Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church
Worship Focus for June 9
Rev. Hardy Kim, preaching

This upcoming Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. This is a day when we celebrate that God gave the miraculous gift of God’s Holy Spirit to God’s people. So we’ll get together and hear one of those stories from the book of Acts, about when the Spirit allowed a group of Jesus’ followers the ability to connect with others across boundaries of culture and language.

Come and join us to consider what this story might mean for all of us who face, everyday, the challenges that come with living in the midst of all kinds of diversity. It might be that how we understand the Pentecost story might have the power to shape how we live in the world that is all around us.

Theme for Sunday

“The Bible insistently reveals that God loves diversity and justice. This is seen in the wide variety of creation in which God delights. It is heard in the words of the prophets, who reject oppression and commend justice as true worship. It is embodied in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, who resists the power of empire and values all persons, regardless of status, as children of God. Jesus gathered a community of people around him that crossed over every social and cultural boundary. Those who had been set apart were brought together: poor and rich, male and female, gentile and Jew, centurion and tax collector, Canaanite, Galilean, and Syrophoenician. Jesus called this community together in anticipation of, and participation in, the coming of the new creation.”
--From Facing Racism, Churchwide Antiracism Policy, PC(USA)
[Adopted by the 222nd General Assembly in 2016]
Questions for Reflection
  • Have you ever had the experience of traveling abroad, or being in a place where you couldn’t speak the language? How did that make you feel?
  • Can you think of a relationship you’ve had with another person whose language, culture, or values were very different from your own? What made that relationship possible, even good?
Acts 2:1-21

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 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. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”

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. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: ‘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. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
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