This Is The Word Of The Lord
Sunday, June 8th, 2014
Pentecost Sunday is the day which marks the end of the Easter season in the Christian calendar. It celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, 10 days after the ascension of the Son unto His Father in heaven. Pentecost falls 50 days after Easter 2014.
Christ had promised not to leave them… us… alone. So it is written that He would send His Spirit, “the Spirit of truth,” to “teach you all truth” (John 16:13). And it was in the “upper room”, that the Church was born, baptized in the Spirit and endowed with the truth. And that Church becomes for us a conduit of the Spirit. It is through the Sacraments of Baptism and Communion that we all receive the very same gift of the Holy Spirit that descended upon the disciples and the others present that day, in that upper room, so many years ago!
Who on this day didst open the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of thy Holy Spirit:
Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
From the Book of Divine Worship (and the Book of Common Prayer), Anglican
Author of Today’s Reading
St John the Apostle
It is God who calls; human beings answer. The vocation of John and his brother James is stated very simply in the Gospels, along with that of Peter and his brother Andrew: Jesus called them; they followed. The absoluteness of their response is indicated by the account. James and John “were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him” (Matthew 4:21b-22).
For the three former fishermen—Peter, James and John—that faith was to be rewarded by a special friendship with Jesus. They alone were privileged to be present at the Transfiguration, the raising of the daughter of Jairus and the agony in Gethsemane. But John’s friendship was even more special. Tradition assigns to him the Fourth Gospel, although most modern Scripture scholars think it unlikely that the apostle and the evangelist are the same person.
John’s own Gospel refers to him as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (see John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2), the one who reclined next to Jesus at the Last Supper, and the one to whom he gave the exquisite honor, as he stood beneath the cross, of caring for his mother. “Woman, behold your son…. Behold, your mother” (John 19:26b, 27b).
Because of the depth of his Gospel, John is usually thought of as the eagle of theology, soaring in high regions that other writers did not enter. But the ever-frank Gospels reveal some very human traits. Jesus gave James and John the nickname, “sons of thunder.”
Today’s Gospel Reading
John 20: 19-23 NIV
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
1 Corinthians 12: 3-4 and 12-13 NIV
Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
Unity and Diversity in the Body
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
Thanks Be To God!
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