Paint the Town Red

June 9th, 2019

Message Title: Paint the Town Red
Theme: Pentecost
Season: Pentecost
Color: Red
Main Text: Acts 2:1-21
Scripture Reading: GOING ROGUE!! Acts 10: 44-48
RCL Scripture: *Acts 2:1-21 or Genesis 11:1-9, Psalm 104:24-34, 35b, Romans 8:14-17 or Acts 2:1-21, John 14:8-17, (25-27)
Focus: The Holy Spirit comes first to the Jews (all ages and genders) and later to the Gentiles.
Function: To acknowledge not only our role in the church but the role of other believers that God has called and equipped. 
Other Notes:

SCRIPTURE Reading: Acts 10:44-48 44While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. 46For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, 47“Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.
Lord’s Prayer

INTRO: Pentecost Quiz

Today is a big day though many don’t know it. Today in fact is the third most significant holiday in the church calendar. It’s Pentecost. However, if you haven’t grown up in a high liturgy church or charismatic church, you may not have ever even known this day existed. So why not start this day off with a quiz much like we’ve done for Christmas: 

1. Where/When did Pentecost festivities originate?

  1. Jewish custom connected to spring harvest
  2. Jewish custom connected to the giving of Torah
  3. Christian custom started after the accounts in Acts
  4. Both A  & B

Yes, this was a Jewish thing that was transformed by the Spirit. Originally about the Law and the season of harvest (known as the Festival of Weeks), it became a celebration of the coming of God’s Spirit.

2. When do we celebrate Pentecost?

  1. First Sunday in June
  2. Second Sunday in June
  3. 50 days after Easter
  4. 40 days after Easter
    Because Easter moves, Pentecost moves. Sometimes it is the end of May and sometimes its in the middle of June. 

3. Who received the Spirit at Pentecost in Acts 2? 

  1. Only male property owners
  2. Only Jewish men
  3. Jewish people and converts to Judaism (Acts 2)
  4. All people (Acts 10)

In our scripture reading for today, you may have noticed the description of the Spirit coming on to the Gentiles. Pentecost is an ongoing event that started in Acts 2 and continues on today. 

Transition: Hopefully, if you hear nothing that I’m about to tell you, you will at the very least have learned three facts about Pentecost from our quiz. I do want to give you a chance to have a crash course on this mysterious topic of the Holy Spirit before we dive into Pentecost. 

VIDEO: The Bible Project is a great ministry that creates podcasts and videos on the books of the bible and some general topics or themes. Check them out on Youtube or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Today we’re gonna watch a quick video from them to get a quick run down of the Holy Spirit. 

STOP AT 3:49:40

Transition: God’s Spirit in both Greek and Hebrew was the same word for breath or wind. His spirit was to remind you of the essence of life that is in every living creature. This Spirit was in the beginning of creation and continues on today. 

As we turn to Acts 2, we learn that God’s spirit was doing something new and beautiful in Believer’s. 

God: Today is Pentecost and we are turning the Acts 2: 1-21 where we will read about this main event. 

Plan: We will read the whole account in one swift chunk, rather than dissecting specific words or phrases of a small passage, we are going to read the main part of the Pentecost story. Close your eyes, listen to the story, consider their feelings and what their senses were saying as we read. Breathe in the scripture like breath.

TEXT: When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”

14But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:

17“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. 19And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; 20the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. 21And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ 

    1. Acts 1: Jesus had been with his disciples (not just the 12 but any followers) for the last 40 days. Then we read in Acts 1 that Jesus ascends into the heavens leaving disciples with the task to go to the ends of the earth sharing Jesus’ message. But before he left, he gave his disciples the strict instructions to wait until the coming of the Holy Spirit who would enable them for their task. 
    2. So the 12, Mother Mary, some women, and a total of about 120 people gathered together to wait. (Acts 1:15)
    3. VS 1-4: those waiting received the Spirit and in this particular moment they received the ability to speak in other languages. 
      1. VS 5-14 Remember, this was a Jewish festival time, Jerusalem would have been crowded with people from all over. The Jewish faith was a diverse faith, including people from all over that had been brought into Abraham’s family through different exiles. (Jewish converts would have been known as proselytes.)
        1. These people were confused how Galileans (known as laborers not scholars) would have known each of their languages. … so their natural conclusion was they were drunk.
    4. VS 14-21: Peter corrects the crowds by saying NO they aren’t drunk… don’t you remember our scriptures! Our scriptures spoke of this coming!
      1. Peter quotes the prophet Joel who predicts God’s Spirit coming to sons & daughters, young and old, EVEN SERVANTS. 
      2. This is a sign of God’s coming salvation. 
      3. **His sermon goes on but we’ll stop here for now. **

