PENTECOST IS STILL HAPPENING!
TEXT: ACTS 2:1-21
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

When accused of being drunk Peter reminded them that it was only the third hour of the day, that is – 9 AM. It was ten days after Jesus ascended and 50 days (a week of weeks) after He rose from the dead, that is – a Sunday! They were gathered together at nine o’clock on a Sunday morning. Sound familiar? What are you normally doing on Sunday morning at 9AM – like this morning? Exactly what the eleven were doing on the Day of Pentecost!
PENTECOST IS STILL HAPPENING!
TEXT: ACTS 2:1-21
Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

When accused of being drunk Peter reminded them that it was only the third hour of the day, that is – 9 AM. It was ten days after Jesus ascended and 50 days (a week of weeks) after He rose from the dead, that is – a Sunday! They were gathered together at nine o’clock on a Sunday morning. Sound familiar? What are you normally doing on Sunday morning at 9AM – like this morning? Exactly what the eleven were doing on the Day of Pentecost!

Gathered together like you are here suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind…And divided tongues as of fire…rested on each one of them. The Greek gives the impression of one flame initially that then separated. You know the sound of the wind of a blizzard or strong thunderstorm rushing by your ears. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Sunday morning at 9AM and what do you get? So full of fear and foreboding – they are now full of courage and joy! They openly proclaim a man who seven weeks earlier had been led out of this very same city and brutally executed. They proclaimed a man who had hung for hours naked and bleeding in public shame for the whole city to see until His corpse was sealed in a garden grave.

Sunday morning at 9AM and what do you get? Quoting the prophet Joel, Peter asserted that this text reveals Jesus! When God said, “in the last days…I will pour out my spirit on all flesh” the events of Pentecost were being foretold. Jesus is the LORD! His coming in the flesh has ushered in the last days. His pouring out of the Holy Spirit enabled the proclamation of His name!

Dear Christians, the Holy Spirit is no spook – flitting about from one fancy to another! Nor is the Holy Spirit the product of your intellectual or emotional powers! Nor is His work to reveal and put forward Himself.
Last thanksgiving, in S. Dak., a member of a Pentecostal church asked me what Lutherans believe about the Holy Spirit. The question was asked when I had only a few seconds to answer and the incompleteness of my answer has bothered me ever since. God-willing, I plan to continue that conversation if I have opportunity on vacation at home this summer.

What would you say in 30 seconds if someone asked you, “What do Lutherans believe about the Holy Sprit?” Based on Jesus’ own promises one might say…

We believe that the Holy Spirit brings the presence of Christ in Word and Sacrament. He bears witness to Jesus, not Himself (John 15:26). He convicts of the sin of unbelief in Jesus. He convicts of the righteousness that comes only through the blood of Christ who has now returned to the Father (John 16:8). He convicts that even Satan has been judged and defeated because Christ was condemned as our substitute. He uses water and word and bread and wine to give us faith in Jesus and keep us in the faith that receives forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

Or, you might speak for 30 seconds based on the meaning to the 3rd Article of the Apostles’ Creed that you learned by heart. What do Lutherans believe about the Holy Spirit?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe
in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him, but the Holy
Spirit has called me by the gospel, enlightened me with His
gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith…

even as He calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He daily and richly forgives all sins to me and all believers and will at the Last Day raise up me and all the dead, and give unto me and all believers in Christ eternal life. This is most…
What becomes immediately evident when we speak of the Holy Spirit in biblical terms is not the Holy Sprit, but Jesus. Jesus continues His work through the Holy Spirit and His holy church.

Sunday morning at 9Am and what do you get? If the Holy Spirit is at work here, you get Jesus. The tongues of fire were temporary. The sound of the rushing wind was temporary. The speaking in all those native languages at one time was temporary. It was testimony that all the divisions of language and culture and race are transcended by oneness in Christ. But it is the proclamation of the crucified Christ, risen and ascended and forgiving sin that is not temporary! The word of the Lord endures forever.

And here you are at 9 o’clock on a Sunday morning to hear His Word. It’s Mother’s Day in our culture. It is so good to remember and give thanks for God’s wonderful gift of our mothers. Who can number the blessings that God gives to us through our mothers? What a wealth of ongoing care and consolation we receive from those who gave us birth. God grant each of us kind words and acts today but more importantly repentance in all our days to grow in love to our wives and mothers.

But you came here knowing that the sermon would center on Jesus, not mothers. He also gave thanks for His earthly mother – the Blessed Virgin Mary. Like all of us, His human life, began in His mother’s womb. The flesh of His tiny body was knit together there through the months. And now through the fruits of His body sacrificed on the cross He knits together our mother the church. As the church Fathers would say, no one has God for His Father who does not have the church for His mother.

The Holy Spirit keeps the Christian Church with Jesus Christ is the one true faith. The sure sign that the Holy Spirit has not forsaken you is that you have not forsaken His Word. Pentecost continues because Jesus continues to pour out His Spirit, baptizing, absolving, forgiving, freely giving eternal life through His Word. “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Now Jesus has been glorified. Ten days after His ascension, ten days after He was enthroned in heaven as both God and Man the events of our text took place. The withdrawal of His visible presence was to our advantage for with it came the promised pouring out of the Holy Spirit.

What an advantage! It was 9 o’clock on a Sunday morning! Those who had been visibly with Jesus for three years had not been openly confessing and proclaiming His Lordship.

But when the Spirit of truth was given to the Church, the floodgates opened. There poured forth living water – the Holy Spirit gave free and fearless speech of Christ from new hearts. Not only from the prophets but also from the Psalms, they proclaimed Christ. The sermon of Pentecost Day can be summarized in this way. God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified. And “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Dear Christians, you have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. No one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:3). Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5). He who co-existed with the Father and the Son before the ages, He who hovered over the face of the deep at creation, hovered also over the waters into which you were baptized. The water and Spirit baptism you received carries with it the very kingdom of God in and with the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Pentecost isn’t over and you are the heirs of Pentecost. Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Why is it you are here to give ear to God’s Word? (Do you often give thanks for Christian parents including your mother who brought you to God’s house?) Why is it you do not take delight in your sin but confess it and seek forgiveness for it? (Is this your idea?) Why is it that you confess Jesus as Lord in the Creed and pray to God as your Father? It is because God has sent the Spirit of His Son into your heart crying, “Abba! Father!” (Gal 4:6). It is because the Spirit himself intercedes for you with groanings too deep for words (Rom. 8:26).

It’s 9AM on Sunday morning and what do you get? By the gift of the Holy Spirit you get Jesus today just like on the Day of Pentecost! The Holy Spirit is here not to speak His own words, but the Son’s words which are also the Father’s words. For the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are one – and they are united in the purpose giving you faith and keeping you in the faith and loving you forever and ever. Amen.


Luther Memorial Chapel & University Student Center | 3833 N Maryland Ave | Shorewood, WI  53211
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Divine Service: Sundays - 9:00a Mondays - 7:00p Bible Study & Sunday School: Sundays - 10:45a