Return to site

The Day of Pentecost

"The Day of Pentecost"

Pastor Jim's Homily:


May 31, 2020

Grace Lutheran Church

Ashland, Oregon

Dear Partners in Ministry:

Alleluia! Christ is risen! Risen indeed!

As Phase 1 guidelines somewhat relax sheltering-in-place, social distancing, wearing masks, and sanitizing one’s hands are still important for the health and safety of everyone. Many of us are still anxious, as well as cautious, about what is currently happening in Phase 1. Some of us are anxiously awaiting the time when we can gather again with our parish family at Grace. Currently, the Lay Ministry Board is working on how and when to reopen our parish campus for those who would like to gather for worship. As soon as the work on worship guidelines and reopening are completed, we’ll let you know. Until then, make use of the Sunday Esvc with MP3 recording or the Zoom Svc at 10:00 am every Sunday. Please note that you can also access the Zoom Service through our parish website.

Be assured of my thoughts and prayers for all of you.

Pentecost blessings, peace, and joy be with you all.

+ Pr. Jim


About Today

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people and kindle in them the fire of your love.

Today’s festival derives its name from the Jewish festival of Pentecost celebrating the harvest and the giving of the law on Mount Sinai fifty days after Passover. Fifty days after Easter, we celebrate the Holy Spirit as the power of God within and among us that heals, forgives, inspires, and unites. In the reading from Acts, images of wind and fire describe the Spirit poured out on disciples of all nations. In John’s gospel the risen Christ breathes the Spirit on his followers on Easter evening, empowering them to forgive sins. We celebrate that we too are given the breath of the Holy Spirit and sent out to proclaim God’s redeeming love to all the world.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people and kindle in them the fire of your love.

Celebrating Pentecost, The 50TH Day of Easter, as God’s People

PRELUDE      Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart with O Breath of Love

—Fredrick C. Atkinson Tatsiana Asheichyk, Piano

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people

Come, bring life to your Church once more!

Come, Holy Spirit, inspire us with your Word ever new!

Come, bring your renewal to the Church once more!

Come, Holy Spirit, unite your faithful people with a tongue of praise!

Come bring your unity to your broken Church once more!

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people!

And kindle in us the fire of your love!

By the power of the Spirit in water and the Word, we were baptized in the Name of the

Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

In whose Name we worship. Amen.

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

In Christ, we are risen to new life.

Come, Holy Spirit, and fill the hearts of your faithful people!

And kindle in us the fire of your love.


O God, on this day you open the hearts of your faithful people by sending

into us your Holy Spirit. Direct us by the light of that Spirit, that we may have

a right judgment in all things and rejoice at all times in your peace; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

FIRST LESSON Numbers 11:24-30

[The Spirit of God rested upon seventy elders in Israel who had been chosen to share the burden of leadership with Moses. When some became jealous that two others also had the spirit and could prophesy, Moses said that he hoped that all of God’s people would be prophets.]

Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD. And he gathered seventy men of

the elders of the people and placed them around the tent. Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did

not continue doing it.

Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and

the Spirit rested on them. They were among those registered, but they had not gone out to

the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad

and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, “My lord Moses, stop them.” But Moses said, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD’s people were prophets, that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!” And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

WORSHIP TEAM Come, Holy Spirit Psalm 104


[Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he told his disciples they would be filled with the Holy Spirit. Now surrounded by signs of fire, wind, and a variety of languages in their midst, the people were amazed and astonished at Jesus’ promise coming true.]

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, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared upon them, and a tongue rested one each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began 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, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our

own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia. Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging

to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speak about God’s deeds of power.” 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 eleven, 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, 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 daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.  

HOLY GOSPEL John 7:37-39

The holy Gospel is written in the 14th chapter of John.

[The risen Jesus appears to his disciples, offering them a benediction, a commission, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.]

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts,

let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of

his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

The gospel of our Lord.

     Praise to You, O Christ!

GRACE CHOIR Amen! Amen! Amen!

HOMILY Thirsty Text: The Gospel Lesson Pr. Jim

+ In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. +

Have you ever had the feeling of being absolutely parched dry? Ever had trouble quenching your thirst? I suppose it all depends—depends on what you are thirsty for and how you satisfy the thirsts, the desires, the longings you have in life.

It wasn’t the first time that Jesus talked about thirst and the water of life. Remember his conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well? In today’s gospel, Jesus again spoke about coming to him if you are thirsty. The scene is the temple on the last and greatest day of the Festival of Booths … 50 days after Passover. Every year God’s people were called upon to remember when they lived in tents for 40 years as they traveled from their slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land of Israel.

Often during the time of wandering in the Sinai wilderness, the Israelites were thirsty, to say the least. Not much water in that place. Water was important to keep life going then … and so it is today. Failure to drink enough water or liquids … especially during the hot summer days … leads to dehydration. I know one daughter who lined up eight bottles of water in her mother’s refrigerator for her mother to drink every day.

In the temple ceremony at the Festival of Booths, water was poured over the altar every day with lots of water on the last and final day of the feast. It was to remind the people that God had supplied them with water and still did at that time. It was also to remind them of the necessity of water in their lives. You can’t live without it! It is a precious gift from God in all times and places. Water is precious to life … to satisfy our most important longings.

Yet we almost laugh at Jesus’ words: to come to him to drink if you are thirsty. Why go to him? What could he possibly provide for us who have so much to drink and so many distractions to satisfy all our possible longings?

