Sermon for the Day of Pentecost

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Note: All Scripture quotations in the written sermon are taken from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version, ESV Text Edition: 2016.  Copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

 

The sermon text for the Day of Pentecost is the Gospel reading from John 7:37-39.

 

Grace, mercy and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Introduction: Coca Cola was the first company to market a product based not on the product’s taste or attributes but to market the drink based on experiences. You didn’t buy Coke or a soft drink, you bought summer, you bought the high life, you bought good times with friends, you bought freedom. Their marketing still works that way: you will see Coke as the sponsor to major world sporting events, major summer concerts and other politically correct events. The message is: buy Coke and you will have great friends and a good time.

(1) Satan wishes to “sell” sin as experience so as to cause you to ignore its true danger

Since the Fall we are all thirsty people: thirsty for life, thirsty for God.

The Israelites in Jesus’ day were thirsty too. During the Feast of Tabernacles this desire to quench their thirst for God was shown in a liturgical ritual they invented where a priest would take water from the Pool of Siloam in a gold vessel and pour it on the base of the altar where the water would run out picturing the end-times gift of abundant water from God when the Messiah came and brought in His Messianic kingdom. This was a beautiful picture of end times blessings from God for a people who lived in a desert-like place.

Yet the Jews did not want to listen to Jesus and His living words that He was their Messiah, their Saviour.

Our Old Adam prefers not the living water from God but the drip, drip, drip, of self and snaps up the half-truths of Satan’s temptations. For Satan is a master marketer and he wishes to “sell” sin as experience so as to cause you to ignore its true danger. Sin becomes not a rebellion from God and a departure from God’s grace and provision but, try this wonderful “experience” you’ve never had and see why everyone says it is so great. Satan seeks to offer you wisdom and peace and the quenching of your thirst, which is thirst for God, through all kinds of idolatrous experiences, experiences such as: Know your future through horoscopes. Know what will happen in your future and then you can even plan for it and make it better. Or, make an oasis from all troubles through meditation on positive energy and the best version of yourself. Or, live a longer lifespan than God would give you through biohacking, through techniques that will improve your body’s health and longevity through human action. Or, get unfair advantages over the competition through neurohacking and using special drugs or mind training to make you smarter, remember more and read and learn faster. That way you’ll get better on the test, get that job or beat the competition to anything else you want in life. Still thirsty? And the greatest idol of all: self as God.

But the experiences never satisfy our thirst or quench our desire for peace and fellowship with God, rather Satan’s mirage of idolatrous experiences make us thirstier and in the end lead to hopelessness, rebellion against God and a damaged conscience. Satan’s seeks to sell us “experiences” which in the end are sinful and as sinners who have “done” sin have us fear God’s grace and hide from God.

(2) Jesus Calls on all who are left thirsty from sin and the reality of death to come to Him and drink to quench our spiritual thirst

Still thirsty? Jesus calls out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (Jn 7:37-38)

Jesus calls on all who are left thirsty from sin and the reality of death to come to Him and drink to quench their thirst. Jesus alone gives us what our own feeble, idolatrous, attempts cannot give us: a quenching of our thirst for knowledge of the future by His Word. While God’s Word does not tell us exactly what will happen to us in the days to come it does tell us our past, present and future from God’s point of view. God’s Word tells us that God loves us so much that He was willing to send His Son to die for our sins and free us from them. God’s Word tells us now that Christ has risen from the dead and ascended into heaven God is always looking out for us. And God’s Word tells us that due to Christ’s resurrection, after the years and days God has determined for us on Earth He will give us a blessed death and raise us from the dead to a bodily resurrection and eternal life on the Last Day. Jesus alone gives us a quenching of our thirst for contentment/tranquility through Holy Baptism and the gift of God the Holy Spirit who lives in us. In Holy Baptism God makes us His children and washed away all our sin giving us tranquility that He has health with our sin. And in Baptism we receive God the Holy Spirit to dwell in us who gives us contentment in the simple things of life and in the joy that God loves us. We may meditate in Christ but we don’t meditate on ourselves, we meditate on what God has done for us in Christ and on God’s loving character. Jesus alone gives us a quenching of our desire for provision & long life and forgiveness through His promises of providence now and eternal life. And Jesus gives us a quenching of our desire to be close to God and forgiveness of our idolatry through Holy Absolution which connects with His sacrificial death for us and His gift of the forgiveness of our sins through His Sacrament of the Altar. Jesus quenches our thirst by His blessed death and resurrection for us and His gifts of Word and Sacrament to provide for all our needs. The focus is on Him and what He is doing. His call is come to me and freely drink, trust in my blessed death and resurrection for you. Trust in my constant provision for you: if I did this for you how can I not give you all you need on this Earth and when I decide it is your last day on Earth, a resurrection when I come again?

(3) Well watered by Christ and The Spirit we saturate our hearts, minds and bodies with the true thirst quencher, Jesus Christ

Still thirsty? No way! Well watered by Christ and the Holy Spirit our bodies, souls and minds have been quenched by the living water, the perfect and dependable work and promises of Jesus our Saviour. We have all been given drink from the living waters of Jesus Christ. Those waters, and the Holy Spirit whom Christ gives, now reside in us.

The world still thirsts, sold a mirage through Satan and following his lies. As the Spirit leads us we share Christ the world’s thirst quencher with others who while they may look like they are having the time of their life are getting thirstier with every passing day. We pray for them as we pray for the Lord Jesus to grant them faith in Him as Saviour. Our intercessory prayer and our words of witness are ways in which the living water of the Holy Sprit then also flow out of us to others for their salvation and God’s glory.

Conclusion: In the end all Coca-cola really is is water with carbonation, sugar, acid, caffeine and some colour. That’s all it is. It can quench our thirst for a little while but then the thirst comes back. Jesus has come to this world and his been glorified on the cross and in His resurrection and ascension to quench our thirst for idols that never satisfy and to grant us His pardon, peace and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. Jesus is the real thing, the real thirst quencher. He is your Lord and Savior and He gives you fellowship with the Father and life eternal. He quenches our thirst for good. Amen.