Getting Thrown Out

 

Happy Pentecost Everyone!

Somewhere around three thousand years ago, the Hebrew people were just beginning their off-road overlanding journey we now call the Exodus.  Moses, having trouble leading this massive group of people by himself, gathered the family leaders and delegated leadership to them.  The Bible tells us that a portion of God’s Spirit rested on these men as they took the mantle of leadership with Moses.  However, there were two leaders who didn’t make it to the meeting tent soon enough.  Running late, you might think they would miss something – but God’s Spirit isn’t contained in a meeting tent or only available to perfect vessels of punctuality.  We’re told that as those elders gathered inside the tent, the same Spirit that rested on them jumped the walls and rested on Eldad and Medad, and they began prophesying the same as the folks inside the tent.  While some people were upset and complained to Moses, Moses reply fits perfectly on this Pentecost Sunday – “I wish that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit upon them all!” (Numbers 11:29 NLT)

Well, that’s what finally happened at the festival of Pentecost about two thousand years ago.  While the Holy Spirit had always been around, and had been inspiring God’s people all along, it took on a special meaning and power as the presence of Christ with the disciples on that day, forming them into the ekklesia, a Greek word meaning “the called-out ones.”  Like those two Hebrew elders who caught the Spirit outside the tent, the crowd that begins assembling outside the gathered disciples begins to be blessed as the Spirit is thrown out into the streets.  Peter then follows, called – or thrown – out to explain the meaning of this miraculous and Spirit-filled moment.  What had been a low-key Jewish holiday becomes the birth – the calling/throwing out – of the Holy Spirit and the followers of Jesus to both make disciples of all nations, baptizing them …and teaching them (Matthew 28:19-20) and be Jesus’s “witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). Truly this is that moment Moses wished for, when the Spirit would come to rest upon all people of the earth.

It is this commission that the Acts of the Apostles follows as the church expands in the first century world.  While that’s all very exciting, we must now turn to ask what our place is in this story.  Is all that Spirit-filled action just meant for the first generation of Disciples and Apostles?  Do we have the same call today to follow Jesus’s commission and become apostles ourselves?  And what exactly does “empowered by the Holy Spirit” mean?  Does it mean “acting crazy in church,” or is there a deeper meaning to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives?  Should we really want to get thrown out of church?

So there’s a lot to get to on Pentecost Sunday!  As we open our hearts, our minds, and our Bibles we’ll dive into that powerful day that the Disciples became Apostles and the gathered crowd becomes the church.  I hope you can also be a part of our Pentecost Parade later in the afternoon as we are “thrown out” to spread God’s love to others!  See you on YouTube and in the parking lot!

Sunday’s Service—if you log in to your Google/YouTube account about 10-15 minutes early, you will be able to easily access the chat and fellowship through the YouTube premier page both before and during the service. Find the premier page on our YouTube channel at: 5/31/20 Online Service.  The premier page will be active from the moment the video is uploaded, so you can practice any time this weekend!

We have introductions to both our SPKidz Church and iClub lessons on our YouTube channel. After you watch the introductions to the lesson, be sure to download the packet with discussion questions and activities to do at home!

We will also have a special lesson and learning for our iClub at 10:00 on Sundays, just as we would if we were together!  You will be able to access this through Zoom, which is an online conferencing tool. Contact Kraig by email for directions on how to access this.

Check our YouTube channel for the SPKidz & iClub Video introductions: St. Paul’s YouTube

SPKidz Packet

iClub Packet

 

The Youth will be meeting and doing a lesson on Sunday evening at 5:30pm using the Zoom online conferencing tool. Contact Kraig by email for directions on how to access this if you are interested.

 

We so appreciate you keeping connected with us as we navigate these trying times for everyone. Please contact the church office by email at info@spocala.org or by phone at 352-694-2161 if you have any questions or need any help.  While office hours are limited, someone will receive your message and get back to you as soon as possible.