May 11, 2008 - The Feast of Pentecost

Daily Lectionary: Numbers 21:10-35; Luke 21:20-38

Today's Reading: St. John 14:23-31

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (St. John 14:27)

In the name of Jesus. Amen. Another Easter season has come and gone. We’ve rejoiced in the resurrection of our Lord Christ for seven weeks. Today, even on the Feast of Pentecost, the rejoicing in Jesus continues. Your Savior promised that the Holy Spirit would come and today that promise stands fulfilled.

In His ascension our Lord was glorified. He was exalted to the right hand of God the Father. But that doesn’t mean that He’s too busy for you. That doesn’t mean that the Son of Man ascends to heaven only to abandon those whose flesh he took upon Himself, and still bears eternally. The Savior who endured the cross and the grave for you promised never to leave you or forsake you.

Jesus warned of turbulent times ahead. He warned of persecution and martyrdom. He warned of believers falling away. Here is where we step up to the plate like St. Peter did: “Never, Lord! I will never deny You!” So easy to say on the heels of seven weeks of Easter joy! Not as easy to say when the temptation to sin sounds so good. Not as easy to say in the midst of suffering and tribulation.

That brings us to the Feast of Pentecost and the work of the Holy Spirit. As the world falls apart around you, as wars break out across the globe, as violence pervades, even in your own backyard, you have a peace that the world cannot give. Through Baptism, you have the gift of the Holy Spirit Who delivers Jesus. What kind of peace is that? Eternal peace!

The peace of the Lord Jesus is a peace that counters the assaults of the devil. The peace of the Lord Jesus is a peace filled with His Cross-won forgiveness for you. The peace of the Lord Jesus sees you beyond all the turmoil of this world to an eternity of Easter joy. So, let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

“O God, our merciful Father, who taught the hearts of Your faithful people by sending to them the light of Your Holy Spirit, bring us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who with You and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and forever. Amen.” (Collect for the Feast of Pentecost)