Grace By Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, Norfolk

‘God’s spirit brings us the peace of God’

Even when all earthly peace is lacking, we can still have peace with God. On Pentecost, we celebrate the giving of God’s Spirit, who brings us real and lasting peace. “My peace I give unto you … Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Jesus did not forsake us when he ascended into heaven. He left us the peace of his cross, resurrection, and ascension. “Peace I leave with you.” The angels already sang of it at Christ’s birth, “Peace on earth, good will toward men.” Jesus brought us this peace by taking our sins away on the cross. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to bring that good news into our heart. “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

God’s Spirit brings us the good news that God is for us, never against us. He is not at war with us because he sees us through the cross and resurrection of his only-begotten Son. His wrath was satisfied when Jesus went to the cross for us. So Jesus said, “My peace give I unto you.” It is the peace of sins forgiven, and the hope of everlasting life. Since God is at peace with us, we have peace in our heart, as Jesus says, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”

— The Rev. Wyatt Rosebrock

St. John’s Lutheran Church, Norfolk

Pentecost derives its name from the Jewish festival celebrating the harvest and the giving of the law on Mount Sinai fifty days after Passover. Fifty days after Easter, we celebrate the Holy Spirit as God’s presence within and among us. In Acts, the Spirit arrives in rushing wind and flame, bringing God’s presence to all people. Paul reminds us that though we each have different capacities, we are unified in the Spirit that equips us with these gifts. Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit on his disciples, empowering them to forgive sin. We celebrate that we too are given the breath of the Holy Spirit and sent out to proclaim God’s redeeming love to all the world.

— Randy Rasmussen, pastor

First Presbyterian Church, Norfolk

‘Spiritual gifts’

Birthday celebrations are great things. One of our members just recently turned 100, and that is certainly something to lift up and celebrate. Of course, we are most excited about birthdays when we are kids; as we get older, we are more interested in reminiscing about good times and being with the people we love. But no matter what our age, it is nice to receive a thoughtful gift.

This Sunday is the Church’s (we’re talking the “big C” universal Church) birthday, the Day of Pentecost. It commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit to the followers of Jesus. Three thousand people joined the Church that day, and from that point on, Christians have been called to bring the Good News to all nations.

In today’s scripture, we see that the Corinthian Church is needing some exhortation to help them understand the role of the Church, which is the Body of Christ, and the Holy Spirit. The Spirit calls each member of the Church, giving each person individual gifts, and each member has a role to play in the Body. All the parts of the Body, however, work together and are one in purpose and belonging.

Find the recorded version of the weekly sermon our Facebook page (FirstPres-Norfolk, NE), and the worship bulletin and anthems on our webpage (firstpresnorfolk.com). Peace be with you.

— The Rev. Brian Johnson

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