Pastor's Pen 05/19/2015
“Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves. (Genesis 11)
In the Name of + Jesus. Amen. The flood waters have receded. God has sent Noah and his family out into all the earth to be fruitful and multiply. But the rebellion of mankind fighting against God runs deep. "Come, let us." Then what usually follows is rebellion...let us build a tower to reach the heavens. Trying to make a name for yourself.
Trying to reaching the heavens outside of Jesus means only curses. It may sound nice, a building project to the sky, good works, prayers, and all of it outside of Jesus brings God's wrecking ball.
“Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
Different languages are part of the curse and punishment of God upon men. Such a situation where people can't easily communicate with each other is a reminder that if we could, we'd all just plan to storm heaven and make a name for ourselves.
On Pentecost, this curse is reversed. Like everything else that the Lord does to triumph over sin and death, the preaching of Jesus crucified and risen is first accomplished in a miraculous way in which everyone who heard the apostles heard them in their own language.
God comes down---the Holy Spirit is at work on you bringing you all that Jesus has done through God's Holy Work--savingnd rescuing sinners. This is heaven’s language that rejoices that sinners have their sins forgiven. I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents. (Luke 15)
The day of Pentecost. God comes down. The Holy Spirit bringing you Jesus.
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2)
This is greatness. Pentecost—3,000 sinners were baptized on this day. Receiving gifts—the Holy Spirit and the forgiveness of sins. God gives you His Name—born again into the Kingdom of God through Holy Baptism. Pentecost—God comes down for you.
Jesus exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. (Acts 2)
These gifts keep on flowing from heaven down to earth for Jesus’ sake to you. In 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. (Collect for Pentecost Eve)
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