Acts 2:1–21— Our risen Lord Jesus poured out His Holy Spirit at the Feast of Pentecost—the fiftieth day and the “Eighth Sunday” of Easter. When “a sound like a mighty rushing wind” and “tongues as of fire appeared” and rested on each of the twelve Apostles, “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” and proclaimed “the mighty works of God.” The Lord Jesus grants this same Spirit to His Church on earth to proclaim Him glorified on the cross and risen victorious from the grave for us sinners.
The Epistle reading for the Day of Pentecost is, as you might imagine, the account of the giving of the Holy Spirit on the first Day of Pentecost, and the establishment of the New Testament Church in mission. This special gift was given to the disciples in the early Church for two main reasons: to testify that these men were speaking by the authority of God (for only God could grant such a gift in fulfillment of prophecy), and in order to proclaim the Word of God to people of many different tongues. Since the New Testament had not been written down yet, it also could not be translated yet. In our day, the written Word of God, the Bible, fulfills both these purposes, delivering the truth of God in a language which we can understand.
In his explanation to the third article of the Apostles’ Creed Luther reminds us: “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. In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.”
Pentecost is the birthday of missions. These are our marching orders – to get the message out and to keep the message straight. As you are given the opportunity gossip the gospel to your family, neighbors and community.
Collect for the Holy Spirit: Lord God, heavenly Father, let Your Holy Spirit dwell in us that He may enlighten and lead us into all truth and evermore defend us from all adversities; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Go into all the world, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
Collect for the Holy Spirit, from Lutheran Service Book copyright © 2006Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis