Reflections: May 23, 2021
By Jeffrey Horn
"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." (John 14:27)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. A joyful and blessed Pentecost to you! Today we celebrate the day that the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the Church. We rejoice that He caused the Gospel to be preached--starting in Jerusalem and then to the ends of the earth--all the way to us in our day.
We have so much to be thankful for today! In John 14:27, Jesus gives His peace to the disciples. He goes to the Cross to make that peace possible. On Easter Sunday Jesus again says to them, "Peace be with you" (John 20:19), and peace is theirs by grace through faith in Christ. The Holy Spirit caused them to hear Jesus's words and believe that they truly had peace with God.
But this peace wasn't just spoken to them. It's also spoken to you and to all people. On Pentecost, we rejoice that this peace is here for you in Christ Jesus. Think of all the things the Spirit has done to make it possible for you to hear the Gospel!
He strengthened the apostles to preach Christ. He inspired them and the evangelists to write down what Jesus said and did. The Spirit oversaw the gathering together of all the books of the Bible. He made sure this Holy Word was protected and preached from generation to generation. He blessed the work of translating the Bible into different languages so that you could hear the Word and read it in your own language.
It's a miracle of the Holy Spirit that the words Jesus spoke are even available for you to hear. But the Spirit works another miracle. Through the Word He has created faith in your heart. Through the washing of Baptism, He has cleansed away your sin with the blood of Christ. It's a miracle that when you hear the words, "Peace be with you," you hear and believe that Jesus gives you peace this day. Apart from the Spirit, you could never believe in Jesus Christ or come to Him.
The Spirit has brought the Gospel to you and drawn you to faith in Christ by this Gospel. This is worth celebrating! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty and ever-living God, You fulfilled your promise by sending the gift of the Holy Spirit to unite disciples of all nations in the cross and resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ. By the preaching of the Gospel spread this gift to the ends of the earth; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for Pentecost)
-Rev. Jeffrey Horn is the pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Escondido, CA.
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