Grace Northeast Sunday Sermons

Barriers Down at Pentecost — June 9, 2019

June 10, 2019

HEBREW BIBLE Joel 2:21-29
Leader: The Hebrew Bible reading is from the book of Joel and is read responsively.

Leader: The prophet Joel spoke:
Do not fear, O earth and soil; be glad and rejoice,
for the Lord has done great things!
Do not fear, you cattle of the field and farm,
for the pastures of the wilderness are green;
All: the fig tree bears fruit, the vineyards produce more than ever.
O children of Zion, be glad and rejoice in the Lord your God.

Leader: For God has poured down for you abundant rain,
both early and late rains, just as done in days of old.
Your threshing floors shall be full of grain,
the barrels shall overflow with wine and oil.
All: We shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord our God,
who has dealt wondrously with us.

Leader: My people, God says, shall never again be put to shame.
You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other.
All: And we your people shall never again be put to shame.

Leader: Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female slaves,
in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

Leader: The word of the Lord. All: Thanks be to God.

THE GOOD NEWS Acts 2:1-21, 32-42
Leader: The good news of God’s work in the world, according to the Acts of the Apostles, the second chapter.
All: Glory to you, O Lord.

When the day of Pentecost had come, it was fifty days after the celebration of Passover and the raising of Jesus from the dead. The disciples were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of an overpowering wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Tongues of fire appeared among them, and a flame 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 the power to do.

At this time there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. At the sound of the wind and the languages, the crowd gathered in shock; each one heard the disciples speaking in their own language. Amazed and astonished, they asked,

All: Aren’t these people speaking all from Galilee?
How is it that each of us hear them
in language we can understand?
We come from every corner of the earth,
and yet in our own language we hear
how they proclaim God’s deeds of power.”

Leader: Everyone gathered was amazed and perplexed, asking each other, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are just filled with new wine.”

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “People of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, we are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

‘In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”

Now when they heard this, the people were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles,

All: “What should we do?”

Leader: Peter said to them, “Turn away from everything you have done wrong, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. God’s promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone to whom the Lord our God calls.”

So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added to the family of believers. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Leader: This is the good news of God’s work in the world.
All: Praise to you, O Christ.