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On Sunday, June 8, along with most Christians, I will remember and celebrate Pentecost. You can read the story of Pentecost in the Bible (Acts 1 and 2). In a few moments I’ll say more about Pentecost. But first, I’m going to talk about my saxophone. Now you might wonder what my saxophone has to do with Pentecost. So let me explain.
Somewhere around the time of Pentecost a few years ago, when I was still serving as a full-time pastor (I’m now retired), my saxophone wasn’t sounding or acting like it should. It became clear that it really needed to be professionally reconditioned, especially since I was soon going to be playing it at the Navy Musicians Reunion ( I once served as a U.S. Navy Musician). Once I had the work done at a nearby music store, my saxophone again sounded and acted like it was supposed to. Now whenever there was something wrong with the sound, it was my fault, not the saxophone’s.
On the other hand, it still didn’t look like it did 45 years before, when I bought it in Nice , France, while I was serving as a US Navy Musician in the band on the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga. It didn’t have that shine anymore. The surface was dull and worn. However, you could still se the name of the manufacter – “Selmer”. Among musicians that was and still is a name that gets great respect. It means that your instrument is of the highest quality. When I dropped the horn off at the music store to be reconditioned, the person I left it with declared “Oh, it’s a Selmer”. I thunk I saw her eyes light up. She was impressed with this horn, despite its appearance.
So what does this have to do with Pentecost. It reminds me that, like my saxophone, the first disciples of Jesus, spent some time in a “repair shop”. Ten days before, just before Jesus ascended into heaven, he told them that before they proceeded with the work he was giving them they needed to go back to that room in Jerusalem and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit, who would tell them how to proceed.
During the next ten days, while they were there waiting and praying, the Holy Spirit was working on them. As with my saxophone, their outward appearance was not changed. What did change on Pentecost was their performance- their sound, their words, their ways. Despite the danger they faced, they began to publicly proclaim to the world that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Many believed.
One of the best things that followers of Jesus (and those who might consider becoming his followers – regardless of their religious faith) can do at any time, but especially as we celebrate Pentecost, is to invite the Holy Spirit to work on and in us for some repairs, renewal, revitalization, rejuvenation, and reconditioning. Physically, we won’t look any better, but the Holy Spirit will change us, so that what we say and do, on and after Pentcost, will help the world to believe in and know Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Grace and peace, Ray
Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.
May God be with you,
Patty Perez and Ray Gough