Thursday of Pentecost – Acts 2:1-21

1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:

17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    and your young men shall see visions,
    and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants and female servants
    in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,
    blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
20 the sun shall be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood,
    before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

She was his daughter. He had not been a very good father as many would measure goodness and fatherhood. There had been a divorce, a lot of pain, long absences, missed moments when dad should have been there for his daughter. He knew it, she knew it, but what were they going to do about it?

Now he was sick and needed someone. It would not just be a phone call occasionally to see how he was doing. He needed someone to bring him to the doctor, keep him in clean laundry, and buy the groceries. She stood outside the door of his run-down little house and wondered if she was up to this. She looked at the peeling paint and the screen door that did not quite sit straight in the doorway anymore. She thought about the anger and the disappointment which came up when she considered her father. She hesitated before opening that door. Did she have it in her to do this?

She remembered her own husband’s love for her, her children, and finally her mom, now resting in Jesus’ hands. She reached out and took hold of that door handle and she pulled the creaking screen door open. Yes. She did have it in her. She was baptized and God loved unlovable people, even her. Together, they would see this through.

Joel, quoted by Peter in this sermon, saw a day when daughters would prophesy (vs. 17). To prophesy is to see what God sees and to proclaim that truth. We think it means to see the future, but really it is to see the present for what it is, from God’s point of view. That means we can sometimes tell what is going to happen because we know God’s judgment and what he has said. The Holy Spirit of God poured out on people means that we can love with God’s strange love. We can serve as Jesus has served us. We can forgive the sins for which Jesus died – all of them. We can see the world as God sees it and proclaim what we see in word and deed.

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