Lord, give us grace to believe, and to hear thy promises. Amen.
Joel 2, 28-32. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And, also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out t my Spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.
Even as the Lord fulfilled this promise on that first day of Pentecost after his ascension, so he still continues to do it when we ask it of him in earnest prayer. And it is necessary that he should. The birth of Jesus, his life, his suffering and death, his victory, his resurrection, his ascension, and his seat at the right hand of the Father; furthermore, our knowledge, our worship, our baptism, our celebration of Holy Communion; — all these things profit us nothing, if the Holy Ghost do not gain access to our heart, and kindle in it a living faith. For Christianity is not knowledge and learning, nor virtuous conduct and good words, nor the habit of going to church and attending devotional exercises; but it is the communion of the heart with the Lord, which can be brought about only by the Holy Ghost. What God has done for us is all in vain; nay, becomes damnation to us, if we do not obey the Spirit. The eternal counsel of God’s love, the sacrifice of his only begotten Son, the cross and blood of Christ, the most precious of all things in heaven and on earth, that which should become your eternal salvation — must needs become nothing but wrath upon you. if you do not receive the Holy Spirit. For the three persons of the godhead can not be separated; you can not have one without the other; not the Father without the Son, and not the Son without the Spirit. The three are one; and the triune God is the God of our salvation. Hence they are guilty of a grave error who hold that little children are saved by Christ without the gracious agency of the Holy Ghost No; the Spirit must operate in babes as well as in adults, in order that they may be brought to Jesus. Do you imagine that some of the saved have the Father and Son only as their God of salvation, while others have all the persons of the Trinity? Such an idea would be absolutely without warrant. No; sons and daughters, the elders and the young men, servants and handmaids, adults and sucklings, all have need of the Holy Spirit; and he will come to all, if we will but receive him. On that first Pentecost day he was in a glorious manner poured out upon the apostles; and he shall continue to be poured out abundantly in these latter days. While we wait for this, we earnestly pray God to give us the light and gifts of the Spirit in such measure that we also may believe with living confidence, have love in our hearts, and attain our soul’s eternal salvation. May this festival of Pentecost be richly blessed in our church and in all the world! Pray unceasingly for this blessing, ye Christians, with earnestness and faith. “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,” says the Lord. Do not let him go, except he do it! Shall we again live through the Pentecost season with its fire from on high, and not be warmed and set aglow? Sunshine and rain cause dead bodies to become putrid and foul; but cause living plants to blossom and ripen.
We heartily beseech thee, O Lord, give us thy Holy Spirit, and create faith, hope, and charity in our soul. Bless this Pentecost for thy church. Make of us living witnesses in regard to victory over sin and death, and in regard to salvation in the name of Jesus, that many may repent, and live. Amen.
Come, Holy Spirit, God and Lord!
Be all thy graces now outpoured
On the believer’s mind and soul,
To strengthen, save, and make us whole.
Lord, by the brightness of thy light,
Thou in the faith dost men unite
Of every land and every tongue:
This to thy praise, O Lord, be sung.