May 20, 2018 – No Power!

Posted on : May 17th, 2018 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

A few weeks ago on a Sunday morning, we discovered one of the circuit breakers had turned off.  We had no lights in the men’s bathroom, the kitchen and the custodian’s supply room.  We also had no power in the kitchen electrical outlet where the commercial coffee maker is plugged in.

Not having any lights in the men’s bathroom wasn’t too bad because it was a bright, sunny day.  But having no power for the coffee maker, that’s challenging for church people.  Coffee Hour as it is sometimes called is often referred to as the third sacrament of Christianity – at least Protestant Christianity.  Luckily, a number of years ago we had two separate electrical circuits installed in the kitchen, so we could separate the Microwave ovens and the commercial coffee maker.  St. Tom Droney figured out a way to brew the coffee, so that life could proceed as normal; but in the weekdays that followed, as we waited for our electrician to come and fix whatever was broken, we were powerless.

One of the things I noticed was that every time I walked into the kitchen, the men’s restroom or the custodial supply room, I flipped the light switch.  Each time I was surprised that the light didn’t go on.  One would think after a week I would have stopped turning on the light switch, but I didn’t.  It was only after I turned on the switch that I realized we were powerless.

I have a strong suspicion that is the same way the disciples felt after the death of Jesus.  That reliable source of power that they were so used to always having present, wasn’t there.  Nothing makes you feel more powerless than flipping the switch and nothing happens. You’re still in the dark.  So it is with our faith.

In our tradition the Day of Pentecost is the celebration of the day that the power came back on; the day the power is restored.  And surprise, when it comes back on, everything lights up!  This power descends from the risen Christ and shocks all the believers.  Those who thought themselves to be powerless, suddenly discovered they were not.  In fact, they were far from powerless; and neither are we.

This Sunday we’re going to celebrate that we are not powerless; but fully empowered to be Christ’s living presence in the world.

May the Holy Spirit Bless us and Empower us this Sunday and always,

Dan

 ~ This Sunday’s Scriptures ~

Luke 24: 44-53

Jesus blesses the disciples and is parted from them.

And Jesus said to them (the disciples), “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in Christ’s name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.  And I am sending the promise of our God upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Then Jesus led them out as far as Bethany, and with uplifted hands blessed them.  While blessing them, Jesus parted from them, and was carried up into heaven.  And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.

Acts 2:1-18

Luke (the presumed writer of the book of Acts) describes the day of Pentecost, when worshipers were filled with the Holy Spirit. 

When the day of Pentecost had come, they 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.  And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

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.”

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “People 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!

 

 

 

 

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