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The Chalice
Friday, May 17 2024


Pentecost is my favorite feast day. While not as popular as Christmas and Easter, it is a special moment in our faith story, the story of when we as believers first received the gift of the Holy Spirit. I have always loved the Acts 2 reading and look forward to hearing it every year. The church is being fueled for a road trip and I am ready to go! Many believe this day to be the “birthday of the church”, and not just because the disciples turn into candles! No, it is the day the church has received “her soul”, the Holy Spirit! I will be focusing my sermon this weekend on the Holy Spirit, and what it means for the church and for me and you.

In the reading from Acts, Peter quotes from the prophet Joel, that God will pour out His spirit upon all peoples, both men and women. The Holy Spirit is for all people. One of the important marks of the church is the catholic nature of our faith. (There are three other “marks of the church”, which we affirm every week in the Nicene Creed, they are: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic). For many of us who grew up in the Roman Catholic Church, we may be inclined still to think of catholic in that way. However, the Christian faith is catholic because it is meant to be universal, what catholic means. Several weeks ago, we met the Ethiopian eunuch who took his new faith back home. In the Acts 2 reading, we have the listing of the many nations where the Jewish diaspora could be found and from where these travelers had come. They also go back to their homes either preaching about their new faith or remitting news back home that new, strange movement of Jewish people had arisen. And that they suddenly knew our languages! All this to say that the church’s movement is not to be limited, but to go throughout all the world and permeate in every neighborhood.

 Our Catholicity has to do with much more than a formal institution. Our faith and our fellowship in our faith is meant to be held together by the Holy Spirit, the one who leads the church and each of us through our lives as Christians. This weekend, we will be honoring David Lasek with the Bishop’s Medal for Distinguished Parochial Service for his outstanding work he has done for the church. How the Holy Spirit has worked in his life and his love for this community is a great inspiration for us all. Since the beginning of the church, as shown in the second half of Acts 2, Christians have provided for the community since the beginning. Whether it’s making breakfast on a Sunday morning, tilling and harvesting soon at our community garden, or going on a mission trip abroad, a universal aspect of our faith is our commitment to loving our neighbors, whoever they may be.

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Zach

Posted by: Rev. Zach Baker, curate AT 01:35 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
St. John's Episcopal Church
12 Prospect St. | Huntington, NY 11743 | PH: (631) 427-1752
Sunday Services at 8 AM and 10 AM
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