Sunday, May 27, 2012

Wingman for Jesus

Today is a big day for Lutherans.  You know, Pentecost Sunday.  Who doesn't associate speaking in tongues and holy fire with Lutherans?  Ok, maybe we figure Martin Luther breathed enough fire for the rest of us.

Anyway, this is the day we celebrate when God The Wingman came down from heaven, introduced his friend, Jesus, and the church was born.

Besides well intentioned Lutheran efforts to clap on the wrong beat, a lot of people do get excited about spirit, holy or otherwise.  We live in the age of the spirit.  As our culture becomes more alienated from the authorities of the past, spirits of all types beckon us into the future.

Meanwhile, Jesus is often left standing in the corner of the ballroom.  Nice guy, perfect gentleman, but not the exciting and mysterious dancer we've come to appreciate in the Spirit.

My theology professor at Luther Seminary, Steven Paulson, referred to the Holy Spirit as the Wingman because Scripture is clear that the Spirit is the delivery person - Jesus is the goods.  Or as New Testament scholar Dale Bruner has written, the Holy Spirit is the "shy member of the Trinity."  The Spirit likes when people say, "You're very exciting to be around, and we will get to know one another, but could you introduce me to your friend Jesus first?"

Here's a sermon I gave last year.  I don't have a podcast yet, so you get a static video to deliver the audio recording:

So friends, how might we live in the age of the Spirit without overlooking Jesus?

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