May 16, 2008 - Friday in the Week of Pentecost

Daily Lectionary: Numbers 27:12-23; Luke 23:26-56

Today's Reading: Acts 2:1-21

And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others mocking said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’” (Acts 2:12-13)

In the name of Jesus. Amen. The naysayers and mockers were sort of right in their observation. The disciples were filled with new wine at Pentecost. They were filled with the new wine of the forgiveness of sins and peace with God. They were filled with resurrection and ascension joy. They rejoiced that, once again, the Lord delivered on His promise: “Stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” The Holy Spirit had come. Then the adventure began!

I suppose one could sympathize with the mockers. The scene must have appeared extremely strange to anyone looking on. There was the mighty rushing wind, there were the tongues of fire, there were numerous languages being spoken. The proclamation of the Gospel begins with a bang and everyone assumes the disciples are drunk. It must have been too ludicrous to believe that anything good was taking place.

It’s ironic, actually. Today things have taken a 180-degree turn. Gone is the rushing wind and the speaking in tongues. Now we have the Gospel written down in Holy Scripture. Everything is quite ordinary in appearance. You have a pastor, an ordinary man speaking words. It’s ironic because so many people tend to expect the extraordinary, maybe an experience like that of Pentecost. Some look at how we worship and they certainly wouldn’t mistake us for being drunk. I’ve heard some that mock our worship say that we’re “dead” simply because we’re not “on fire” or excited enough.

That’s unfortunate! In Christ we are more alive than ever! The same Holy Spirit who brought extraordinary gifts at Pentecost is still delivering the most extraordinary gift of all — Jesus, crucified and risen for us. The same Holy Spirit is living and active in the church as the Gospel is proclaimed and the Sacraments are administered. God’s people are still filled with the new wine of forgiveness, life and salvation in Jesus. That is truly amazing! There’s certainly nothing ordinary about that! In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Holy Spirit, ever working Through the Church’s ministry; Quick’ning, strength’ning, and absolving, Setting captive sinners free; Holy Spirit, ever binding Age to age and soul to soul In communion never ending, You we worship and extol.” (LSB 650:3)