May 18, 2010

Looking Forward to May 23, 2010 -- Pentecost Sunday

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • From the Jewish Scriptures: Genesis 11:1-9
  • Psalm 104:24-35 (VU p.827 Part 2)
  • From the Life of the Early Church: Acts 2:1-12

The Hymns this week are:
  • 198 Come, O Spirit Dwell Among Us (tune 374)
  • 375 Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness
  • 202 O Breath of Life (tune #437)
  • 427 To Show by Touch and Word

The Sermon Title is What Language

Early Thoughts: The church is born amongst noise and fire and excitement. How do we get to understand what that is all about? What do we hear?

In Genesis we find the story of how the peoples of the world got sundered and divided. They have pretensions of grandeur. And it appears the God feels threatened and so God confuses their language and scatters them.

And then, in the Acts passage the sundering is undone. The languages are brought back together in the name of the One who prayed "that all may be one". The people from "all over the world" (or at least all over the Eastern Mediterranean) are united in hearing the Good News shared.

So what language allows us to be brought together?

The question is misleading. It suggests that there is some spoken languge that accomplishes the task, that is the antidote for the confusion of Babel. But there isn't one spoken language that does that. Think metaphor. The language that brings us together is the language of the Spirit.

What does it mean to speak Spirit-language? In some traditions the practise of ecstatic speech, of speaking in tongues is raised up as SPirit language. So that is one possibility. But could Spirit language be something else? Could it be something more available and accessible to all of us?

I think so.

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