Breaking Open The Scriptures
Scriptures for May 25th: Acts 2:1-21, Psalm 104:24-34, 35b, Romans 8:14-17, John 14:8-27 Songs: As a Fire is Meant for Burning – TFWS 2237; O Spirit of the Living God – UMH 539; Because He Lives UMH 364
Acts: We have been waiting on God’s promise of the Holy Spirit all Easter season. When Jesus was resurrected, he promised that the Holy Spirit has come. We have seen evidence of those appearances all throughout the scriptures. Now it is time for us to look for the presence of the Holy Spirit in our live and in the world. This is Pentecost Sunday – the birthday of the church. This is the day when all of those appearances come together and is manifest in all nations. The Jews who were present on the day of Pentecost represent 16 different nations. They were probably people who were exiled and were returning. They represent the unity of the body of God. This day shows us that we can do much more as a group then we can as individuals. The gifts of the Spirit are for the community, not for us to keep for ourselves. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are for the community to reach out to others, not for us to enjoy in our own circle. Now that that Spirit is here, we have work to do.
Psalm: God is the source of all life. God’s spirit allows us to move, and love and be. God’s Spirit is life. We say this psalm on Pentecost to remind us of what we are waiting for the breath of God to renew us and give us new life. With God we can do nothing, and yet God is willing to give us everything - his Son, his breath. In verse 26 Leviathan who is the devil of chaos is portrayed as a playful whale; Reminding us that our deepest fears can become a source of joy, if we are in touch with God’s spirit. Even death can become an opportunity for life if God’s spirit is present. That is the message of Easter.
Questions: When has God crashed into your life with power to get your attention? How often do you take time to witness the wisdom in God’s creation? Where do you see the face of the ground renewed through God’s Spirit? What does it mean to be the body of Christ? What are ways that we can reenact the Pentecost experience and move in unity with one another and the spirit of Christ?