I Will Pour Out My Spirit
These are the readings for Pentecost Sunday.
(This Worship Help aligns with the lectionary readings from Christian Worship 1993 and Christian Worship: Supplement.)
God’s Word for This Week
With the festival of Pentecost, the Christian Church begins its celebration of the non-festival half of the church year. During the very long season of Pentecost (which lasts until the middle of autumn), the lessons and Gospel for the day concentrate on our lives of Christian sanctification (sanctify=to make holy). As we will see today and over the next several weeks, our sanctification—like our salvation—depends entirely upon the working of our almighty God through the good news of eternal salvation. This good news naturally moves Christians to bear good fruit in their lives. Yes, our new life as Christians depends on the power of the Holy Spirit.
First Lesson – Joel 2:28-29
What day was the prophet Joel looking forward to?
Joel’s prophecy looked forward to the Day of Pentecost that we hear about in the Second Lesson.
Who would receive the blessings and power of the Holy Spirit?
All Christians—both men and women, young and old—would receive the power of the Holy Spirit. With the Spirit comes gifts of many kinds, as St. Paul points out in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11.
Second Lesson – Acts 2:1-21
What did the Holy Spirit enable the apostles to do?
He gave the apostles the ability to speak in recognizable languages that they had not previously learned or spoken.
How did the people react?
Most of the people were amazed that they heard these men “declaring the wonders of God” in their own language. Others assumed that they were drunk.
What was Peter’s answer for this miracle?
Peter pointed out that this miracle was the beginning of the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy.
Gospel – John 16:5-11
What promise did Jesus make his disciples in verse 7?
He promised that after he ascended into heaven, he would send his disciples the Holy Spirit as their counselor.
What would the Holy Spirit do when he came?
He would convict the world of sin through the law of God and bring comfort to burdened souls through the gospel of salvation.