Moses by John August Swanson. Image from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn. Original source © 1983 by John August Swanson.
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Nothing Can Separate Us
Acts 2:1-4; Romans 8:14-39 Commentary
by Orrey McFarland
For Pentecost Sunday we have two texts that are different in focus but equally appropriate for declaring the good news of the person and work of the Holy Spirit.
Pentecost and Paul’s proclamation
First, it may be helpful to narrate from Acts 2.1-4 the outpouring of the Spirit on the diverse peoples gathered for Pentecost. The central emphasis of the text is that, despite the diversity of languages, all heard “the mighty works of God” (Acts 2:11 ESV).
Second, in the longer reading from Romans we hear that this same Spirit is given to us. The text answers a question that many of us might ask: how do we understand our hope -- we’ve been given God’s Spirit and so claimed as God’s children -- when life seems more defined by suffering than the promised glory of the future?
The text divides into three parts, any of which could be the focus for a sermon -- or all three could be held together.
Present sufferings and the down-payment of future glory (Romans 8:18-25)
Paul begins by addressing the discrepancy between the present experience of believers (suffering) and the promised future (glory). The suffering believer ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 367: Nothing Can Separate Us
June 09, 2019
Podcast on Acts 2:1-4; Romans 8:14-39, the Narrative Lectionary readings for June 9, 2019 (Nothing Can Separate Us) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for Working Preacher.