May 2015

Post date: Apr 29, 2015 6:42:44 PM

Dear People of God,

During the first 3 Sundays of May we are in the Easter season. The resurrection of our Savior Jesus is just too good of news to be confined to one day. So in the church year we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection for a full 7 weeks—a week of weeks. And, as I’m fond of saying, every Sunday is really a little Easter: a little celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from death.

On Sunday May 24th we celebrate Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost means 50. Fifty days after Jesus rose from the dead, he gives his followers the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower them to be his witnesses in the world. The Gospel of Luke concludes with Jesus telling his followers to “…stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49) Pentecost is the risen Jesus making good on that promise. “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.” (Acts 2:2-4)

Charismatic Christians see this as the gift of tongues or ecstatic speech. But most Lutheran Christians see Pentecost as the Spirit empowering the disciples to suddenly be able to tell the great news of life through Jesus in other known languages. Devout Jews from many nations were in Jerusalem for Pentecost, which was kind of like Thanksgiving Day. Suddenly they could hear the disciples telling of God’s deeds of power in their own languages. The disciples were inspired (“in-Spirit-ed”) to tell others about the risen Jesus.

We modern day disciples are also inspired, in-Spirit-ed, to share the great news of life and love in Jesus through our words and actions. We are all given the gift of the Holy Spirit at baptism and the Spirit is with us throughout our lives to help and guide us. The Gospel of John calls the Holy Spirit the Advocate, Comforter and Counselor.

Spirit, breath and wind are all the same word in Hebrew and in Greek. And we know a thing or two about wind in the Kittitas Valley! Today, as I’m finishing up this article the wind is gusting about 30 mph. This hymn from our old green LBW kept running through my head. “Breathe on me breath of God. Fill me with life anew. That I may love all that you love, and do what you would do.” LBW 488. Christ is risen and the Holy Spirit is blowing!

Serving God and neighbor together with you,

Pastor Dennis