Our May 31 outdoor Sunday worship service is available on video through Facebook. You may view it without being a member of Facebook.
After you click on the picture above, you may get a screen asking you to join Facebook. Click the small link that reads, “Not Now” or on a small “X” on the upper right of that message to continue.
Click on the triangle icon or photo of the church to play. After the video starts, click on the “outward facing arrows” video icon to make the video larger on desktop screens. You may have to click on the speaker icon in the video to enable sound.
The June 7 worship service to be held in our sanctuary with members and friends in attendance is scheduled to be streamed live on the DeSoto Redeemer Facebook page. We will post a direct link to the recording here as soon as it is possible after the service.
Sermon for The Day of Pentecost
Acts 2:1-21 | Psalm 104:25-35, 37
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 | John 20:19-23
The Day of Pentecost: Fifty days after Easter, and the Resurrection of Christ: a time this year, when most of us were “Sheltering at Home,” similar to the disciples hiding in the locked room. It is a good time now to come out into the open for a bit.
It is the day when the Holy Spirit descends upon the disciples. The promised Advocate and Comforter/Counselor whom Christ had promised to send to them prior to his Ascension. This is the Spirit which is to empower the disciples, and the Church, in their proclamation and witness to Christ.
It is also, technically, the birthday of the Church, and the Church’s task, namely mission, evangelism, spreading the Gospel, Good News.
It is that which brings us to the Second Chapter of Acts. The Holy Spirit descends, and the disciples begin proclaiming about “God’s deeds of power”…in the languages of those who are gathered in Jerusalem; so that all may hear, and understand, this proclamation. The Spirit is poured out upon all the believers. This is something which we hold about baptism. It is there, that we all receive the Holy Spirit, just as Christ breathed it upon the apostles. It may manifest itself in various ways.
St. Paul in 1 Corinthians lists some of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. We are fairly certain that Paul did not give a full list of all of the gifts. This is a list, probably, to inform the Church at Corinth of some of the ways in which the Spirit works among us, “varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.” He also lists “activities.” But all are given “the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” This is important, the common good, the building up of the Church on earth. That is something which people seem to have forgotten recently, the common good. Some are screaming about how the Covid 19 restrictions may be infringing upon their individual rights, forgetting that they are given for the common good during this crisis. Let’s look at what the Spirit gives to us for the common good.
Wisdom, knowledge (teachers and helpers), faith (it is a gift of the Spirit), healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discernment of spirits, tongues (the original gift of Acts 2), and the interpretation of tongues.
Gift of the Spirit: wisdom, knowledge (and their conveyors). To hear the Word of God is one thing, but to understand the Word of God is another. The proclamation and education must always go together. Both come from the Spirit. Faith: now, there is an interesting one. We too often forget that faith itself is a gift of the Spirit. Some people try to convert others (forgetting that it is God who gives the faith). Healing, that includes medicine. God is the giver of life, but also its sustainer, that includes healing. It is important to remember that during this time of plague. Plus the working of miracles (they do occur, you just have to look for them), prophecy, discernment of spirits. All still gifts, just not as seen, or interpreted as such.
All of these, plus so many more which Paul does not list, are gifts which God gives to the members of the Church, to serve God, and to carry out the task of the upbuilding of the Church. All believers have some gift – but almost all will say that they don’t (shows you how wrong you can be). Some are afraid to use their gifts, or too humble to believe that God has given them one?
One gift often grows into another gift. At as it does, the Church is again built up. God has given to each of us, some gift, talent, ability, to carry out His will on earth. That is part of the celebration of Pentecost. We are each given the Holy Spirit, and receive some manifestation of her presence (the Holy Spirit is traditionally seen as feminine.). What are our Gifts? For each of us have a task to do in God’s kingdom, and the Holy Spirit will manifest itself and guide us forth in our words and deeds, all for the greater glory of God. But, we must put those gifts to use. What gifts are manifested here? How may each of us serve God, this congregation, our neighbors and this community? What gifts have God given to you? And, how are you going to put that gift to the use which God intended? That too is a gift of God’s grace.