Scattered Lego Pieces (Pentecost)

2019-06-09 – Year C – Pentecost – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas
Genesis 11:1-9; Psalm 104:24-35; Acts 2:1-21; John 14:8-17

  • Tiny little lego-like sets that my brother purchased while we were on vacation.
  • Our kids labored for hours trying to decipher the instructions and build something that made sense out of the mess of tiny pieces.

Scattered and Confused

  • Genesis 3:22-24 – Adam and Eve sent out of Eden
  • Genesis 4:11-12 – Cain sent to be a wanderer of the earth as punishment for killing Abel.
  • Genesis 11:7-8 – God confuses the language of the people

The Source of Disunity

  • You might think, from these examples, that God is in favor of disunity and scattering.
    • The opposite is actually true, but the time had not yet come.
  • So where does disunity come from?
    • In all of these cases where God brings disunity or scattering, it is his response to human sin.
    • Sin – “3. How does sin affect you? Sin alienates me from God, my neighbor, God’s good creation, and myself. I am hopeless, guilty, lost, helpless, and walking in the way of death. (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 6:23)” (To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism)
      • Sin works like a splitting wedge driving two parties further and further apart from each other.
    • The Enemy
      • Satan is at disunity with God and he seeks to draw others away from God and away from each other.
      • Martha Giltinan on Marriage – We have a real enemy who really desires to see marriages split apart.
      • Scattering of the disciples at Jesus’ capture. Matthew 26:31–35 – “I will strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.”
      • Divisions in the Church
        • The history of the Church is full of stories of various groups splitting apart.
        • Jesus’ desire was that his followers would be one. John 17:22–23

United and Uniting

  • Ephesians 1:9-10 – “to unite all things in him.”
  • On the day of Pentecost, we see some signs that this uniting has begun through the sending of the Holy Spirit..
    • God united with his people:
      • The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, God himself enters into and “fills” the disciples. (Acts 2:4).
      • This is the fulfillment of what Jesus promised in John 14:17.
      • We can still experience this today. The Holy Spirit is given to us at or around the time of our Baptism and conversion, and Paul instructs us to be continually “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).
    • God uniting people together:
      • One of the ways in which the Spirit manifested himself in the lives of the disciples is that they all began to speak in “other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4).
      • The result of this is that each person present heard the disciples speaking of the mighty acts of God in their own language. (Acts 4:11)
      • You can see God bringing unity in the midst of a diversity of languages.
        • People in the past had been confused and scattered because they were trying to “make a name” for themselves. Now God is bringing unity in himself to people of every nation.
        • Even the former separation between Jew and Gentile was being broken down. Non-jews were hearing of the mighty acts of God and believing.
        • One of the main functions of the Holy Spirit today is to bring unity in the Church so that we can participate in helping people who are far away from God to find him and love him.
  • So this is the “what,” God is uniting all things together in himself, things in heaven and things on earth. He is putting back together all of the scattered lego pieces of his creation, torn apart and scattered by sin.
  • The “how” is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, dwelling within us, convicting us of sin, making us holy, and empowering us with everything we need to be agents of the Good News in the world.
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