Students sitting outside Bockman
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Monday, May 29, 2017

Pentecost was a Jewish festival that marked the fiftieth day after Passover. For God's people it became a time to remember God's giving of the law through Moses on Mount Sinai.

On the fiftieth day of Easter we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit, and we hear the first sermon in the book of Acts. If you ever need a boost when thinking about what's possible in the church, in your own faith communities or wherever, just read the book of Acts! It's filled with signs and wonders and reminders of what God is still up to in the world.

After Christ's death, resurrection and ascension, the disciples waited around for ten days for the promise to arrive. Jesus told them to stay tuned for God's new thing. I wonder if the disciples were sad after the ascension. Then Jesus returned to them when God sent the Spirit.

God, on Pentecost you poured out your Spirit on all nations. Help us to break down the walls and barriers that divide us. Amen.

Wolfgang W. Laudert, '11
Pastor, Christ Lutheran Church, Staten Island, N.Y.

Acts 2:1-21 (NRSV)

1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.
2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.
4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem.
6 And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.
7 Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
8 And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?
9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretans and Arabs--in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power."
12 All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?"
13 But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine."
14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say.
15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning.
16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
17 "In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.
18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
20 The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day.
21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.