Sunday, May 23, 2010

Whitsuntide, Pentecost & John the Baptist

*This is a cross-post of a comment I made on Ray Comfort's blog earlier today.

 "As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God." (Luke 3:4-6)

[Ray Comfort:]...John’s sole purpose was to be a voice in the wilderness, preparing the way for the One who would come to save human beings from God’s just wrath. He was clearing the path so that wicked sinners would hear the words of life, from the pure lips of the everlasting God manifest in human form....

Hi Ray, Happy Whitsuntide!

How appropriate (and providential) that the text of today's sermon features John Baptist, God's chosen prophet who introduced to the world Jesus Christ as "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world."

I say "appropriate" because much of historic Christianity recognizes this season as that in which world-wide evangelism got underway. Ascension Day commemorates Christ's ascending into heaven and taking the seat of authority at the Father's "right hand." Whitsunday and the two days following are remembered as when the enthroned Christ sent the Holy Spirit to empower the church to "make disciples of all nations," preaching the good news to all peoples of all languages throughout the earth. The good news was (and is) that, on the cross, Jesus Christ has defeated sin, the grave, and the devil, and is gathering a people to be his very own possession.

What a privilege for us as believers to, in whatever locations and circumstances Providence has placed us, point people towards Jesus, the Lamb of God.

Happy Whitsuntide and happy Pentecost to all my brothers and sisters.

Craig B.

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