THE DAY OF PENTECOST AD 2018
TRINITY EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
REV. KURT E. REINHARDT
Text: John 15:26-27 & 16:4-15
"But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.  And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning. [16:4] But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.
"I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.  But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?'  But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.  Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.  And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:  concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;  concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;  concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
 "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.  He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.  All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Home delivery was still a big thing when I was a kid. The milk man came right to your door. Boy, there are days when I wish He still did that! The mail man showed up like clockwork every day at eleven. The ice cream truck would go down the street ringing a bell to call all us kids out of our backyards on hot summer days. There was even a guy who would drive down the road striking a chime to let our Mom’s know that he was there to sharpen her sewing scissors or kitchen knives. The garbage men would not only pick up your trash from the curb. There was a man who came before and put the cans out from your backyard and put them back when they were empty.
Yes, home delivery, those were the days, long before community mail boxes and wheelie bins. Home delivery, isn’t as big a thing as it used to be in our self serve do it yourself world. Not by people anyway. It will be quite something, if and when, Canada Post follows Amazon’s lead and starts home drone delivery. I can’t help but think that it will be a much sadder world, when people will simply hide away in their homes with their noses in their phones, while their packages are whirled to their doors and the self driven garbage trucks haul away the packaging with their robotic arms. No one will have to greet anyone, talk to anyone, interact with anyone.
Home delivery… thankfully, beloved, as we learn today, our God is big into home delivery. And since He is God He never needs to look for new and improved ways of doing this - His good old ways have always been and always will be the best way, which is no small part behind the truth that He never changes. When you’re God there’s no need to change anything up. You are, and do, the best of the best all the time - a truth that the Church needs to really ponder, whenever the evil one tempts her to play around with what God has given her. As her Lord does not change, she is not to change either. His things cannot be improved upon. Nothing will work better. “Getting with it” will only lead her away from the One who really is it.
Home delivery… It’s so important to God that there is One Person of the Holy Trinity whose job it is to “get’er done" (as they say around these parts). What the Father wanted us to have and what the Son earned for us the Spirit delivers to us personally. Personally, both because He does it Himself and because He home delivers it to each one of us. Jesus is absolutely clear on this today. The things of the Father that He has for us are declared to us by the Spirit. “Declare” with God you have to remember means to deliver. God’s speaking always does things … gives things … delivers things. When God speaks, what He says gets done. When He sends forth His Word that Word is filled with His Spirit that accomplishes what He says.
God’s Word is always a Spirit filled Word because just like our own words, His Word goes forth with His own breath. I have no doubt that our breath and the fact that can only speak by the power of it is a reflection of the image of God in us. God’s Word is always filled with His Spirit simply because it is His Word. Even when it is spoken by a lowly man like me, the Spirit fills that Word. If it is not the Lord’s Word, then it can, and will do nothing, nothing good anyway, no matter how well it might be spoken. And if it is the Lord’s Word, then no matter how poor and lowly the speaker might be, it will always have great power and do great and amazing things. The Spirit in that Word will accomplish what the Father sends it out to do.
I cannot tell you what a great comfort this is to me week by week, as the Lord puts that Word in my mouth to speak it. It should be a great comfort to you as well, beloved, that the power and effectiveness of that Word do not rely on my poor abilities to deliver it, as it should comfort and embolden you as well, whenever the Lord puts that Word in your mouth to speak it to someone else, whether to a fellow Christian in need of encouragement or comfort or to someone who has yet to know about God’s great love and mercy for them in His Son Jesus. We make a grave mistake, beloved, when we focus at those times on how well we speak that Word or how effective or convincing we are. No, no, at those times we must confess to ourselves that the Spirit is in this Word no matter how lowly and poor a speaker I might be. The Lord will do what He wants with this Word and I must and will leave it to Him.
This truth should make us bold to speak, beloved, but sadly we are not or at least I know that I am not. Why? Because I let myself get in the way. In a horrible form of idolatry, I somehow let myself believe that I, with my poor flesh, could hinder the Spirit in His work. Really? Who the heck do I think I am? If Canada Post can manage to get my parcel to me from half way around the world despite all the land, water and weather that lies between it and me, what on earth including me, can stop the Spirit of truth from delivering Christ’s things through the Word? When you consider how many ages and lands He has passed through to bring what He brings to us this day or how many He has had to withstand to deliver it in all of it’s fullness and purity, how can we doubt Him?
No, we should not doubt Him when it comes to our speaking and giving, as we should not doubt Him when it comes to our hearing and receiving. And yet doubt Him we do. The Spirit Himself came to us in Holy Baptism, beloved, He hovered over those recreating waters and by His almighty power was at work in the Word of God spoken over us to make us beloved Children of God in whom He is well pleased. Home delivery. That’s what it was to each and every one of us who were brought to the font - the fullness of all that Christ won for us was delivered to us perfectly and in all of it’s fullness. Nothing went astray. Nothing was sent to the wrong address. Nothing got damaged, lost or stolen. The fullness of Jesus was given to each of you, as it was given to me. And yet how hard it can be at times to believe in and live in this truth when we look to ourselves and what we think, say and do instead of looking to what the Spirit has said and done.
On this joyful Day of Pentecost, the Lord wants to ground and enrich you in the truth of the Spirit’s work, even as that Spirit is truly at work in the Word that the Lord sends to you to teach you about Him. He is at work in this very moment in this very Word to pass through your ears into your hearts to comfort and strengthen them in what He has done, is doing and will do for you. You cannot by your own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ or come to Him, but the Holy Spirit has, is and will, call you by the Gospel, enlighten you with His gifts, sanctify and keep you in the true faith. What the Father wanted to give to you and what the Son earned for you, the Spirit will deliver to you, beloved. This is our only hope and security when it comes to the life of faith. None of it rests on us. None of it remains in our hands. God does it all.
Home delivery. Yes, even in our self serve world, God still does Home delivery. Any doubt about that is put to rest here at the altar, beloved, with the Spirit filled Words, this is my Body and this is my Blood, take and eat, take and drink - the gift of the Father, won for you by His Son delivered to your ears, lips and heart by the Spirit. The milk man may be a thing of the past, the mail man and ice cream man too. We may be wheeling our own garbage out to the curb for the robot arm to pick up and dump but the Spirit is and always will be into Person to person home delivery and that, beloved, is something to rejoice in and give thanks and praise for this day! Amen.