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Pentecost Sunday

Acts 2:1-21; Romans 8:14-17; John 14:8-17 (25-27) There have been points in the Biblical tradition where the people seemed in danger of losing God entirely – God had had enough – or the people had had enough. There is the powerful image in Ezekiel of God leaving the Temple – as the people go into exile. And then there is the nearly mythical story of Babel. The people long to be as God, to attain to the heights and powers of God, and so begin to build a tower to the heavens. But God confounds them and gives them all different tongues to speak different languages and they give up the enterprise and scatter – away from God and away from one another. Pentecost is the story through which God keep

Adoption instead of slavery

For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. Romans 8:15 I don't want to steal too much of my own Sunday sermon thunder, but I am arrested by Paul's notion of adoption and slavery. Slavery and adoption don't seem to be too closely connected, but Paul makes the comparison work. We can all relate to the word slavery, I think; it is an infinitely charged word in our America where slavery was the institution that continues to resonate even today. Paul's world was awash in the practice of slavery, too, so he knew the power of the word. Adoption means to be chosen, taken into, and becoming part of a family that is not your family o