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Kelvin Krieger,
Program Coordinator,
Mission in the World
Phone 204.984.9164
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1.888.786.6707 Ext 164
Fax 204.984.9185
E-mail vim@elcic.ca
Evangelical Lutheran
Church in Canada,
302-393 Portage Ave,
Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6

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Pentecost Sermon Series 2001

Day of Pentecost

Power of the Spirit

Pentecost is a proper time to "meet again" with the Holy Spirit.

We must acknowledge that in spite of being the gift of God within us, the Spirit remains a great mystery for many Christians.

However, it is the Spirit who conducts us to Christ, without calling attention to itself.

The Spirit is only known through the actions it produces: the fire that sets on fire; the wind with power that shakes; tongues that move, announcing God's greatness.

The Christians of the primitive church were conscious of the presence and power of the Spirit, which they had received in Pentecost.

Today, we need the same consciousness to allow us to see the actions of the Spirit in our life and in the life of our church.

Bishop Telmor Sartison and Rev. Angel Furlan

Bishop Telmor Sartison, ELCIC
and Rev. Angel Furlan, President,
United Evangelical Lutheran
Church of Argentina

The Spirit of Life

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Life. The Spirit is revealed in the acts of Christ, who came to give life, to raise the dead, to heal the ill and give vision to the blind. In the world there are too many forces producing death. The Spirit, for Christians, is God's gift announcing life: a new life; a new world; a new humanity; the presence of the Kingdom of God, with justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit of Truth

The Spirit makes us servants of Truth. When we do not have the docility to let the Spirit lead us, the result is rivalries about truth and discussions about who is the eldest and who has the right. When the Spirit conducts us, we are guided to the Truth, Jesus Christ, and transformed into servants of the Truth. There is a big difference between being servants of the Truth, and seeing ourselves as owners of the truth. Servants of the Truth will always find the paths of understanding and harmony, and show the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

The Spirit of Witness

The Spirit not only proclaims to us what is from Christ, the Spirit also trains us to be witnesses, and gives us the power to share Christ and what is Christ's own.

In the miracle of Pentecost, the language barrier ceased to be an obstacle. God has a peculiar language to connect with his children: the language of love. Many conversations between human beings and, disgracefully, even in the church, are only a dialogue between deaf people because we speak the language of selfishness. At Pentecost, all spoke in their own language and they understood each other. It was the language of love, the language of God.

It's important to highlight that each one was hearing the other in their own language. The church, guided by the Spirit, does not force everybody to speak the church's language. Rather, the church puts itself in tune with others, speaking in the language of the people. The church discovers and accepts diversity, be they Parthians, Medes, Elamites… or youth, women, afflicted, lonesome, old people, the marginalized, etc. The church does not accept people in a condescending manner from on high. Rather, in each neighbor's own language.

The Enthusiasm of the Spirit

In comparison with the Pentecost church, there is a great lack of enthusiasm in our Christianity.

The Pentecost Church knew its mission, and that mission gave the church profound enthusiasm. The primitive Christians didn't consider themselves as functionaries, charged with the transmission of announcements from above. They were Witnesses of Truth, proclaimers of the life. They were moved by passion, an interior fire ignited by God himself, which made them deeply truthful.

The church that wants to remain faithful to Pentecost can't be satisfied with good institutional operations. That would be no more than a good administration of ashes. The church has to lose the fear of fire. We can't be afraid of burning our fingers when we are trying to set hearts on fire with the burning passion of Pentecost.

 

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