Pentecost is more than tongues of fire and the colour red. Pentecost is the time we have set aside to pay attention to the new way the Holy Spirit decided to interact with people.
Many of us can picture the scene, a wind inside a closed house, tongues of fire on people’s heads, people being heard speaking languages they don’t speak. Very dramatic. Very colourful. I have preached about this scene more than once and I am sure I will again.
This year, I noticed some things in the Gospel lesson I don’t think I have ever noticed in quite this way. The Gospel of John reading for today (John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15) has three of the so-called Paraclete sayings of Jesus, i.e. Jesus making statements about the Holy Spirit. If we look at these three statements from one perspective we can see them as three functions of the Holy Spirit – variously translated here as Comforter, Counsellor, Helper or Advocate – that are either new or newly described. Jesus talks about the Advocate
- Testifying on Jesus’ behalf
- Proving the world wrong about its values
- Guiding us into all truth
The two sermons below look at each of these Paraclete sayings and see what is there for us.
If you follow what’s coming up on the Knox and St. Mark’s Presbyterian website (https://sites.google.com/a/holtslander.com/knoxstmarks/home) you may notice the sermon title has been changed. This is the first time I ever wanted to change a sermon title after I preached the sermon . . . but I did, so I did.
“Not just tongues of fire” Knox Presbyterian (to download, right click and select “Save Link As . . .”)
“It’s not the fish” St. Mark’s Presbyterian (to download, right click and select “Save Link As . . .”)
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