Monday, May 24, 2010

The New World Emerging

Today is Pentecost Sunday, the Sunday in which we celebrate and rejoice in the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church. The first Pentecost actually occurred long before the book of Acts, long before Jesus was born. The first Pentecost is recorded in Genesis 1 where we read that the Spirit hovered over the waters in anticipation of the great explosion of creation that was about to occur through the Word of God. We might point to the dove hovering over the waters of the flood, carrying in its mouth the olive branch, the sign to Noah and his family that a new creation, a new world was springing forth again from the waters of destruction just like God has said. Later, it was Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai, specifically on the fiftieth day after the very first Passover, when God struck the firstborn of Egypt and brought His people through the sea on dry land. There the mountain was covered with fire and the word of God thundered, calling Israel into a new creation, a new life, a new world in covenant with Him. But all of this pointed forward ultimately to the Great Pentecost, the fiftieth day after the last great Passover, when the blood of the lamb of God was shed to take away the sins of the world. God’s people were again delivered but this time from the Egypt of sin and death and every enemy through the resurrection of Jesus. And then He told His disciples to go to the upper room, the new Mount Sinai, to wait for it to burst into flame. And on that Pentecost, the Spirit rushed through the room and lit God’s people on fire, and the Word thundered and the nations came and gathered around to see what was going on. The Spirit has come to finish the work of the Word. The Word came and died and rose again, and the Spirit has come to fulfill the Word, to accomplish the Word. And so we rejoice in this new creation over which the Spirit has hovered for nearly two thousand years. And like Noah it is sometimes easy to be discouraged, to fear that the new world will never emerge. But that first Pentecost the dove appeared and the signs of the new world have been all around us ever since. The gospel goes forth, men, women, and children from every tribe and tongue are forgiven and washed clean. And the signs are everywhere. So worship your King this morning. Worship the risen King, and worship the Spirit of our King who rushes over this world bringing it life, bringing the Word of the Father into being. Worship our Triune God.

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