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DFLC Sermon - Pentecost, May 28, 2023 - Rev. Marie Meeks

Grace and peace to you from God our Father, and Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Power: electric, coal-fired, nuclear, solar, wind, natural gas, oil. These are all sources, or forms, of power. Because of the changes occurring on our planet due to global warming, people are recognizing that the form of power we use is important, as is using it wisely, to delay the rising temperatures. We are realizing how dependent we are on electricity. Look around your house, and you will find that pretty much everything needs power. Laptops, cell phones, microwaves – everything, it seems, plugs in, or charges. So we need to increase our power-generating ability, and at the same time, use the power we do have economically, so it lasts as long as possible.

But it isn’t just the world that needs more energy; the church does, too. We often feel powerless in the face of the problems of our world, besides global warming. Racism, homophobia, hunger and homelessness, war and revolution seem to be all around us. How can our church make a difference in a world with so many problems?

God knows we often feel of powerless to make a difference in the world, just as the disciples must have felt powerless after Jesus left. How were they going to find the courage to follow Jesus’s command to share the Good News? These folks were scared, and I don’t blame them! Jesus talked about God’s love. Jesus lived a life of love – and he was crucified for it. How were the disciples, uneducated fishermen and farmers, supposed to carry on that mission?

“Suddenly, from Heaven, there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.” (Acts 2:2). “Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.” (Verse 3). “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” (Verse 4.)

The first followers of Jesus weren’t energized by wind, or sunlight, or natural gas. Their power came from the Holy Spirit, a force that gave them the power to speak in diverse languages and offer a word of Gospel hope. Their power came from God. It was a force that could — and did — change the world! "Pentecost power" is what fuels the food drives, which feed hungry neighbors, as well as the warming shelters, which give homeless people a warm place to sleep in winter. It’s what animates the church volunteers, who teach English as a Second Language to new Americans in diverse communities. It’s what inspires youth leaders, to speak the Good News to teenagers and offer them a word of hope — one based on their value to God, instead of their popularity or GPA. Holy Spirit power is clean, and it’s green, and it reveals itself in love. As Mother Teresa said, in her description of effective Christian action, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love. It is not how much you do, but how much love you put into doing it.” You don’t have to be a creative genius to understand that the power of Pentecost is the power of love — the fusion of God’s love for us, and our love for God and one another. This power of love and caring for each other is needed now more than ever. Mother Teresa reminds us that no matter how small we are, we can still – through God’s love given to us by the Holy Spirit – bring hope and God’s love in this place, this village… and most of all… to people who desperately need to hear that God loves them. Tap into it. Amen.


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