Join us today for an episode about the moment of breath in the Pentecost
Today's episode is focused on Acts 2: 4...
In today’s Spiritual Foundation Episode, I talk about Acts 2: 1-21. I share how we are called to recognize the breath that builds us up. I also share how all breath can call on the peace of God.
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Episode 1325: Breath of Fire and Peace
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining me on episode 1,325 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:00:07] Guang Ming Whitley: I'm Guang Ming Whitley I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to build the skills to last a lifetime is key, and one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this Inspired Stewardship podcast with my friend Scott Maderer.
[00:00:35] Scott Maderer: The rituals and the discipline and the worship is to help us find it, but it comes from outside of us. It comes when he breathes on them. He breathes on you, and he reaches out to you and you receive it in love. That is the moment of breath. That can bring fire [00:01:00] and peace. Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:01:06] If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence. So that you can impact the world.
[00:01:32] In today's spiritual foundation episode, I talk with you about Acts chapter two verses one through 21. I share how we are called to recognize the breadth that builds us up, and I also share how all breath can call on the peace of God. Acts chapter two verses one through 21 says. When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place, and suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, [00:02:00] and it filled the entire house where they were sitting divided tongues as a fire appeared among them and a tongue rested on each of them.
[00:02:08] All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and begin to speak in other languages as the spirit gave them ability. Now, there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound, the crowd gathered and was bewildered because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each amazed and astonished.
[00:02:29] They ask, are not all of these who are speaking Galilean? And how is it that we hear each of us in our own native language, Parthians, mek, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Kaisha. Poncho and Asia fia Phelia, Egypt in all parts of Libya belonging to the Cyrene and visitors from Rome, both Jews and Proselytes, Christians and Arabs in our own languages, we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power.[00:03:00]
[00:03:00] All were amazed and perplexed saying to one another, what does this mean? But others sneered and said they are filled with new wine. But Peter standing with the 11, raised his voice and addressed them men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem. Let this be known to you and listen to what I say. Indeed.
[00:03:18] These are not drunk, as you suppose for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel. In the last days, it will be God declares that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophecy and your young men shall see visions.
[00:03:34] And your old men shall dream dreams even upon my sleighs, both men and women. In those days, I will pour out my spirit and they shall prophesy and I will show importance in the heaven above and signs on the earth. Below blood and fire and smokey mist, the sun shall be turned to darkness. And the moon to blood before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day.
[00:03:56] Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be [00:04:00] saved. Now I'm gonna compare and contrast a little bit during this part of the message. This is referencing Pentecost, and last Sunday was Pentecost Sunday. And when you look at Acts, the lectionary. Has John as the gospel text for this week, and John also describes a Pentecost moment just like Ax does here.
[00:04:28] But yet these two different descriptions are like two sides of a story. They're varied and yet they're something that sometimes we need those sorts of differences and retellings of the experience. We need to be able to look at it more than one way. Often the spirit comes and it exuberant overwhelms us.
[00:04:51] We have these glorious high times, these moments where we're set on fire and we are shouting in languages we don't really know or [00:05:00] understand. And then there are other times where joy spills from us and laughter pours from us, and we can't help but be carried away by the wonder and the glory of God. I encourage you to go back and listen again to my reading of Acts two and read it yourself.
[00:05:17] It's probably a familiar story to most of you and seems somewhat tame, given the distance of over 2000 years. But try for a moment to picture yourself in that room. Remember the despair and the fear that was soaking through and how everyone was feeling empty and gripped with worry. Because Jesus was gone and they were no longer gonna have that presence among them.
[00:05:45] They had a taste of life, of living fully, and now it has been taken from them. Maybe they avoided eye contact with others. They were worried about being consumed and sucked down into that [00:06:00] moment. And you can imagine the grief that they felt every moment that they breathed and then, The sound shook and woke them up, brought them out of their stupor.
[00:06:11] It sounded like a freight train. Of course, they wouldn't have known what a freight train was, but it sounded like this desert windstorm, this blasting of sound and wind. And yet it wasn't necessarily a angry sound or a scary sound, but rather, in that sound they, they felt and heard hope a wind blew through like hope.
[00:06:36] And began to raise them out of their despair. They were there beginning to maybe dry their tears and recognize that something was changing, that there was something there to begin to bear them up with grace and fire. Remember that fire the fire that you feel in your bones[00:07:00] in acts at. Talks about divided tongues as a fire that settled.
