S-1363-PS/C 5/19/2013 Hymns: (O) #234; (S) #233; (C) #225
Texts: Genesis 11:1-9; Acts 2:1-21; John 14:23-31
Theme: “Getting the Right Help” (John 14:25-26)
Question: “Are you bold or bashful to ask for help?” Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! The text for Pentecost Sunday is from the Gospel lesson: “These things I have spoken to you while I Am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:25-26).
INTRODUCTION: In Nomine Iesu.
O People of the Resurrection, Jesus’ promises are so real that every one of them has come to fruition. Scan, study and search the inspired Word and you will see whatever Christ said came true. He said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19) and He did—Jesus suffered, was crucified, died and was buried and on the third day He burst forth from the grave. That is why we celebrate the Resurrection even today, two thousand years after the facts. In due time, all of the promises given, even when He returns in the near future, will be fulfilled.
Today is fifty days after the greatest event in all of human history—the RESURRECTION of Christ. Today is Pentecost Sunday. Today we observe and celebrate the Holy Spirit’s coming upon the disciples as promised by Jesus in the Gospel lesson. Before Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection, Jesus promised the disciples that He will soon leave them to return to His Father, but He will not leave them as orphans. He will send the promised and great Helper—the Holy Spirit. And it came to pass just as the Savior promised. We read it in the Acts of the disciples. Luke put it this way: “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4).
In this portion of God’s Word, we behold the promise of Christ being fulfilled in the lives of the disciples to be the helpers of the right kind of Help. In this portion of God’s Word, we marvel at the mercy and grace of God, as He reverses the confusion that occurred at Babel. In this portion of God’s Word, we see love so wonderful and amazing, that even Gentiles hear the message of the precious Gospel in their own language. These pilgrims got the right help from the Helper—the Holy Spirit. PAUSE.
People of the Resurrection, do you love people? Do you want to get involved? Do you want to make a difference? Do others know you care? Do you want to help others receive things otherwise were unavailable them and to be taken on a journey where otherwise they couldn’t go?
Today, the Holy Spirit is here to make us be the right kind of helper to others. As the Holy Spirit in love worked through the disciples in their ministry; He is here today to work in us and makes us faithful in our walk of faith. He is here today to teach us that sin separates us from our holy and loving God and calling us to repentance. In this place, the Holy Spirit works through the Means of Grace teaching us all that Jesus did.
In the ongoing miracle that is Pentecost, the Holy Spirit continues to call, gather, enlighten and sanctify. The Holy Spirit causes the faithful of every generation to remember what Jesus has said and done. What He has said and done is none other than make peace with God for us through His death and resurrection. It is this peace which restores us to what we were designed for. In the Word which convicts us of sin and grants us pardon in Jesus Christ, we are made whole. This wholeness makes us wholly at peace with God. What joy fills our hearts today!
In this place, the Holy Spirit shares the Father’s heart desires that all people come to know Him and His love for the world. As we are privileged to sit at the feet of Jesus in this place, the right kind of Helper guides our thoughts and creates in us a heart once dead to a living and active faith that seeks to love and serve Him.
Because we love Him and want to serve Him, we desire also to serve others in His name so that they too, may get to know Him intimately and get the right kind of help for their souls. There is a reason the Helper was sent to tell the good news to all people.
The prophet Isaiah said, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns’” (Is. 52:7). Yes, how beautiful are your feet when you take the message outside these walls so that lives can be touched and changed by Christ the crucified. PAUSE.
I am often amazed at how many of our people are willing to volunteer their time to help others; but are unwilling to ask others to help them in the hour of need. Many good people help others with many different things, but are unwilling to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them. Many dedicated Christians go out of their way to give a lending hand to make someone’s life a little better, but are unwilling to share God’s Word with others. How Sad!
Sadder still, when many would say, “If you want anything done right, (help me finish the sentence), ‘you got to do it yourself’”. We, the people of God carry that into our spiritual life as well. We often think we can help God save us. We feel He owes us because we are good church people. We think because we do certain things for Him, He should do favors to us also. Christ owes us nothing. He blesses us because that’s the kind of God He is—the One who gives and gives and gives even when not asked. PAUSE.
On April 15th, while the Boston Marathon was taking place, two terrorists blew up bombs that killed, maimed and caused much havoc in the lives of many. When the bombs blew, we saw many rush to help without regard to danger or loss of life. They helped because they cared.
How thankful we are to witness such brave acts of kindness and help in the hour of need. How thankful the injured people and their families were as they received the right kind of help at the right time. But how much more valuable, if we, as People of the Resurrection, who have received the gift of the Holy Spirit; be the right kind of helper to others? What a privilege the Savior gives us daily to be caring, loving and serving others. What honor Christ bestows upon us to be His feet, His hands, and His mouth to many who don’t know Him. How blessed we are, that the Savior, during His earthly pilgrimage promised to send the Holy Spirit to help us. And what joy fills our hearts because the Helper has helped us and still does.
The challenge for us is to be the right kind of helpers. By grace alone, may we raise our voices so that those so wounded will know that the cross of Jesus paid for their sin, that the empty tomb of Jesus gives them victory and a living hope, and that the ascension of Jesus means He rules over all things and will never forsake them.
On this Pentecost Sunday, we pray that the Helper would fill us with Himself that we might be led to touch the lives of others and help them in the hour of need, both physically and spiritually. God grant it for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Now the peace of God…
SOLI DEO GLORIA