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Day of Petecost - Acts 2:1-21

Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer identified three stages of truth.

In stage one, truth is ridiculed.

In stage two, it is opposed.

In stage three, truth is accepted as being self-evident.

So when the promised Spirit of Truth arrives, there is immediately mockery.

Others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine."

Peter refutes this by noting that it is only nine a.m., before the discovery of time zones and the

truth that "it's five o'clock somewhere."

No, Peter says, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

in the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh,

and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

and your young men shall see visions,

and your old men shall dream dreams.

Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and

they shall prophesy.

Which means that it's not the disciples who are wasted.

It's the Spirit.


At Pentecost, the Spirit of God is wasted on the wrong people.

When the elders in the family are the ones who have authority to speak the truth, which is

to say prophesy, why squander the gift of truth be squandered on the young?

Young men should not be entrusted with visions—anyone remember the sixties?—because they

do not yet have the social credibility to allow those visions to make a difference.

It is also unwise to have old men dreaming dreams, because while prophecy is really about

seeing the present clearly (not foretelling the future, but naming the eventual implications

of continuing a present course), biblical dreams deal in the future, which old men won't

be around as long to see.

And why give prophetic truth to people with no voice—to slaves, to women, to people to whom

no one in the biblical world had to listen, people who cannot give legal testimony?

The Holy Spirit is wasted, poured out on those who have no voice, poured out on simple Galileans to make them speak in languages they did not know, poured out on disciples

who spend so much of the gospels bickering or failing or hiding.

The Holy Spirit is wasted on the wrong people, so that everyone who calls upon the name of the

Lord will be saved.


This fall, because of elections this spring, at least one third of the bishops in our ELCA will be

women, because Pentecost is not done.

There will no doubt be plenty of righteous internet screeds of certain Lutherans who don't even

ordain women because truth is first ridiculed, then opposed, which is basically a

summary of the whole book of Acts.

That's why Jesus describes the coming Spirit to his disciples in advance this way:

This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive ...

(the world being wired for with false fronts and fake news)

the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and

remind you of all I have said to you...

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.