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Acts 2:1-21

Pentecost C

[…] should one celebrate the birthday of important people or institutions? In fact, how should we celebrate what some have called the “birthday of the Church” that is Pentecost? When we celebrate our sons’ birthdays, we sometimes recall stories of their birth. Of how one was born so quickly that his doctor didn’t even arrive […]

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Romans 8:22-27

Pentecost B

Comments and Observations How should we celebrate Pentecost?  What should our mood be, given the very different emphases of the four lectionary readings for Pentecost, 2015?  As I pondered that, I recalled some wry comments made by Orthodox theologian Frederica Mathewes Green on the very different ways we celebrate Christmas and Easter.  “It’s that […]

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Acts 2:2-21

Pentecost B

[…] fully unify people have proved largely futile or temporary, we might add that something dramatic must happen to us. Acts 2 begins its account of the first Pentecost by reporting that Jesus’ disciples are united, “all together in one place” (1).  Yet that sounds a lot like Luke’s description of them forty days earlier.  […]

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John 20:19-23

Pentecost A

[…] the room exhaling into everyone’s faces as he re-enacts Jesus’ breathing out of the Holy Spirit onto the disciples! This is in some ways John’s version of Pentecost (see the “Questions to Ask / Issues to Address” part of this sermon starter to wonder how this fits with Acts 2) and it is indeed […]

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Psalm 104:24-34; 35b

Pentecost A

Many scholars suggest that we could use Psalm 104 to put environmentalist spin on Pentecost, because of verse 30.  “When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.”  Imagine a Pentecost version of the secular Christmas carol.  “Have yourself a merry little environmental Pentecost!” I agree with […]

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Acts 2:2-21

Pentecost B

Arguably it is harder to write a fresh sermon on Pentecost than on Christmas or Easter.  Those last two major events in redemptive history are proclaimed in multiple Biblical texts, so there are different angles to take on Christmas and Easter.  Pentecost, on the other hand, is reported in only one text, our text […]

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Psalm 104:24-34, 35b

Pentecost C

This Psalm gives the enterprising preacher a fresh alternative for a Pentecost sermon, because it focuses on the Spirit’s work not in redemption (as do the other readings for Pentecost Sunday), but in creation. Though a number of contemporary scholars think the mention of the Spirit in verse 30 is not a reference to […]

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Acts 2:1-21

Pentecost A

[…] at calling and attending meetings.  They, after all, met on the first Easter.  The disciples also obeyed Jesus’ command by meeting in Jerusalem.  And on the first Pentecost they’re still “all together in one place.” But to be Jesus’ witnesses in Jerusalem alone, to say nothing of “all the world,” those disciples would have […]

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John 14:8-17 (25-27)

Pentecost C

This is our Pentecost text, of course, but the setting in John 14 takes us back to that last night before Jesus died, some 53 days before Pentecost arrived. What that means is that even though this text ends up talking about peace and of Jesus’ telling the disciples “do not be afraid” (Jn. […]

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John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15

Pentecost B

[…] the One who was to come, or should we be on the lookout for somebody else?”  John was looking for more Spirit, more fire. But in this Pentecost Year B lection from John 16 we encounter what is hands-down the longest single section about the Holy Spirit in all the gospels.  Here we discover […]

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