SERMON TITLE: “Acts of the Spirit: Succession of the Spirit”
SERMON TEXT: Acts 1:1-14, 21-26
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: May 16, 2021, at First UMC
Did you notice that we changed the decorations in the sanctuary? On Friday, we took down the Easter season banners and put up the Pentecost banners. Technically, it isn’t Pentecost yet. That happens next Sunday. So next Sunday is the day you should all wear red clothing to worship, in honor of the flames of fire that landed on the disciples’ heads. And next Sunday is when we will get out the May birthday box, because Pentecost is the day we celebrate the birthday of the church.
The reason we put up the Pentecost banners a week early is because today is known as Ascension Sunday. By the church calendar, today is when we read from Acts chapter one about the day Jesus ascended into heaven and told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit.
As I was thinking about Ascension Day and Pentecost, I decided that we ought to do a sermon series from the Book of Acts. The full title of the Book of Acts is “The Acts of the Apostles.” But it could also be named “The Acts of the Spirit” because, in every chapter, the main character is God’s Holy Spirit, who is constantly preparing Jesus’ disciples to go forth and spread the Christian gospel.
So, from now until mid-July, we’re going to read stories about the “Acts of the Spirit”—the empowerment of the Spirit, the witness of the Spirit, the gift of the Spirit, the message of the Spirit, the fathers of the Spirit, the reception of the Spirit, the inclusivity of the Spirit, and the church of the Spirit. Today we begin with the succession of the Spirit.