Sermon for Pentecost Sunday – 5.19.24

+ Pentecost – May 19th, 2024 +

Series B: Ezekiel 37:1-14; Acts 2:1-21; John 15:26-27, 16:4-15

Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church

Milton, WA

 

“Holy Hide-And-Seek”

 

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

 

Once in a while our kids enjoy a good game of hide-and-seek. Jonah is particularly good at it. The whole point of the game is to hide and stay hidden as long as possible.

 

And sometimes we think this is how the Holy Spirit works – like a holy hide and seek game where He’s always hard to find, hidden, illusive. Now it is true, the Holy Spirit is hidden, or rather, he hides himself – he doesn’t take on flesh like the Son of God.

 

But unlike kids playing hide-and-seek…the Holy Spirit wants to be found. And where he wants to be found is in God’s Word. The Holy Spirit and God’s Word are always bound together. It’s in God’s Word where the Holy Spirit reveals Himself to us as true God. The Holy Spirit hides himself where He may be found – in God’s holy Word.

 

Everywhere you turn in the pages of Scripture, the breath of the Holy Spirit blows in and with the Word. Always working in external gifts – words, water, bread, and wine. The Holy Spirit and the Word are bound together. If you want to know where the Holy Spirit is working, look to where he promises to be for you: in God’s holy Word to bring you life in Jesus.

In Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry, dusty, dead bones, the lifeless bones of Israel couldn’t raise themselves back to life. Once again it was God the Holy Spirit working in God’s holy Word to bring life: And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

In the book of Acts, at the first Pentecost. The tongues of fire. The languages spoken. The promises fulfilled. It all happened by God the Holy Spirit working in God’s holy Word to bring life. And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh. So that God’s people hear God’s holy word of life.

 

Jesus beforehand promises the Holy Spirit. But always in connection to God’s holy Word. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 

 

The Holy Spirit wants to be found…and where he wants to be found is in God’s Holy Word.

 

After all, the Holy Spirit is not so much a power – like jedi master Yoda using the force – though the Holy Spirit is powerful. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity. He’s the Lord and giver of life. He proceeds from the Father and the Son. And with the Father and the Son we worship and glorify the Holy Spirit.

 

The Holy Spirit wants to be found…but all too often we seek to find the Holy Spirit in places where he is not found, and has not promised to be present for us.

We turn, where sinners always turn, inward on ourselves. We look to our emotions or experiences to find the Holy Spirit. But our emotions are like the roller coaster down at the Puyallup fairgrounds: shaky and always up and down. How can we tell if it’s the Holy Spirit working in our feelings and experiences or just some bad grocery store sushi we ate.

 

Don’t misunderstand me; emotions and experiences can be good gifts of God. But they are not given to be our assurance of the work of the Holy Spirit. Your assurance God the Holy Spirit is working is in God’s Word.

 

We seek the Holy Spirit where he is not found when we turn to our intellect and reason as well. Again, our reason and thoughts are good gifts of God, but they are also easily twisted, warped, deceived, and held captive to sin and death.

 

If not our experience, or reason, perhaps we can find the Holy Spirit in the work of our hands. And it’s true, the Holy Spirit is hidden in your good works, in the life of faith…but always as fruit from the tree. We are the branches. Christ is the Vine. Good works are not the foundation of faith, but the fruit. Not time cards we punch to get paid by God, but gifts of the Holy Spirit.

 

The problem with looking for the Holy Spirit where he has not promised is that we end up searching within. When we look for the Holy Spirit apart from where He has promised to be for us: in God’s holy Word and holy sacraments – we will soon invent or craft our own, our own precious idols to replace God and his gifts.

 

The Holy Spirit wants to be found. And he is found in God’s gifts given outside of you. Words into your ears. Water and word washed over you. Bread and wine with Jesus’ body and blood placed onto your mouth.

 

Why does God the Holy Spirit choose to work this way? After all, he’s God, he could choose some other way perhaps. But that’s not what Scripture reveals.

 

Instead, He chooses ordinary things. Tangible. Touchable. Hearable things: words of good news. Words that forgive. Raise the dead. Give life. Words from a friend or loved one who says, “I forgive you. I’m here with you. The Lord is with you.” Words that wash away sin with water and the Spirit. Words that heal and forgive as you receive Jesus’ body and blood.

 

Why does the Holy Spirit work this way? So we know where to find him.

 

So we know that when Jesus speaks these words, the Holy Spirit is with us: He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 

 

So we know that when we hear the Word of Ezekiel the Spirit is there working for us too. Son of Man, can our bones live? Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”

 

So we know that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 

If you want to know where the Holy Spirit is working, look to where he promises to be for you: giving you faith, life, and joy in Jesus. Its’s right here in his holy Word. In holy water. In the holy supper. Always with God’s word and promise. That’s where the Holy Spirit finds and seeks you.

 

A blessed day of Pentecost to each of you…

 

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

 

 

 

Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

Church Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 8:30am-3:30pm

Friday 8:30am-11:30am

The office is closed on Fridays during the summer months of June, July, and August.

Preschool Office Hours

August - May
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
8:30am-12:30pm

By appointment only June and July

Contact

Address
2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
Phone
(253) 922-6977
Fax
(253) 922-6977