Subject: Redeemer Downtown Devotional: Feast of Pentacost - May 27 2012

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Feast of Pentacost - May 27 2012

These devotionals are to help you prepare for each Sunday to come in the Christian Calendar.* 

Pentecost marks the end of a glorious season in the annual rhythm of the church that began on the first Sunday of Advent and has taken us from incarnation, manifestation, life, death, resurrection, ascension and now the coming of His spirit.
 

O Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom have you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
Here is the sea, great and wide,
which teems with creatures innumerable,
living things both small and great.
There go the ships,
and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.
These all look to you,
to give them their food in due season.
When you give it to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
when you take away their breath, they die
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your Spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.
May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works,
who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke!
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the Lord.
Psalm 104:24-34 (ESV)
Pentecost commemorates God the Father’s sending of the Holy Spirit to His people. While the actual event is recorded in Acts 2, these verses from Psalm 104 are often read at Pentecost as a reminder that God nourishes His creation physically and brings renewal by His Spirit (“When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground”).

This psalm is a poignant and focused reminder of the breadth, variety, and vividness of God’s creative work, calling us not merely to acknowledge His handiwork, but to relish the glory of a God whose creative power and imagination are unsurpassed. Beginning with a catalog of God’s deeds, the passage ends appropriately with an invitation to praise, both for the hearer and the psalmist himself (“May the glory of the Lord endure forever...I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.”)

Beyond the diversity of God’s creation (v. 24, “How manifold are your works...the earth is full of your creatures”), we see creation’s moment by moment reliance on God for everything from physical nourishment (v. 27, “These all look to you, to give them their food in due season”) to internal health and wholeness (v. 29, “When you hide your face, they are dismayed...they die and return to their dust”). Perhaps most remarkably, we see that it is by God’s Spirit that all of creation is able to breathe, and it is by that same Spirit that “the face of the ground” is daily renewed.

What is true of creation in general is true of us in particular. God is the one who meets our moment by moment needs for nourishment and wholeness; likewise, His Spirit is what brings renewal and refreshment. He breathes His first breath in us by His Spirit and maintains new life in us by His Spirit. Are we experiencing this same moment by moment reliance upon His Spirit? Is renewal by His Spirit a constant experience for us? Are the words of the psalmist the song of our own hearts: “May the glory of the Lord endure forever...I will sing praise to my God while I have being”? Experience His Spirit. Be renewed by Him. Allow Him to give you a song in your heart.
John C. Lin, Downtown Lead Pastor


Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect** from The Book of Common Prayer

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