1When the day of Pentecost had come, [the apostles] were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. Acts 2:1-3 (NRSV)
Luke records in Acts that the time between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension was 40 days. For the next 10 days, the disciples including Mary, the mother of Jesus, and James the brother of Jesus and others were in prayer. The Spirit, that Jesus had promised, came on that day and the church was born in Jerusalem, with 3,000 souls baptized that day. Thus, 50 days after Easter ends with the birth of the church. I always thought it was wonderful that Mary was there for both the birth of Jesus and the birth of the church. Her faith and dedication carried her through.
Each year, as a liturgical church, we follow the life of Jesus all the way to the birth of the Church. You are invited to wear red this Sunday in celebration. Red is the liturgical color for power, fire, and the Spirit. All of which were present that first day and are still with the church today. Linda Blanche is the assisting minister this Sunday and cannot wait to show you her red deacon stole. Carol Jensen mentioned that she had gone out to breakfast on Pentecost and the hostess who noted her red outfit said: You must be Lutheran. There is a whole table of Lutherans in there red already here. It was a subtle witness.
When Connie and I lived in Lincoln, NE, the cornhuskers were a powerhouse football team. Nearly, always ranked in the top ten. Seats were sold out year after year. A sea of fans dressed in red would fill memorial stadium on Saturdays in the fall, making it the third largest city in Nebraska.
Today, we need a sea of fans to begin again to fill our churches. After a year of lock down and precautions, the light at the end of the tunnel is shining.
We need to let our light to shine. Cornhusker football has fallen on hard times. In hard time some people see red. We want not the red of anger, but the red of a passion for truth and hope. Nearly 2,000 years after Pentecost, the light of the church is still shing. A light needed today.
My wife was recently at Loma Linda University Hospital. If you have been there, there are plenty of pamphlets about their beliefs readily available. When we lived in Hemet, we had Scientologists, Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons proclaiming their beliefs. Often lost in these expressions of faith, is the grace of God in Christ that Peter preached about on Pentecost and that we red-robed Lutherans still proclaim.
We may not have 3,000 people coming forward this Sunday, but we are called to continue to reach out to the world. That is why we are working on the front of the church to invite those who drive by. We are also working to invite those who stream by. John Wilson of Hope in Palm Desert was with me this week to set up recording and live streaming of our service. I was so thankful to have his help. Each bit of technology has a learning curve and he had rounded the corner.
I read this week about a silversmith who explained how silver is made. He said: the silver was put into the hottest part of the fire, so all the impurities would be burned away. He also said that he had to watch it to make sure it was not in there too long. If it were there too long, it would be ruined. “How did he know when it is done”? His answer: “That’s easy: when I see my reflection.”
Peter reminded the crowd gathered in Jerusalem that people in anger had killed the Son of God. But the fire of God’s love was still alive and burning for them. Through the fiery times of this past year, we hope, in the end, that others can see Jesus reflected in our words and deeds. Keep reaching out, like Mary and the apostles, we want to paint the world red with hope and new birth.
Prayer: Lord thank you for the coming of the spirit, for witness of the disciples and the witness of those who proceeded us in faith. May we add our voices to the chorus so the Grace of God may resound in our time.
Grace and Peace,
Pentecost celebration of the Birthday of the Christian church. Wear red and stay after for a birthday cake and refreshments. Sunday @ 10 am. Indoors with masks and proper social distancing and a special time for the children. I also send out a link each week to our recording of the service and put it up on our Website. While we work on live streaming the service, you can join us for our zoom meeting is each Sunday at 10 am. ID: 891 1879 2862 and Passcode: Faith – the link is:
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS: this week Pastor and Jeanne will be off, including the next Monday, Memorial Day. We will be back in the office, June 1.
- Children’s Church continues. Are you interested in assisting? Let us know at the church office or give Robyn Blue a call.
- CAMP is open for Grades 3 – 10 is July 18 – 3 @ Oak Glen. You might want to register online. Scholarships are available. Call or email the office.
- We are also hoping to put together VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL this summer with the help of camp personnel. We need to know if you are interested in camp and/or VBS. Please call the church office or email FaithYucaipa@gmail.com.
MEMBER UPDATES AND CONTINUAL PRAYERS
- Pray for the family of the Whit Santos family. He is the grandson of Carol and Bob Jensen and son of Karen Santos, who lost her husband. Their newborn was born with a healthy weight, but also with an issue with a heart valve and 2 holes in the heart. The boy has been moved to Kaiser Sunset with Whit joining the baby. Shannon, the mother, will join them as soon as she is able. The first surgery went well.
- Diane Watson who broke her hip and is recovering well at home with Bud.
- Roxanne Foss’s niece, Ginny.
- erwin for strength and Lynda for healing.
- Jerry Mills is doing well, now faces chemotherapy.
- Continued Godly journey for Brendan, son of Bonnie Strack and Rebecca, daughter of Michael Shea.
- Bill and Judy Martin’s daughter, Laura, living in Kansas completed her chemo. Praise God it was tough, but she was tougher. Surgery and radiation still await her.
- Pattie, a friend of the Halls with thyroid cancer, treatments have started.
- Lorraine Hoeptner’s friend, Diana.
- Fred Mazurier faces surgery on June 8 after some travels north.
- The front is taking shape, thanks to Tom Ziech and George Motschall for working on the watering system. George also brought some extra plants. We continue to move rocks around the riverbed. Joe Koenig and Debi Hitter are watering the new plants for now. Thanks for the rain.
- Quilting continues – we could use some flat king size sheets if you have them.
- We are making use of the Synod matching grant for a video system to live stream our service. John Wilson was invaluable is assisting. If you would like to help with the church portion of the matching grant, let the church office know.
HAVE A MARVELOUS WEEK!