Worship at Home for June 5

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Pentecost Sunday when we celebrate the Holy Spirit’s exuberance entrance in Jerusalem and into the lives of the disciples/apostles.

Interest has been expressed in going to a Cardinals game this summer as joint youth group with BEM. Would others like to go to the game as a group? How about renting a bus and riding together? Please let me know if you are interested.

If you would like a home visit, conversation, or home communion, please call me at 573-437-2779 (church) or 573-832-2475 (cell).

Announcements:

  • Confirmation Bible Class Sunday after worship.
  • Dorcas meeting on Monday, June 6. Please note that the Church Newsletter is wrong. Sorry.
  • Bem Church Picnic on Saturday, June 4 from 4-8
  • Arts Council Trivia Night on Saturday, June 4 at 7pm at the Rosebud American Legion Hall.
  • Signup Sheets for Lay Readers and Greeters are in the back of the sanctuary.

Prayers and Blessings,

Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture Lessons: Genesis 11:1-9, Psalm 104:24–34 and 35b, Acts 2:1-11, John 14:8-17

Sermon: Spirit of God

Connects us and empowers us to do more together.

Have you ever traveled to or lived in a place where people spoke differently than you? Maybe it was another country where a language other than English was spoken. Maybe it was to a part of the United States where the local accent was so different than yours that you had trouble making sense of what someone was saying to you. Perhaps you found yourself surrounded by people from another country who started speaking in their home language.

Genesis 11 offers an explanation as to why there are so many different languages in the world with the story of the tower of Babel. The people have not spread out over the earth as God intended but remained in one area working together. They created a new type of technology known as the brick. The brick enabled them to build a city with a large tower that would reach toward heaven. The people wanted to extol their own name rather than the name of God. This is dangerous for human beings to do as our purpose is to worship and serve God. So, God came up with a clever way to scatter the people. The language would be confused so that they were not able to understand one another’s speech. The plan worked and the people scattered over the face of the earth.

Some interpret the Tower of Babel story as a punishment, but perhaps God wanted the people to travel and settle all over the earth. The earth is such a beautiful place that it would be a shame if people remain in only one part of creation. The cultures that are born from the diversity of landscapes and language are fascinating. People have adapted to such diverse climates as the artic and the tropics. Think of all the different types of food, architecture and more that we have to enjoy. This why people love to travel either in person or by watching travel programs on TV.

But faith calls diverse people together in worship. There were many people gathered in Jerusalem the day the Holy Spirit rushed in like a mighty wind. Many of these people had come from different nations. These people were devout Jews either by conversion or birth. Perhaps they had become permanent residents or were just passing through Jerusalem. Though they came from lands with different languages, they were united in their commitment to love, worship and serve God.

Jesus promises to the disciples a companion who will help us to amazing things in Jesus’ name. It will enable to the followers of Jesus to do greater things together than Jesus alone could do. The disciples were confused and like Philip content to be followers of Jesus living simple lives of faith. But Jesus has so much more planned for them.

On that Pentecost day the Holy Spirit shows up in wind and flames and breaks down the language barriers. The different languages and cultures did not go away. But people could hear the disciples speaking in their own languages, perfectly. Amazement filled them and perhaps frightened them.

This was more than just translating. Translating is needed when a group of people who speak different languages need to find a common language or designate someone who speaks common languages to interpret what is said. For the interpreter this is exhausting. I have been in the position of translating conversations and of having conversations through a translator. So much of the conversation is lost. So much patience is required.

On Pentecost everyone understands one another through the power of the Holy Spirit. More importantly they can hear the good news of Jesus in their own language. This event is so amazing that many people become followers of Jesus. These followers empowered by the Holy Spirit then go on to do amazing things   in the world.

What amazing things? Jesus taught few thousand people, but together the followers of Jesus built schools around the world and taught millions. Jesus healed many people, but the followers of Jesus’ built hospitals and healed millions. Jesus fed 5,000 people for a day, but the followers of Jesus’ create networks that feed people in need all the time. The Holy Spirit empowers the faithful to do so much in the world. Praise God!

Prayer: Holy Spirit move through my life today and empower me to work with others to do many good things in your name. Amen.

Prayer list: All who have been on our list in the past and Elizabeth, Cheryl, Mindy, Dave, David, Ken and Evelyn, Jason, Paulette, Jaqueline, Friends of Shelby, Bobby, Kevin, Jim, Darryl, Eva who will be having surgery and for peace in the world in Ukraine and other war-torn places.

  • The family and friends of Gary Weirich who passed away last week.
  • The family and friends of Cheryl Fillion who passed away last week.
  • The family and friends of Ellis Walker who passed away last week.
  • The Texas School shooting and other shootings around the country.
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