Posts Tagged ‘Pentecost’

Wood Engraving by Gwen Raverat

Whenever the word inheritance comes up in scripture, my mind vaults to the story of the prodigal son [Luke 15] who is given and subsequently wastes his birthright share in “wild living.” But an everlasting inheritance can’t be expended, nor can it be given ahead of time, or can it?

Hebrews 9:15a
[Christ, the Messiah] is therefore the Negotiator and Mediator of an [entirely] new agreement (testament, covenant), so that those who are called and offered it may receive the fulfillment of the promised everlasting inheritance. . .

So many Christian people are quite focused on the heavenly bequest and even use the promise as an appetizer to entice others into becoming followers of Christ. It sounds a little like the lottery, as though they are saying, if nothing else works out down here on Earth, at least we know we’ll have entry through the pearly gates and streets paved with gold; at last, a life of leisure with no pain, no worries, and no kids (only kidding on that last one).

But is that the point? Are we supposed to be toughing it out here because we can count on this inheritance later? This would be like our own children making no efforts now and simply waiting around until the parents kick off and the 401K’s are distributed.

I think the everlasting inheritance supersedes time. Just as there is no time in God’s world, our heritage is not limited to our death and subsequent afterlife. Instead, it was precluded by Christ’s death and the distribution included the Holy Spirit who lives in and among us now.

You want to spice up the Four Spiritual Laws or your personal proselytizing, then start including the wonder of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us now, who partners with us in this life, who draws us into being better Humans, who stimulates our internal compass toward those in need, to pricks our conscience, and teaches us to love others by loving us.

This is the everlasting inheritance that is here today.

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Acts 2:1
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.

Pentecost, in Old Testament times, was actually considered a Feast Day. It was a day to bring the “first fruits” of the harvest to the Lord. It was offered in thanksgiving of what had been given to the people.

This day, we are celebrating the high school graduation of our oldest son. In many ways, he is our first fruit. He was a gift of God to us and and now we return him to the will and way of God. He turns 18 in a few more weeks and then he’ll be off to college, seeking his own future, making many of his own choices. Thanks be to God for the gift of our son.

Sergei was a foundling on the streets of Riga, Latvia. He has a few memories of his life in that country, but not many. At one time, he had a family there, but he does not remember how he was separated from them. He was in a boys’ gang for awhile on the street, but he doesn’t really remember how long… it could have been a day, a week, or even longer. When he was found by the police, he was taken to the orphanage and given a birth date and a name on June 27th. On January 21st, 1998, he entered the United States with a new name and a new family. He was chosen by God for a new life.

We gather today as a family to celebrate his harvest…. and God is with us.

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