Hello and thank you for clicking here to read today’s message. We are commemorating Pentecost Sunday. As Jesus had promised his disciples, they received the power by the Holy Spirit. They were never the same after that. Allow me to read one of the lessons for today.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
A reading from Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2, verses 1 to 6
“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.”
Word of God, Word of Life.
Thanks be to God
Grace and peace are yours from God our Father, and from his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
My dad was a pastor, but he also did radio ministry. I remember as a child, he had a Christian family show. My mom, my sister and I were all involved. What I will never forget is the time I heard my own voice after the first recording we made. I cracked up laughing as I heard the sound of my voice. It was not my voice, it was someone else’s. Or at least, that’s what I thought. It was hilarious. Why was my voice so different? Was that a trick they were playing on me? Well, no. Years later I learned that the voice I was used to hear everytime I would speak, was a sound that resonated through my own bones, my sinus passages and skull, and we don’t just hear it on our ear drums like we do with other sounds. So, yes, it is different. For many years, I did radio work and got used to hearing my other voice, perhaps the one that you hear.
But there is another voice that I have, one that has purpose, one that I speak on behalf of others, one I speak on behalf of the One who called me to speak differently. About that voice is what I would like to base my reflection for today.
Jesus’ disciples found their voice that Pentecost Sunday, and on that particuar house were they were gathered to pray. Pentecost was a great feast for the Jews and as we read, people from all over the world would come for that celebration. Then the powerful gift of Jesus came to them as promised. A loud noise was heard and people from the street and neighbors came to see what has happened. Now, here is the surprising thing. The whole miracle of the toungues or languages, was not necesary that the disciples spoke them, but it is that the people that came to see “heard and understood” clearly the message of Jesus. There it is, it is all about the understanding. Same sound but each one understanding differently.
This week we watch in the news about different sounds. The rockets make a loud noise as they are launched, like SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. On the other hand, riots all over the country protesting against power abuse and brutality is heard loud and clear, … or is it? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used to say that, those were the voice of the unheard. Although we certainly do not condone the violence that has hurt local businesses, even African Descent businesses, some of us do understand that sound.
There was a lot of violence going on during Jesus time. There were unjust and unfair discrimination and opression that Jesus experienced himself and ultimately led him to his death. His disciples were frigthened and speachless. Pentecost was God’s way of giving them their voice so they would speak up. They were going to be persecuted, most likely, and they were. They were going to suffer and be imprisoned, and they were. They were probably goint to be killed because of it, and there were.
That doesn’t mean that all Jesus’ followers have to have the same fate. But just as we were used to do church one way before this Covid19 pandemic, we now are learning to be church diferently. Our voice has changed, now we are forced to go online, to live stream, to record messages on social media and Youtube, and to meet by video conferencing.
However, those are means, ways to communicate, but what is the message we Christians, Lutherans in our case, are called to speak? Our listeners will hear something, and understand perhaps another. Here is were we have to trust the Spirit of God to lead the way. The voice of the Spirit is a voice of truth, beauty and kindness. A voice of forgiveness, repentance, and unity.
As we each look to find our own voice, the voice we have been called to share loud and clear, I leave you with the words of the prophet Micah: “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Amen.
Let us pray,
Good and righteous God, we your children have a lot to learn yet. May your Spirit guide us to listen to the right voices. We are hearing so many sounds, that it is confusing. Give us wisdom and courage to speak your truth. Lead us to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humble before you. We trust your power and that your voice will speak through us. All this we pray in the name of Jesus Christ your Son, and our Lord and Savior, Amen.
Until next time stay with God’s blessing,
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord’s face shine on you with grace and mercy.
The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace! Amen.
+ Bp. Pedro
Rev. Pedro Suarez, Bishop
Florida-Bahamas Synod, ELCA