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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor


Seventh Sunday Of Easter
Series C

"Esprit Gras!"
Acts 16:6-10
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.

 
Note: Granted, Pentecost is Sunday, May 30, but can't resist the 
ready and rife reference(s) to the Holy Spirit in this text.
Too, living close to New Orleans, can't resist the sermon title:
translation: literally, "Heavy--or glorious, from kabed--Spirit!"; colloquially, "Fat Spirit!" (c;
The following is inspired by and adapted from Glen Thomas.
 
The Point: the Holy Spirit guides us individually and corporately in both negative (vv6-7) and positive (v10) directions
 
The Problem: we don't understand/see and/or thwart and hinder God's desire and direction for us
 
The Promise: God through Christ forgives our lack of direction and witness and, through Word & Sacrament, continues to empower, guide and direct us (John 14:6-7; 16:13-15; 17:17)
 
Notes:
 
1. As an introduction, comment on recent technological advances in providing directions for travel--computer, mapping programs, GPS, in-car screens with voice prompts, etc. (Glen Thomas)
 
2. Speculation surrounds the precise way in which the Holy Spirit kept Paul from preaching the word in the province of Asia (v6). Some have speculated that Paul interpreted his "thorn in the flesh" (2 Cor 12:7) as the Spirit's preventative measure. Others have speculated concerning visions, prophetic utterances by others, or a prophetic gift given to Paul. There is no direct answer to the question of the Spirit's methodology. (Glen Thomas)
 
3. So here is a vision from God. Notice that it is not a dream. The difference between a dream and a vision is that a dream always has us in it--which may make it a nightmare! Psychologists tell us that dreams always involve ourselves. If you dreamed last night of a long-eared mule, or a witch on a broomstick, or whatever, that was you. You were in the center of the dream. But this is a vision; it is subjective. (Ray Stedman) 
 
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