El Segundo United Methodist Church

Pastor's Page

"Come to the Water"
Pastor Lee's Sermon Podcasts

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Dear Friends,

Pentecost.  It’s not a household word; it’s certainly not a name that people outside the church would know; and if you don’t know what it means, don't feel bad.  You aren’t alone.  Yet Pentecost, a day that celebrates the birth of the Christian movement, happens to be one of the most important holy days in the church year, after Easter and Christmas.

The drama of Pentecost rivals any Hollywood movie.  After Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, his followers waited in Jerusalem for something; they weren’t sure what.  “You will be baptized with the Holy Spirit; you will receive power,” Jesus had told them, but they had no idea what he meant.

And then, some fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection, it happened.  The city of Jerusalem was packed with Jews who had come to celebrate the day of Pentecost, the Jewish holiday commemorating the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai.  Early that morning, Jesus’ followers, whose numbers included many others in addition to the eleven disciples that made up his inner circle, had gathered to pray.

Suddenly, the room was filled with the sound of a violent wind, and, as the Holy Spirit in the likeness of a dove had descended upon Jesus at his baptism, so now the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples.  But not as a quiet dove.  No, this time, the Spirit manifested itself as tongues of fire resting on the heads of each person in the room.  As the sound of the wind died down, the room was filled with another sound, that of voices, speaking in different languages, “as the Spirit gave them ability.”
In fact, the newly Spirit-baptized disciples were so noisy that people outside the house heard them “speaking about God’s deeds of power” (Acts 2:11) and were amazed.

What happened then?  The disciples began to witness to Jesus, sharing what they had seen and heard and experienced with others—and the Church was born.  That same Spirit continues to empower the Church today, helping us to witness in our own way to the grace and love of God in Jesus Christ.

As I look toward the celebration of Pentecost on June 4, I say with Christians of all times and ages, “Come, Holy Spirit, come!”  Come and blow new life into our congregation!  Come and set a holy fire in our hearts!  Come and empower us to live out our faith with confidence, hope, and joy!  Come and strengthen our voices and our hearts so that wherever we are, others will see and hear Christ in us!

Pentecost.  It’s not a household word; it’s certainly not a name that most people outside the church know.  But it is definitely worth celebrating!  Come, Holy Spirit, Come!

Pastor Lee

P.S.  I hope that you will plan to stay for the Pentecost Potluck after worship.  Everyone is invited to bring food to share that starts with the letter “P” and/or is red.  You’re also invited to wear red yourself that day.  

On that day we’ll also celebrate our graduates, who are experiencing a little excitement of their own.  If you have not yet contact the office with the name of your graduate, please do so as soon as possible.  We want to celebrate this important time of transition with all of our families.
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