I Will Pour out My Spirit on All Flesh
- Acts 2:1-21
- or Ezekiel 37:1-14
- Romans 8:22-27
- or Acts 2:1-21
- John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
- Psalm 104:25-35, 37
The disciples were waiting on God. Before his ascension, Jesus has told them to wait in Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:48-49)
They had to learn about what they might do for God could not compare with what God could do for them if they waited and devoted themselves to prayer. God is in control. Can we let go and let God:
Reading from Acts 2:
When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
It is the Spirit of God that breathes life to us, God spoke to the Prophet Ezekiel:
The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.” (Ezekiel 37:1-6)
Jesus spoke to Nicodemus:
You must be born from above.’The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:7-8)
The wind that Jesus speaks about is the Holy Spirit. We cannot control him. If we are reborn in the Spirit, then we will allow the wind to blow us in the direction he desires. He not only directs us, he empowers us. This is what was happening on the Day of Pentecost. Reading again from Acts 2:
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs– in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.” ()
The disciples were filled with new wine, the wined of the Spirit. Jesus taught:
No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.” ()
If we are to receive this new wine we will need new wineskins. We need to let go of the old ones.
He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’
You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.” (Mark 7:6-8)
Human traditions must not take the place of the commandment of God. Must the Spirit of Pentecost conform to our church doctrine?
Peter set the record straight. This new wine was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit::
But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
`In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
We are to be more than just spectators of Pentecost. Reading from today’s Gospel of John:
Jesus said to his disciples, ”When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning. (John 15:26-27)
Are we ready to spread the Spirit of truth? The glory of God is now invading the Church. God is calling us to join him and be a part ofd that invasion.
The psalmist wrote:
You send forth your Spirit, and they are created;
and so you renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord endure for ever;
may the Lord rejoice in all his works. (Psalm 104:31-32)
It is not the time to play church anymore. Tne Day of Pentecost is not just some historical date marking the birth of the Church. It is time for a rebirth from above. A rebirth of the Spirit.