[00:07:04] Each of them divided here. It's not about separation. Instead it's about inclusion. It's about these tongues reaching out to each of us and binding us together to make us as one. It was about creating a corporate community out of a bunch of individuals. They began to speak as if us one, this fire. Was not destroying or tearing apart, but rather building them up.
[00:07:37] Now, Pentecost was originally a festival at the end of the growing season. At the time of the first harvest, it was a harvest festival, and then later they began to celebrate it as the commemoration of Cana being given to the people of Israel. And then later it was an observance of. The Lord giving the [00:08:00] law to Moses on Mount Sinai.
[00:08:02] So these moments were all important times of celebration, but not major celebrations. And yet here at this minor celebration, there's this huge power that's unleashed that day and caught everyone, including the disciples by surprise. It came in like a violent wind. It was fire, it was power, it was chaos.
[00:08:25] It was noise. It was meaning, it was hope. It was the power of the love of Christ. And that seems to be what Pentecost is all about. It's about a milestone of power and transformation. It's about the coming of the Holy Spirit. It's about all of that lifts us up and yet Sometimes we have that call, and yet it's hard to rise ourselves up to that occasion.
[00:08:56] Sometimes we don't feel like we've been set [00:09:00] apart on fire and instead the breath within us doesn't feel like a mighty wind. But maybe just a sigh of pain or sadness or grief or uncertainty or fear. Not a even a gust, but a sigh. Don't act, don't feel and fake like you've got a fire within when what you're feeling is a sigh.
[00:09:28] Because that too can be the breath of God. A sigh is a breath it is a moment that we can feel. Maybe it's more weariness than exasperation. Maybe even within the sigh, you may have a feeling of a little contentment. Maybe that feeling could even exist there. It often feels like it's out of reach, but like it's [00:10:00] waiting for that one next thing.
[00:10:01] Maybe if I get this job or get this amount of money, or get this activity or do this or do that or this other thing, then it will come. But contentment isn't a word that's really about arriving anywhere. Sometimes it's about that feeling that we have inside ourselves. That gospel reading that I were mentioned earlier, John chapter 14 says, Jesus answered him.
[00:10:25] Those who love me will keep my word and my father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words, and the words that you hear is not mine, but it is from the Father who sent me. I have said these things to you while I'm still with you, but the advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have said to you.
[00:10:50] Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you, I do not give to you is the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not let them be [00:11:00] afraid. And then picking up in John 20, it says as a different version of the Pentecost story. When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews.
[00:11:15] Jesus came and stood among them and said, peace be with you. After he said this, he showed them his hands and his sides, and then the disciples rejoice when they saw the Lord and Jesus said to them again, peace be with you as the Father has sent me. So I send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, receive the Holy Spirit.
[00:11:36] If you forgive the sins of any, they're forgiven them. If you retain the sins of any, they're retained. Peace. I leave with you. Peace be with you. It shows up over and over again. They sound the same. Peace I leave with you. Peace be with you, except one of those was said. [00:12:00] While Jesus was alive and the other was said after his death, one right before his death and one right after.
[00:12:09] The thing that separates them is the last breath. He breathed his lasts and father into the hands. I commend my spirit. That moment of agony, that is the breath, and you can sigh. And yet, That wasn't really the last breath because peace be with you. He breathed on them. After receive the Holy Spirit, receive this spirit, and in that breath there is peace and sometimes giving me peace.
[00:12:45] Breathe on me, Lord, is all we can call for because peace. Isn't the thing that resolves every issue. It doesn't necessarily fix everything that is broken or remove responsibility or covenant or [00:13:00] question or doubt, but instead that piece can give us the chance to continue on the journey, to work towards resolution, to find grace and love in the moment to mend the broken relationships.
[00:13:17] Peace is there to help cast out fear and perfect us in love, and this peace does not come from us. It doesn't come from ritual or action. Yes, those things are important. Sacraments and moments of prayer and meditation and all of these things, but this piece comes from beyond us. The rituals and the discipline and the worship is to help us find it, but it comes from outside of us.
[00:13:45] It comes when he breathes on them. He breathes on you, and he reaches out to you and you receive it in love. That is the [00:14:00] moment of breath that can bring fire and peace. Thanks for listening.
[00:14:12] Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode, do me a favor. Go over to facebook.com/inspired.
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In today's episode, I talk with you about:
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Acts 2: 4