Just to clear things up from the get-go, there is only one sermon below because today was a joint service with the folks from St. Mark’s Presbyterian joining up with Knox Presbyterian congregation to celebrate the Knox Sunday School year. It seems especially appropriate to have a joint service on Pentecost Sunday so I was very happy it worked that way. Also, I am not in the pulpit for the next two Sundays so unless I decide to preach to my family, or maybe even no one at all, there won’t be any Words From the Middle to listen to for May 22 or May 29.
Pentecost is one of the really interesting days in the church calendar. I have called it the birthday of the church more than once — even singing “Happy Birthday” to the church on at least one occasion — because it is at Pentecost that the church as we know it is really born. However, because Pentecost comes up every year, it can be a bit of a challenge to decide what to say about it but this year, I am indebted to Heather* for remarking on the aspect of hospitality that the Day of Pentecost demonstrates. It is a truism that we understand best what we hear in our native language, sometimes called our “mother tongue.” Heather got me thinking of how profoundly grace-filled an experience that must have been for all of those people to hear this new message from God in the language they would best understand. That is something that we can overlook, if we aren’t careful, how gracious God is when communicating to us.
Knox & St. Mark’s Presbyterian joint service So what about Pentecost?
* my wife, not any of the other several Heather’s I know 🙂
PS If you listen to the sermon and hear a small child making noise that was my grandson Eli who I was holding through much of the sermon . . . which was delightful!