Laughing In The Face Of Darkness! Sermon by Robert Leslie Holmes based on Acts 2:1-21 excerpted from Two Kings And Three Prophets For Less Than A Quarter: First Lesson Sermons For Sundays After Pentecost (First Third) Cycle C
A seminary student writing a term paper about confession of sin started to type, "When we confess, Christ takes away our guilt." However, he was a bit thick-fingered and hit the letter q instead of the letter g on his computer keyboard. Now his sentence read, "Christ takes away our quilt." He didn't notice his error but his professor did and wrote in the margin, "Fear not, little one, you'll not freeze for God has given us a Comforter!" Using his keen wit, the professor conveyed a profound spiritual truth that is at the heart of Pentecost. God has given us a Comforter. However, it is also true to say that when the Comforter comes, God takes away our quilt. That is, God removes our security blankets that we sometimes wrap around ourselves and that cause us to miss the exciting life that is available for all of us who belong to Jesus. That finally is what Pentecost Sunday is about. So, today we think about the personal meaning of Pentecost.... click here for the full sermon SUBSCRIBERS USE THIS LINK
Free Children's Story/Sermon for Pentecost
Baby Genie's New Home Children's story by Janice Scott from The Village Shepherd
BG was very frightened. He'd never been out alone before, and he discovered he didn't know what to do. Especially as LG, his companion in crime, had suddenly and mysteriously disappeared.
Genies, as everyone knows, are never allowed out of their homes. Baby Genie knew that perfectly well. But Little Genie, who was a thousand or so years older than BG, didn't care about the rules. He never listened when older and wiser genies said, "It's for your own good."... click here for the full story SUBSCRIBERS USE THIS LINK
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Thomas G. Long, professor of preaching at Princeton Seminary, tells the story of teaching a confirmation class about the major festivals of the Christian Church year. The young people knew all about Christmas and Easter, but no one in the class could remember the significance of Pentecost. Tom explained that the Day of Pentecost was the day the Holy Spirit came from heaven with the sound of a rushing wind, and fire rested on the heads of everyone gathered in Jerusalem, and they all spoke in different tongues. He was, of course, reciting the story of Acts 2. At one point in this discussion a young girl raised her hand and announced: "I don't remember that. My family and I must have been out of town that Sunday."...
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Christ's ministry continues
I believe it happens in every congregation. A strong, spirited leader, family, youth group, or couple who gives much to the church -- moves on! While in the church, this person or persons have brought many gifts to the congregation, resulting in new ministries, personal and community epiphany moments, and even new life in the crucified and risen Christ. But eventually their time in this congregation draws to a close. They must move on with the next chapter of their lives. This has happened in one stable small-town rural parish, when a "baby boom" of children moved through the congregation's Sunday school, confirmation class, and youth ministry, and then they graduated and move on. The Sunday school tables are now empty and the chairs are folded up....
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C. David McKirachan
Off the Wagon
Atticus Finch is one of my heroes. I have a hard time visualizing him apart from the character Gregory Peck created for the movie, To Kill a Mockingbird. It's become one of those welds that take all I thought about a book and made it breathe in a new way. I always think of him when I consider justice on the hoof. You could say that small southern town lawyer wasn't as much a hero as an incarnation of what it means to be a just man. So his heroism in the face of mob violence and the entrenched racism acted out in the courtroom was as natural for him as taking out his rifle and putting the rabid dog out of its misery or putting Scout to bed. They were aspects of that man....
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The Holy Spirit
In Mary Shelley's famous horror story of "Frankenstein", the mad scientist creates a robot-like creature with intelligence, who turns out to be terrifyingly amoral and wreaks havoc amongst human beings. When "Frankenstein" was written in the 19th century, although horrific, it was sheer fantasy. But now, a century and a half later when we actually have intelligent machines, it begins to look much more feasible and so in a way, much more threatening. Perhaps machines could eventually take over the world!...
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First Thoughts: It seems we spend a lot of time in our churches speaking about God the Creator, who made heaven and earth; and the Christ, who came to us in the life and work of Jesus. But the Holy Spirit doesn't really get the same amount of attention, does it? Maybe it's because the action of the Spirit is often invisible to us, working beneath the surface of our lives. It is our constant connection to God, maintained even when our conscious mind is distracted by other things. It is the breath of our lives -- common, familiar, and easy to take for granted....
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