You gather in the Spirit and you eat and drink in the Spirit for it is the proclamation of the Spirit. For often as you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. You sing the hymns and hear the Scriptures in the Spirit for these things proclaim Him who died and rose again and ascended to the right hand of the Father. That is why this is called a spiritual gathering and you a spiritual people. For the Spirit of God dwells with you through the Word of God and makes known to you the ways of God and keeps you in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

You live your life in the Spirit because the Spirit gathers you to Christ through the Church by which He proclaims the things of Christ and creates in you a clean spirit, joining you to your Savior through the holy mysteries which are given for your salvation and your joy.

And this is truly part of the miracle of Pentecost: the joy of the Lord. If wine makes glad the hearts of men, then the new wine which is the Spirit of the living God makes men’s hearts sore with joy and gladness. Consider all the hatred and evil that has spewed forth from you as you have lived for yourself and cut others down in order to raise yourself up. And now consider that the Lord who was cut down for you is now breathing His Spirit of forgiveness and love on you, filling you with new wine that restores your soul. Consider that your life is cut short by all the evils of this world and of our own bodies. And now consider that Jesus is raised from the dead and so shall you be like Him as He is. Consider that you are buffeted on every side by wind and tempest and the difficulties of this fallen, broken world. And now consider that the Wind that blows upon your face is the gentle, renewing Spirit of God that surrounds you and fills you, guards and keeps you in the forgiveness of sins until the resurrection of all flesh and the life everlasting.

Consider, too, all the hatred and evil that spews forth from this world by the mouths of liars and murderers, evil that kills, steals, and destroys. Consider the chaos that issues forth from those who hate and foam at the mouth with their hatred and gossip and slander. Consider the fear that is spread like gangrene by the mouths of those who live in fear and darkness. And now consider the majestic peace and love that flows out of the mouths of those who are filled with the Spirit of God as the Lord Jesus says of them, “Out of their hearts will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). Consider the word of peace that issues forth from your mouths for you that have been filled with new wine. With this new wine it is an easy to love your enemies and do good to those who hate you. With this new wine it is an easy thing to fulfill the law of Christ and love one another. For the love of God does not consist merely in clothing the naked and feeding the hungry, but consists all the more in forgiving sins and speaking peace to those who do not know peace. Consider the word of comfort and life that pours from your lips, being filled with the Spirit of God, so that you comfort the fearful and speak peace to those who are afraid and give light to those who walk in darkness. All by the Spirit of God that dwells in you and gathers you to Christ and makes all things new.

The Lord has promised: My peace I leave with you.

In Nomine Iesu