Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

My Photo
Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, May 16, 2016

Whitsunday - Rector's Rambling for May 15, 2016

“And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?  Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.”
~ Acts 2:7–12

We joke that the person assigned to this morning’s reading should get an award for making their way through this daunting list of ethnicities, but it is an important list.
Today for Pentecost, or the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the disciples, we hear of this wondrous act of the Galilean followers of Jesus preaching the Good News of the Resurrection in these various languages.  Pentecost, as a Jewish holiday, is the bringing in of the tithe offering of the winter wheat harvest 50 days after the celebration of the Passover.  Just as the city of Jerusalem would have been overflowing with pilgrims and visitors for Passover, so too it would be for this important religious event.
As the Holy Ghost lights upon the disciples, there could be no better opportunity to begin the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those living beyond Palestine than to preach it to those Jews who came from these various and far flung lands to Jerusalem with their offering.  All those folks, hearing the Good News could then take that message of the fulfilment of God’s promise to send a Saviour back to their own countries.  The scriptures say that 3000 souls were added to the faithful that day (Acts 2:41) and that more souls were added daily afterwards.
God the Holy Ghost is a vital part of making us holy as individuals, and He is also a driving force behind the growth of the Church.  He uses us to accomplish that task.  We are equipped with the gifts of the Holy Ghost in order to bring others to Christ.  He will give us Grace overflowing, by His love showered upon us.  Let us be receptive to this outpouring to grow the Church and His Kingdom.