If you are familiar with the Pentecost story, you likely would have stopped in acts 2. But the story goes on:

  1. PENTECOST PART 2; Acts 10: The Holy Spirit comes to the Gentiles, astonishing the Jewish believers. 
    1. As we talked about in the quiz, the “Acts 2 Pentecost” was just Jewish believers. It wasn’t until Acts 10 that we see the Holy Spirit come onto Gentiles. 
    2. Peter’s Vision: And this is not until after Peter has had a vision from God: God tells him to eat unclean foods and after Peter resists because of Jewish food laws, God says “what I have declared clean let no one call unclean.”
    3. BOOM next thing to happen is God shows Peter it isn’t just the Jews that God loves. The Gentiles receive the Holy Spirit too!

APPLICATION: To acknowledge not only our role in the church but the role of other believers that God has called and equipped.

  1. Back to intro: (Quiz on Pentecost.) A typical Baptist doesn’t know anything about Pentecost… heck we don’t know anything about the church calendar really but, today, we’re at a pivotal part of the church calendar. 
    1. Church calendar: The Church Calendar is split almost in half.
      1. ½ of the year is focused on Jesus:
        1. Advent: anticipation of Jesus
        2. Christmas: birth of Jesus
        3. Epiphany: Realization that Jesus is Lord
        4. Lent: anticipation of Jesus’ death
        5. Triduum/Holy Week: crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus
        6. Easter: resurrection and Jesus appearing to his disciples
      2. ½ of the year is focused on the acts of the church: “ordinary time”
        1. That’s right HALF the year is focused on “ordinary time” or the season of the church. 
        2. God has set the stage and provided us all the equipment necessary and now we are asked to act. 
  2. On Pentecost: When we step back and look at Pentecost, it should make us excited and also terrified. Easter and Christmas are the favorite holidays but they’re also simple compared to Pentecost. Pentecost is the holiday that leaves us with responsibility. 
    1. “Listener Comment from 2014: ‘The problem with Pentecost is not that it’s a busy time of the year, but that it so unambiguously requires of us that we carry the gospel out into the world, and blow our own covers. It is one thing to adore the infant Jesus, another to mourn the death of Jesus in our insular communities. It is something else, VERY else, and to many, VERY scary, to proclaim the gospel in every action we take, and to publicly proclaim ourselves to be THOSE people, those [insert negative adjective here] Christians. Pentecost gives us marching orders. Christmas is so much easier…’” (PF)
    2. “Pentecost is the moment when gestation ceases and birthing occurs. Thus, it is both an end and a beginning, the leaving behind of that which is past, the launching forth into that which is only now beginning to be. Pentecost therefore is not a time of completion. It is moving forward into new dimensions of being, whose basic forms are clear, but whose fulfillment has yet to be realized.” (Walter Brueggemann, Texts for Preaching, Year B,  p. 347)
  3. Called to Action: all genders, all ages, all races, all backgrounds
    1. Pentecost is the holiday that tells us we have a role to play as well. Not just us. All believers have a role to play. The Spirit’s intention is to restore creation; to reunite heaven and earth. We are part of that restoration act. 
      1. Acts 10 reminds us that God’s spirit is a Spirit of inclusivity: Age, gender, ethnically (all persons) (PF).

Conclusion: “Without Pentecost, we’d just be people who tell Jesus’ story. With Pentecost, we’re people who live into Jesus’ story” (Danielle Shroyer, The Hardest Question blog)

  • We’re in the season of the church now. It started at Pentecost thousands of years ago, and continues now with us. 
  • We are waiting for Christ to return as we heard promised in Acts 1 but until that point, we are not to be a passive people. 
  • We’re called to paint the town red: not with frivolity or brutality but with the Spirit of God. 

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