Sermon summaries and audio files
Eckardtesian Thought: I think, therefore I write . . .
This is a Pentecost we shall remember a long time. For two fires are burning. The one is evil, the other good; the one is in darkness, the other is light. The one rages out of control, the other is in peace. The one shall die out, the other is eternal. The first fire is kindled by hatred, and disobedience to parents and authorities; it is wicked and riotous: across cities in our country it burns. Literally fires are set in the city streets and angry mobs descend everywhere. Be warned about this, for its beginnings are in all human hearts; it is sin. And beware of losing your self-control, losing your temper, rejecting authority, sinning wantonly. Repent of all these tendencies. Repent, I repeat! For the end of this fire is death and eternal hellfire. But now consider the second fire, the fire of Pentecost. It was kindled by Jesus himself, who said shortly before his passion, "I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how I wish that it were already kindled." He was referring of course to his own crucifixion for the sin of the world. He wanted this, for he knew it was needed to reconcile the world to God. And so he kindled this fire on Good Friday. Now consider Easter, when he met two disciples on the Emmaus Road who were sad and had lost hope. And he began to speak with them before they recognized him. And when they arrived at Emmaus and he was finally recognized by them, they arose at once and hurried back to Jerusalem. And they said to one another as they arose, "Did not our heart burn within us?" For the fire kindled by Jesus now began to burn in their hearts. And now on Pentecost the tongues as of fire sat on the apostles and they began to preach the Gospel.
Notice, the fire of the Spirit is always tied to the word of God. So many people misunderstand this, supposing that God is with them without the preaching of the word. But in the beginning, when the Spirit hovered over the waters without the word, there was only darkness. But then God spoke. He said, Let there be light, and there was light. See: the Spirit's light and the word are bound together. And so also on Pentecost, a sound like as of a rushing mighty wind causes confusion, until they began to speak, to preach.
Now at Pentecost the fire raged as the Gospel began to spread, first to the regions all around the Mediterranean Sea, and next to India, and Spain, and England, and then to all over Europe, and to Asia, and all around Africa; and finally to the New World, and to this place. The Gospel is here, and it is preached in this place. This is a great day, for we at last are able to meet together again on this day! And we hear the Gospel again, and it now burns in our hearts. But it is a fire of self-control, and peace, and forgiveness, and kindness, and gentleness. Let us invite others to this place, to come and hear.
Two fires burn, but only one of them is light, and good, and eternal. Thanks be to God that this good fire is here, and let us ever sing alleluias in our hearts. Sermon for Pentecost Sunday; and here is a video of the entire Divine Service, which includes a reading of the first verse of the Gospel in several languages.