Monday, January 22, 2007

Day of Pentecost Year A

Here's the handout content plus the texts I typed out for myself as the group leader—thought I'd post all of it (actually, in the other Years A I hadn't included the scripture texts so they didn't get blogged).

  • Pentecost | 50 days after Easter
  • In the Jewish calendar, Pentecost commemorated God's giving the Sinai Covenant - the Mosaic law
  • The Christian Pentecost celebrates the fullness of the Spirit unleashed on all creation, enabling us to keep the new law of life in the Spirit and restoring all creation
  • Whitsunday - British Isles term, white robes worn by those baptized on Pentecost
  • Feast of Weeks or Harvest | Exodus 23:16; 34:33; Leviticus 23:15-16[17-22]; Firstfruits: Numbers 28:26; Deuteronomy 16:10, 16; 2 Chronicles 8:13
  • Disciples = taught
  • Apostles = sent
Psalm 104:24-34, 35bthis is a creation narrative!

24 How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number—living things both large and small.
26 There the ships go to and fro, and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.
27 These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face, they are terrified;
when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.
31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.
35b Praise the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord.

1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 | 1 Corinthians 12:8-10—Gifts of the Spirit:
  1. a word of wisdom - Sophia v.8a
  2. a word of knowledge - gnosis v. 8b
  3. faith, trust - pistis v. 9a
  4. gifts of healings - v. 9b
  5. workings of powers [miracles] v. 10a
  6. prophecy v. 10b
  7. discerning of spirits v. 10
  8. types of tongues - glossolalia v.10
  9. interpretation of tongues - once again, glossos v.10
  1. The Spirit has come to the church and into the world in particular and collective senses, enabling the community as the body of the at once Crucified and Risen Christ to bear fruit in word and deed; without the Spirit there is no witness!
  2. How does this congregation demonstrate the variety of the various gifts of the Holy Spirit Paul describes? How do we complement or complete one another?
Acts 2:1-21
  • Acts 2:3, 4, 11 "tongues" is glossos
  • Acts 2:6, 8 "tongues" is dialect, as in languages.
  • Acts 2:15b It's only nine in the morning, third hour of the day; in the New Testament Day Watch the Third hour is from 6-9 a.m.
  • Peter referred to the Hebrew prophet Joel 2:28-32 to substantiate this event as the arrival of the Day of the Lord when everyone, men, women, slaves, free - everyone, including even the "least of these," would experience God's abundant and impartial grace through the Spirit's reign.
  • Name of the Lord - to know a person's name is intimacy with them and a kind of power over them.
  1. in all of these texts for the Day of Pentecost, Spirit is Pneuma rather than the Paraclete Jesus promised in last week's (Easter 7) text from John 16:7; but John 16:13 Jesus speaks of the Pneuma=spirit of truth
  2. The Spirit came to individuals gathered in community, "all together in one place."
John 20:19-23 - this is Easter Sunday evening

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."

Locked doors for fear of... - any ideas on this? Secrecy, hiddenness and shame - how does Jesus unlock doors, hearts and minds and open up lives?

Or John 7:37-39

37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast [of Weeks, the spring harvest feast corresponding to the fall harvest Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkoth, Leviticus 23:33-36], Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." [Or If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me. And let him drink, 38 who believes in me.] 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Feast of Weeks or Harvest: Exodus 23:16; 34:33; Leviticus 23:15-16[17-22], (Firstfruits Numbers 28:26), Deuteronomy 16:10, 16; 2 Chronicles 8:13

The Feast of Weeks celebrates the time of the grain harvest, from barley through wheat. John's version of the gift of the Spirit emphasizes the authority the gift of the Holy Spirit imparts to the church. What observations can you make about the Pentecost account in the book of Acts, especially reflecting on the Psalm and the Corinthians texts?

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