On Pentecost Sunday Peter quoted the following passage from Joel: "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."
This is actually a quote from Joel 2.28.
Joel was a prophet who exercised his gifts in the midst of the Temple at Jerusalem, using Temple liturgical forms in his writing, and maybe even transmitting his messages through the Temple priesthood.
He more than likely witnessed a locust plague and from that image offered a vision of God's hope and blessings.
What we hear in these words from our sacred text is that Joel and Peter are reminding us that the Holy Spirit is a gift to all people, not just the chosen. In fact the gift of vision is a sign of the age of Jesus.
This week JoAnne and I have busied ourselves. We have continued with our routine of life with the kids. Today is water day, a lot like bedlam at Camp Allen. The kids will soon be home with us for the summer.
I have been working through the normal load at the office. We are taking some time, but life is continuing.
I imagine that life is continuing for each of you. The reality is that it is all too easy to believe that things will continue just as they have. Tomorrow will be the same as today and the same as yesterday.
Yet the Christian message...the message of Jesus...is the hope of transformation. That you and I can prophesy, dream dreams, and have visions. This is available to us every day. We can not only see and proclaim a vision of hope, new life, and excitement for our future...but we can make that future real.
Jesus is telling us that this "making real," this Kingdom of God, is at hand, and we can see it and make it real in our day.
I have had the gift given to me of traveling with you these past five years, being in your churches, attending your conferences. I am looking forward to a long life together in shared ministry. I am looking forward to sharing your prophesies, seeing your visions, dreaming your dreams. I am looking forward to seeing and serving you as you make the Kingdom of God real for the people of Texas and of this world.
I am hopeful that Saturday you and I will take our first steps into this new life and ministry together...that our election moment not simply be another election moment...that it be the first step in making real our shared vision of God's hope for the church.
"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."
- "Christianity is not a theory or speculation, but a life; not a philosophy of life, but a life and a living process." Samuel Taylor Coleridge
- "Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer." Oliver Wendell Holmes
- "Perfection, in a Christian sense, means becoming mature enough to give ourselves to others." Kathleen Norris
- "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." John Wesley
- "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." G. K. Chesterton
- "One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans." C. S. Lewis
- "When we say, 'I love Jesus, but I hate the Church,' we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too. The challenge is to forgive the Church. This challenge is especially great because the church seldom asks us for forgiveness." Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey
- "Christians are hard to tolerate; I don't know how Jesus does it." Bono
- "It's too easy to get caught in our little church subcultures, and the result is that the only younger people we might know are Christians who are already inside the church." Dan Kimball