In Bob Nolan’s song “Cool Water” … made famous by the Sons of the Pioneers … Bob wrote about a miner and his mule Dan wandering in search of water distracted by the devil’s mirages and deceptions.

All day I've faced a barren waste Keep a movin’, Dan, don’t you listen to him, Dan,
Without the taste of water, cool water. He’s a devil not a man
Old Dan and I with throats burnt dry And he spreads the burning sand with water,
And souls that cry for water, Cool water.
Cool, clear water.

Know the feeling? Are we distracted so much that we have been deceived into being led away from what the true, real, and necessary water of life really is? If we are honest with ourselves, we are often led by the world to quench our thirst with its mirages and varied displays of choices. The old Evil Foe still leads us to believe good is evil and evil is good. And, our own true nature puts “what I want, needs to be met” as the highest priority on our list of thirsts.

How about that list of “thirsts”? The need to be considered important to at least someone … the desire to be loved and be the object of concern to someone … the longing to be an important part of this world, not just a number … the hope that we have contributed something to this world that will last … the desire to have really lived and not just merely existed … and the innate visceral built-in nature of our desire to live and continue to live at all costs.

And, if these are our thirsts, how in the world is this Jesus who lived a couple of millennia ago, able today to meet those thirsts? The world says that Jesus is irrelevant for this time and age. On this Pentecost Sunday, we need to ask ourselves whether we act and live that way in our own lives? You see, either Jesus truly satisfies our thirsts and longings, or his claim is bogus!

Truth be told, some of us have felt that we have been ignored or passed over in our lives … useful but not unique … easily replaced by almost anyone else. That’s still Satan’s best and oldest ploy. The old evil foe still wants us to believe we are simply not all that important. Then along comes Jesus whose words and actions tell us that, regardless of who we are, he cares for us and died for us. He loved snotty- nosed children … women who sold their favors to live … despised tax collectors, and even a kind of terrorist of the day back then—Simon the Zealot. To Jesus, all persons are important.

In fact, he says that even the hairs of your head are numbered. Jesus loves you and me … every one of us … regardless of what we have done, didn’t do or should have done. His love is not dependent upon what we do. He loves us completely in the midst of our sinning. His life was poured out for us on the Tree of the Cross. Forgiveness is ours through his death and resurrection. New life is ours by the power of the Holy Spirit in the waters of Holy Baptism … in the Blessed Sacrament … in the Good News of Jesus, God with us and for us.

And the most miraculous thing is this … that from your new life in Christ flows living water. You can quench the thirst of others by virtue of the Spirit living in you. By sharing Jesus with friends and family, you can give them that which sustains life now and for eternity.

You see we all have the desire to live, tedious though it may be at times. Sometimes we may wish this life was over with and done. But the truth of the water that Jesus provides to us gives us life forever.

Jesus says, “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly.” “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

Today is Pentecost Sunday … the third festival of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. On this birthdate of The Church, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the first disciples of Jesus in Jerusalem. By the undeserved kindness of God in Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit is the One who leads us and guides us in the one true faith. By his power and presence in our lives, we live in hope and the joy of our salvation. In him we live with confidence that he is with us, lives in us, and will guide us to the promised source of living water at the end of time.

+ In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. +


Made alive in Christ and filled with his Spirit, let us pray for The Church, the world, and all of God’s creation.

A Brief Pause

Your Spirit gathers The Church. With your grace, enliven bishops, pastors, teachers, artists, and musicians, that they proclaim the gospel of peace in their own languages. Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Your Spirit enlivens all creation. By your power, renew the earth. Fill us with wonder for your handiwork, that we may be partners with you in restoring land, skies, and seas. Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Your Spirit enlightens the nations. By your wisdom, direct all world leaders, governments and international organizations, that your peace free those held captive by misunderstanding and violence. Hear our prayer.

Your Spirit revives body and soul. In your mercy, soothe the afflicted, uplift the sorrowful, comfort the grieving, and bring healing and strength to those under doctor’s care especially John, Lucinda, Shari, and Sara (recovering from foot surgery). Bless nurses, doctors, chaplains, counselors, and hospice workers as they care for those who are infected with COVID-19. With your love, surround those who are homebound especially Sharon, Richard & Doris, Rusty, Bonnie, Vernia, and Elma. Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Your Spirit energizes this faith community. Encourage young and old alike to use their talents and resources for building up the body of Christ here in this place. Give us the trust we need in the call process of our parish; set our hearts at ease with the knowledge that it is your Spirit who leads and guides us Lead and guide us as we seek to identify the one you have chosen to serve among us as your undershepherd. Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Your Spirit calls us to reach out and welcome others in our community. Continue to bless our campus ministry outreach to the students, faculty and staff of SOU. Surprise us daily with unexpected grace as we join the students who worship with us, rejoicing in every blessing you send to us. Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Your Spirit raised Jesus from the dead. As you have led your saints in all times and places, stir in us the desire to follow their examples of faithfulness, leading us from death to new life in you. Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Receive our prayers, merciful God, and dwell in us richly, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who taught us to pray …


Our Father who art in heaven;

hallowed be Thy Name,

Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses

as we forgive those

who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom

and the power and the glory

forever and ever. Amen.


The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you.

The Lord look upon you with favor and give you + peace. Amen.

POSTLUDE Come, Gentle Spirit—John Turner

Tatsiana Asheichyk, Piano

All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!