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Monday, November 03, 2008

Acts 2 - Pentecost

Acts 2

Descent of the Holy Spirit 1-13

The Day of Pentecost is a Jewish feast that occurs 50 days after Passover. As a result of the feast, there were many Jewish pilgrims in Jerusalem from around the Empire. Many would have come for Passover and stayed the 50 days until Pentecost.

St. Leo – ties mysteries of the old and new together. “Grace was foretold by the law, and that the law is made perfect through grace. For as of old on the fiftieth day after sacrifice of the lamb, the law was given on Mt Sinai to the Hebrew people, now delivered from the Egyptians, so, after the Passion of Christ, in which the true Lamb of God was slain, on the fiftieth day after His resurrection, the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles and upon the people who believed; so that an earnest Christian might know beyond any uncertainty, that the sacred rites of the OT had served as foundations for the Gospel, and that by this same Spirit was the second covenant laid down, by Whom the first had been established.”

2. The violent wind is a demonstration of the strength of the Spirit. Also it is what attracts the crowd outside the house where the apostles were residing.

3a. St. Gregory the Great – why did the HS appear as fire. “God is immaterial and indescribable and invisible fire, as Paul testifies ‘Our God is a consuming fire. [Heb 12:29; Deut 4:24]’…He consumes the rust of sin. Lk 12:49, Lk. 24:32. The HS had to be manifested over the disciples as fire so that spiritual passion might rouse them against themselves, these men who were merely human beings and therefore sinners. Then through repentance they would punish in themselves the sins which God was sparing through His gentleness. We must always consume our sins with the fire of repentance.”

St Gregory the Theologian “The Spirit alighted upon them in the form of tongues as a sign of sanctification both of the principal controlling member of the body and of the mind itself, and showing that the Holy Spirit rests in the saints. The HS appears in the shape of separate tongues, is owing to the diversity of gifts.”

John the Baptist (Lk 3:16-17) promised that Christ would baptize with spirit and fire.

12: Jews from all over the empire were present in Jerusalem as pilgrims for the feast, and even though they could communicate with one another in Hebrew/Aramaic or perhaps even Greek; they were amazed that they could hear the apostles speaking in their own language. The event of the apostles speaking in tongues is a reversal of the curse of Babel. It is the creation of a new nation which is called by the name of Christ. All men are united in Christ and in no other name can they be united.

Peter’s Sermon: 14- 36

Peter’s Sermon is much like many of the early sermons in Acts. There is a call to memory of OT texts, their fulfillment in Christ, and a call to repentance.

15. The third hour was 9 am. From the prayers of the third hour “Thy Holy Spirit, O Lord, which Thou sent forth upon Thy holy disciples, and Thine honourable Apostles at the third hour, This, take not away from us, O Good-one, but renew Him within us. Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.”

17. Joel 2:23-3:5

“23 Rejoice then and be glad, you children of Zion, in the Lord your God: for he has given you food fully, He will rain on you the early and the latter rain, as before. 24 The floors shall be filled with corn and the presses shall overflow with wine and oil. 25 I will recompense you for the years which the locust and the caterpillar and the palmerworm and the cankerworm have eaten, even my great power, which I sent against you. 26 You shall eat abundantly and be satisfied and shall praise the name of the Lord your God for the things which he has accomplished wonderfully with you: and my people shall not be ashamed for ever. 27 You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel and that I am the Lord your God and that there is none else beside me; and my people shall no more be ashamed for ever.

28 It shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy and your old men shall dream dreams and your young men shall see visions. 29 And on my servants and on my handmaids in those days will I pour out of my Spirit. 30 I will show wonders in heaven and upon the earth, blood and fire and vapor of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the Lord come.

32 It shall come to pass that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall the saved one be as the Lord has said: and those who have glad tidings preached to them,whom the Lord has called.

3 3:1 For, behold, in those days andat that time when I shall have turned the captivity of Juda and Jerusalem, 2 Iwill also gather all the Gentiles and bring them down to the valley ofJosaphat and will plead with them there for my people and my heritage Israel, who have been dispersed among the Gentiles; and these Gentiles have divided my land, 3 and cast lots over my people and have given their boys to harlots and sold their girls for wine and have drunk.”

-from the EOB

-the trees bear their fruit: a foreshadowing of the Cross

-the vine and the fig tree refer to the establishment of the Church

-rain, wheat, wine, & oil is the food that is right for you referring to Baptism, Eucharist, and Chrismation.

St. Gregory Palamas “those deemed worthy of union with God are united to God in energy, and that the Spirit where he clings to God is one with God.”

19. Chrysostom – Christ permitted his crucifixion

25-28: Ps 15:8-11

29: Chrysostom: he upholds David as a matter of persuasion

30. Ps 131:11

35. Ps 109:1

Results of Pentecost 37-47

43. Fear came – reverential fear, not terror

46. It is important to remember that at this point in the life of the Church, this was still seen by all as a part of Judaism. The liturgical life was still very much tied to the temple/synagogue worship. The major difference was the introduction (per the command of Jesus) of the Eucharist. So here we see, the prayers, readings and teachings took place in the Temple and then the Eucharist portion was at the houses of the believers. Often liturgical scholars will refer to this 2 part division of the liturgy as the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Table. It is after Judaism fully renounces the Christians that these two pieces become one service as we know them today.

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