SERMON TITLE: “Filled with the Holy Spirit”
SERMON TEXT: Acts 2:1-21
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: May 20, 2018 (Pentecost & Confirmation Sunday) at First UMC
My husband Steve has been watching a lot of basketball lately. That’s gotten me to remembering those long-ago days when I would go to my high school gym to watch the Libby Loggers playing. During any breaks in the action, the cheerleaders would raise enthusiasm with a variety of chants.
A particular cheer divided the hometown crowd into two parts. One side would begin by saying, “We’ve got the spirit. Yes, we do. We’ve got the spirit. How about you?” Then the other side would return the cheer: “We’ve got the spirit. Yes, we do. We’ve got the spirit. How about you?” That call and response could go back and forth several times, winding up the audience and making a lot of noise on behalf of our team. Because we wanted our Libby Loggers to score some points, we all needed to get filled with the spirit.
That’s kind of what was happening in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. On one side of the court were the religious leaders who had crucified Jesus. By inflicting fouls and injuries, they hoped to silence his followers. On the other side were Jesus’ close circle of disciples, plus other believers. With God as their cheerleader, these Christians began making quite a ruckus. Before the Day of Pentecost was over, Team Jesus had made tremendous gains in the score of those repenting of their sins and accepting Jesus Christ as their Messiah and Savior. All this came about because the disciples and their friends were filled with the Holy Spirit.
Like I told the kids, Pentecost is well-known as the birthday of the church. It was the day the church was born. But Pentecost is more than a story about the past. It’s also a promise for us today. Let’s take a look at the story in Acts and see how we too can be filled with the Holy Spirit.