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Posts Tagged ‘Pentecost’

Verses 40-42: “And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

I’ve been enjoying football when I can this season. I did get to see the end of the Seattle-Green Bay matchup this past Sunday for the NFC Championship. Let me quote a few statements from sports articles regarding the play of the Seahawks’ quarterback and receiver duo of Russell Wilson and Jermaine Kearse:

“News: Wilson completed 14-of-29 passes for 209 yards with one TD and a career-high four interceptions in Sunday’s 28-22 overtime win over the Packers in the NFC Championship Game. (Sun Jan 18)
Spin: Wilson, who added seven carries for 25 yards and a TD, struggled for much of the game, but came through when it counted on Sunday, leading the team to two fourth-quarter TDs in the final two minutes of regulation time, along with the game-winning TD throw in overtime to Jermaine Kearse, which propelled the Seahawks to their second consecutive Super Bowl.”
(http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/14881/russell-wilson )

“With less than three minutes to play in the fourth quarter, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse were having the worst games of their careers. Wilson attempted five passes to Kearse, who caught none of them. The first four throws were intercepted by the Green Bay Packers, two of which deflected off Kearse’s hands. But Wilson gave Kearse one more opportunity, a 35-yard pass completion for a touchdown that won Sunday’s NFC Championship Game 28-22 on the first possession in overtime.”
(http://espn.go.com/blog/seattle-seahawks/post/_/id/11466/wilson-and-kearse-never-gave-up-on-each-other?ex_cid=espnapi_public ).

Talk about feeling dejected. Had the Seahawks lost that game, I dare say a lot of focus, right or wrong, would have been negative focus on the play of Wilson and Kearse. But just like the old zero-to-hero scenarios sometime go, they rallied their teammates and won the game in overtime (I still can’t believe Kearse caught that touchdown the way he did! But I digress…)

You could say Peter was feeling similar. One of his final acts during Jesus’ life on earth was to deny Him…deny Him! After he said he would die for Him. But Jesus forgave him and showed His love and faith in His disciple before He left for Heaven after His resurrection. And when Pentecost came with the coming of the Holy Spirit, Peter pulled off the touchdown catch by proclaiming Him to the gathered crowd. “…and that day about three thousand souls were added to them”.

Game over? Nope, it had just begun!

Something to think about.

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Verses 12-13: “So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.””

The Great Santini was a master magician, who regularly was thrilling audiences with his illusions and prestidigitation. He was also a man with dark secrets, who was not above murdering the blackmailing owner of the club he was performing at. To give himself an airtight alibi, he performed the murder during his great water-tank escape act…no one would suspect him, since he was in a locked trunk submerged in water in full view of the audience…or was he? The only person to suspect him, of course, was Lt. Columbo. “Now You See Him…” is one of my favorite Columbo episodes. Jack Cassidy plays Santini, an illusionist and magician par excellence, who audiences marveled at. Even the rumpled detective, played by Peter Falk, had to marvel at how Santini would perform his magic. However, he knew that it was illusion, and continued to pursue him to bring him to justice.

Folks can be like the players in this mystery. Some marvel at what seems impossible, wondering if it’s real magic. Others scoff at the trick, professing to know how it’s done. Others are left just plain wondering. The witnesses of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost are just such a crowd. Some knew of the disciples and marveled that they were speaking the gospel in different languages. Others just said, “Ah, they’re drunk!” Peter took that opportunity that God gave him to get up and address the crowd with a sermon that was God-inspired and struck right to the need they had for salvation and forgiveness.

Jesus is no illusion; He’s real!

More to come…

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Verses 2-4: “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Consider these following personal memories:
• On a high school band trip to Universal Studios Florida theme park, my family attended the Twister Ride It Out© special effects show. The highlight of the show was a Hollywood-style simulation of a tornado on a mock sound stage of a country street. Talk about intense! Even though we were safely behind the guard rail to watch it, we could still feel the wind and the rain and all the noise, as close as we could be to being in an actual tornado. It scared my youngest son so bad, he actually was crying even though he knew it was make-believe.
• My favorite Saturday morning show in the 1970’s was the live-action Shazam TV show. Even though special effects were limited in the 70’s, I always love the way that Billy Batson transformed into Captain Marvel by saying “Shazam!” A lightning bolt would plunge out of the dark sky, strike Billy on the head, surrounding him with glistening energy, and he would “morph” into the adult form of Captain Marvel, as the energy would then collapse into the lightning bolt insignia on the front of his uniform, all while you saw a shifting, cloudy background (the background was more than likely some form of lava lamp, but still it was great!)
• Years later, on a business trip to Los Angeles, I had a short stopover in Las Vegas. I was amazed as we picked up a good many passengers, most of them tourists from outside the United States. The inside of the cabin was literally a cacophony of Spanish, German, French, Italian, and other languages I couldn’t even recognize. The stewardess told me later that Las Vegas was a big vacation spot for many foreign tourists.

Now, those memories came to mind, when I read the supernatural events of the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples. A mighty wind, but inside the house. Tongues of fire that settled on each head of those gathered there. The supernatural sound of different languages being spoken, all proclaiming the Lord! I can only imagine what it was like; we tend to do that when we hear of incredible events such as these. We try to picture with what we know, of something that happened of which we were not present. But the disciples were there…and what a start for the Christian church at Pentecost!

Something to think about.

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