Sunday, June 8, 2014: “Today’s Scripture Readings”


A Reading from the Book of Numbers (11:24-30)


Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again. Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, “My lord Moses, stop them!” But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!” And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.


> Pentecost and Easter are now more closely linked together.

> Pentecost has become the second most important time for baptisms.

> Pentecost is derived from fifty days after the Jewish feast of Passover.

> Passover is the celebrating of the harvest (winter wheat).

> The Israelis are coming through the wilderness.

> In this tradition, God is met outside the camp.

> Prophesy is the charismatic expressions of God.

> The Spirit still reached those in the camp even though they did not follow the rest.



Psalm (104:25-36, 37)


25  O Lord, how manifold are your works! *

      in wisdom you have made them all;

      the earth is full of your creatures.

26  Yonder is the great and wide sea

      with its living things too many to number, *

      creatures both small and great.

27  There move the ships,

       and there is that Leviathan, *

       which you have made for the sport of it.

28  All of them look to you *

      to give them their food in due season.

29  You give it to them; they gather it; *

       you open your hand, and they are  filled with good things.

30  You hide your face, and they are terrified; *

      you take away their breath,

      and they die and return to their dust.

31  You send forth your Spirit, and they are created; *

      and so you renew the face of the earth.

32  May the glory of the Lord endure for ever; *

      may the Lord rejoice in all his works.

33  He looks at the earth and it trembles; *

      he touches the mountains and they smoke.

34  I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; *  

      I will praise my God while I have my being.

35  May these words of mine please him; *

      I will rejoice in the Lord.

37 Bless the Lord, O my soul. *



> Chapter 104 is paired with chapter 103.

> “Bless the Lord o my soul” only appears in chapters 103 and 104.

> Expresses the wonders of God’s creation.

> The Leviathan was a mythical sea monster, but God made it into a pet.

> Verses 30 and 31 are the reason this reading is always used on Pentecost. 



A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles (2:1-21)


When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.  Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.  Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.” But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”


> These verses are always used in Pentecost (a week of weeks, 7 x 7).

> God reached out to a wider group than just the disciples.

> The sound of the wind is emphasized as it denotes the presence of God nearby.

> This was often used in the Old Testament to denote God’s presence.

> Luke (3:16) — probably John the Baptist — will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

> The disciples were not speaking in tongues, but in other languages.

> Jews from all over the world were there.

> The countries of origin runs from east to west (Iran to Northern Africa).

> Proselytes were converts to Judaism.

> Joel (3:1-5) is quoted by Peter (slightly altered).

> The Spirit is described as “living water.”

> This was Peter’s Pentecost sermon. 



The Holy Gospel of Our  Lord Jesus Christ according to John (7:37-39)


On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.


> Water was associated with the coming of God.

> This was happening on the last day of the festival – the great hosanna.

> The priest would take water from the basin and pour it on the altar.

> Jesus announces he is the real source of the living water.

> No where else in scripture is this found.

> In John’s gospel, the Spirit is not active until Jesus dies on the cross.