Sermon Text for Pentecost A, 2020 – We Are Fountains of Living Water

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Pentecost A, 2020 – We Are Fountains of Living Water!

Pentecost A, 2020 – We Are Fountains of Living Water

  1. This morning we celebrate Pentecost, what many consider the birth of the church
    1. This was what the Apostles had waited for since Jesus’ ascension – the Holy Spirit.
      1. We have come to think of Easter and Pentecost as Christian events, but they were preceded by and fulfilled Jewish festival days.
      1. As you’ll remember, Communion was instituted at the Passover meal and the crucifixion took place on Passover.
    1. First let me start with a brief history: Pentecost was established about 1500 years before Jesus in the time of Moses
      1. Israel was an agrarian society and their festivals often coincided with harvests
      1. Pentecost is also known as the Feast of Weeks, a harvest festival that occurred a week of weeks (or seven weeks) after another festival called the feast of Firstfruits, which celebrated the first growth of the planting.
      1. When the Old Testament was translated into Greek, they used the name Pentecost (fiftieth) since the festival occurred fifty days after Firstfruits.
      1. The year that Jesus was crucified, Firstfruits fell on what we now call Easter Sunday, which is why He is referred to by Paul as the “firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (I Cor 15:20). 
    1. Pentecost was one of the three major feasts that required all male Israelites to appear before the Lord, so Jerusalem was filled with Jews from all over the world
      1. Everything was set so that they could witness the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost and hear the preaching of the Gospel when the Apostles were given the ability to speak in foreign tongues.
      1. So that those gathered from many lands might hear the Good News in their own tongues and go tell about it.
      1. In this way the people of the world were told where they should go to have eternal life and be satisfied.
    1. This is what our Lord promised in the Gospel this morning, If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.
      1. Obviously, our Lord’s not talking about physical thirst but something deeper… the answer to the question, “Who am I and why am I here?”
      1. The world, that is people in every culture, THIRST for the meaning of life, it’s a journey we all make.
    1. But what does the world offer to quench that thirst? Not living water…but false hope
      1. Like Satan’s promise in the garden of Eden that if we ate the fruit, we’d be like God, but it only brought death – the world’s offer comes at a high price
      1. The world says come satisfy yourself at my fountain…here I offer everything you could want…fame, fortune, love, meaning
      1. But what sounds so marvelous to the sinner’s ear and looks so inviting at the beginning is nothing but a rotting mess when consumed
      1. Porn, prostitution, adultery, deceit, drugs…on and on the torrent flows like filth from the septic tank as lives are swept away in addiction and ruin.
      1. People drink from this well because they don’t know it’s deadly…thinking that if they just drink a little more they won’t be thirsty
  2. But the more they drink, the more they thirst because that thirst…the thirst for something that endures, that can provide hope when all human hope has failed is only found in one person – our Lord
    1. Jesus promised that, “Everyone…who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.”
      1. That Rock provides the foundation that when shaken will stand the test, as Paul reminds us in Philippians 4, “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 
      1. We now carry His Word to the world as our Lord said in our Gospel, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
      1. As Peter declared in our reading today, 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; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
    1. What do you give people to drink when they come to you…are you part of the problem, indistinguishable from the rest, even though you’re here in church?
      1. When a friend, family member or co-worker comes with a problem what do you tell them? Do you turn them back to the world or to Christ?
      1. Are you a source of living water to the thirsty? Do they know that you have the peace that passes all understanding?
      1. Remember what Peter said in his first epistle Always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that lies within you
    1. That is the promise of God in us, the Pentecost miracle continues through us, we are fountains of living water through the Holy Spirit!
      1. The living water of the Word of God delivered through regular means: ordinary people (us) in ordinary life, giving witness to the Gospel
      1. The source of our living Water is Christ Himself who dwells in us along with the Father and the Holy Spirit by virtue of our baptism
      1. He feeds and nourishes us with His Word and Sacrament so that our wellspring never runs dry, a source of the limitless grace of God
      1. So that as we go out into the world our words and actions become a source of living water (the Gospel) for those around us and not just another cistern of death.