We Are Not Drunk; We Are Just Drinking
#WeAreNotDrunkWeAreJustDrinkin is the podcast for May 20, 2018. Pentecost is all wrapped up in the meaning of Sinai. Yep. Encounter the Holy Spirit and do great things. Listen here and find out more: Download it into your phone. #John15 #John #Acts2 #Acts #Sinai #TenCommandments #Ruth #AlbertCollins #Drunk #Pentecost #HolySpirit #Fire #Gifts #Martyrs #Good Friday
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For listener supported My Spiritual Advisor, this is Mark Kurowski with a reflection for Sunday, 5/20/2018 Pentecost Sunday.
Please pause this audio and read Acts 2:1-21.
Today is the day of Pentecost, the 50th day after Easter, or 50th day after the Passover. In the Jewish tradition, it was on this day that the first harvest was celebrated. The law was to bring two loaves of leavened bread to the Temple in Jerusalem as an offering of the best of the first harvest of the year. Notice the contrast of the Passover where it is unleavened bread that is eaten, a bread without the essential ingredient to make it tasty and full. At Shavuot, or the “Feast of Weeks,” which is Pentecost, we see that leavened bread, bread in all its fullness, tastiness, and rich smell of goodness, is offered to God at the Temple in Jerusalem.
People from all over the world came to worship at the Temple because it was the only place that sacrificial worship was allowed to happen in the Jewish Tradition. So, on this day, people from the far reaches of the world gathered and celebrated the offering to God the first gifts of their money: their harvest.
Also, close to Shavuot, is the holy day of Shimini Atzeret, which means “remain with me one more day.” This is the celebration of the giving of the Torah on Sinai to Moses. This holy day is all wrapped up in the encounter of the Divine on the Holy Mountain. It is a reminder of a God who cares enough to be involved in the everyday of the people. We are reminded of a God who calls us to holy living. Especially when the Temple was destroyed in AD 70, the “Feast of Weeks” or Shavuot, became more a focus on what God has given us in the Torah.
So, in light of all this, we have the people gathered for Pentecost in Jerusalem. Just like on Sinai, with the clouds and the sound of thunder which greeted Moses and the people, we have a loud sound of a mighty wind that comes upon the house where the apostles and disciples are staying. Just like on Sinai, with the sight of lightning, we have tongues of fire descend upon the people. Just like on Sinai where we have the hand of God inscribe the gift of the Law of Moses on Tablets with a new way of life for the people of God, on Pentecost, we have the Holy Spirit write upon the hearts of the people and give them the gifts of the Spirit to speak in languages of the world the message of forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ. Just like on Sinai where Moses encountered the Living God, the Church encounters the living Father, Son, and especially the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. On Sinai we were given the lasting Old Covenant. On Pentecost we are given the everlasting New Covenant.
The Church is dressed in red. We usually wear red when Jesus’ blood is spilled on Good Friday, or when it is a feast of a martyr who has shed their blood for Christ. Yet, today, we dress the church in red to celebrate fire that has come upon us through the change worked within us by the Holy Spirit. The red we wear represents the tongue of fire that sits upon us as converted, enlivened followers who are receiving the New Covenant. Today we celebrate the covenant given to our forefathers and foremothers on tablets of stone as we receive the covenant written in our hearts of flesh by the Holy Spirit, God himself.
It should not be lost on us that the Book of Ruth was read on the Feast of Shavuot. Ruth, the woman who was not a Jew, was wed to a Jew, and became a Jew even when she was widowed. Her faithfulness to her mother-in-law Naomi is legendary. She is a convert to the faith and represents the conversion of all who encounter the living God. On Pentecost, we celebrate the conversion of the Church, us, as ones who were the recipients of the Father’s forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ. Now, we go to forgive the sins of many empowered by the Holy Spirit for the conversion of the world. We know we need conversion on a daily basis. The world does not know. Come, Holy Spirit.
What is the response of the people from all over the world to the miraculous happening in the apostles and disciples? What do they say about the fact they hear people who should not know their language speaking in their language? Do they celebrate the encounter with God? No. They do not. They doubt it. They mock it. They say, “They are drunk.” Why are we surprised? The so called “people of God” did not celebrate the encounter with God on Sinai. Instead, they mocked it. They rejected it. They made a god with a small ‘g’ for themselves. Remember?
So, those of us who believe in things like healing by the Holy Spirit through anointing with the Oil of the Sick, what do we expect people to say? The anointing with the Oil of the Sick is an encounter with the Holy Spirit who works through the oil. Can you hear them? It is just oil. It is foolishness when we have medicine. Why would we or they pit the two against each other instead of complement each other? One heals the body, which soothes the spirit. One heals the spirit which soothes the body.
We say, “I will pray for you.” They think it is just a nice sentiment. In fact, there is a modern secular atheistic approach to this spirituality: “I send positive energy your way.” Ah, yes, more than just positive energy, we send you the Energy that is the Creative Force of the Universe. (I am capitalizing “Energy” and “Creative Force of the Universe” as names for the living God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
The point is that they will say that the manifestation of the Holy Spirit through what we know happens by the power of his divinity is something that we made up or are delirious about. They will say about us, “They are drunk.”
To that, I say, as the Albert Collins blues song says, “We are not drunk, we are just drinking.” We are drinking in the power of the living God for our lives. We are drinking in the healing of our souls by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are drinking in the daily conversion we need to face the craziness of the world and its disordered notions of power over one another. We are drinking in the goodness of a God who wants to be one with us, wants to be intimately involved with us, wants to know us, feed us, care for us, walk with us, cry with us, be with us, empower us, send us, and give us what we need to change the world for the better.
Pentecost is a celebration that we are not able. We know we are not worthy. We know. Yet, we know the Holy Spirit. We know that he is able. We know he clapped the loud sound of the mighty wind and put fire upon the shoulders of the people. We know he made all the peoples of the world understand each other on this day over 2000 years ago. We know he comes to us and changes us. Not only does the Holy Spirit, who is God, come to us, he empowers us to do things we never thought we could do.
So, on this Pentecost, are you open to having your heart changed by an encounter with the Holy Spirit? Are you open to having the fire of God placed within you to do great things for him? Are you open to changing whatever you have to change in your life to be more faithful, be more God focused, more neighbor focused? Are you open to an encounter with the Living God?
I hope so, because today is the day that we meet the Lord on our Holy Mountain, meet Him in our own Jerusalem, and receive the Holy Spirit. Amen.
This audio is under the copyright of My Spiritual Advisor, Incorporated and may not be used, reduplicated, or distributed for commercial use without the express written consent of My Spiritual Advisor, Incorporated. My Spiritual Advisor, Incorporated, 2018.
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Mark Kurowski, M.Div.
Spiritual Director, Author, Blogger, Podcaster, Theologian