SERMON TITLE: “The Practices of the Spirit” (Pentecost series #5)
SERMON TEXT: Acts 2:1-4, 14a, 36-47
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: June 28, 2020, at First UMC (John Wesley’s birthday & FUMC’s 150th anniversary)
Ever since the Day of Pentecost on May 31, we’ve been using our church’s “Birthday Box” to help us think about what that coming of the Holy Spirit was like. Let’s review what we’ve found inside our Birthday Box so far. You’ll recall that we had birthday candles and matches to represent the fire of Pentecost. We had some streamers and a pinwheel to symbolize the winds of change. We had this little rainbow ribbon to demonstrate the power of diversity. And last week, I talked about this Father’s Day card to help us understand how the Holy Spirit comes to us as the promise of the Father.
Today we find one more item: a John Wesley bobble-head doll. Why John Wesley? Well, one good reason is that today is John Wesley’s birthday. Yes, in England, in 1703--317 years ago today--the founder, or father, of the Methodist Church was born. And, coincidentally, today is the exact 150th anniversary of our very own First United Methodist Church’s beginning here in Ogden. On June 28, 1870, the first Methodist preacher, Rev. G. M. Pierce, arrived in Ogden by train. The transcontinental railroad had just been completed one year before, and Rev. Pierce preached the first Ogden Methodist worship service right there in the Union Station. From that start, our congregation began meeting in various downtown locations, built the church at 26th and Jefferson, and finally relocated to Marriott-Slaterville in 2008. Had the coronavirus not held us down, we would be having a big party in honor of our 150th anniversary. So, today, we celebrate the birthday of our Ogden First United Methodist Church as well as the birthday of the entire church around the world.
Of course, the church would never have been born if it weren’t for how the Holy Spirit came with the fire of Pentecost, the winds of change, the power of diversity, and the promise of the Father. Today, though, I want us to realize that for the church to be born successfully, one additional characteristic had to be present. Let’s dig into our verses from Acts 2 and see how the birth of the church also required the practices of the Spirit.