Sermon for the Feast of Pentecost

‘Now this he said about the Spirit.’


The great feast of Easter is coming to an end. The Feast of
Pentecost has arisen.

Pentecost receives its name from the number of days that have preceded it, that
is, fifty, for it is the fiftieth day after the Resurrection of our Lord from
the infernal pit. Forty nine days precede Pentecost, and the day of this Feast
itself draws that number to its full.

It is not for no reason that the Spirit is given on the
fiftieth day, that is, on the day of Pentecost, for it is the completion of
seven weeks, each week having seven days. It is therefore the day of the
completion of completions; the end of ends; finality of finality. For each week
of seven has been drawn to a close in the repetition of seven.

Seven were the martyrs killed under Antiochus; seven were the lights of the
menorah; seven times ten were the number of those chosen to receive the spirit
in the presence of Moses, and prophesy. Seven are the days given by which all creation
was made, and called good. In seven
lies the whole mystery of salvation.

When Moses was told that two among the people of Israel, filled with the
Spirit, continued to prophesy, he did not rebuke, but rather called out that he
wished that all the people of God would so be filled with the Spirit of the
Lord. Moses sighs in delight, for this day has come.

For Peter asked Christ how many times sin must be forgiven, even up to seven
times. The Lord answered not seven, but
seventy times seven. Many are confused
by this, thinking that the Lord is merely multiplying Peter’s initial offer,
merely telling the Apostle that he should be willing forgive far more than
merely seven times. Yet Peter knew that when he said ‘even up to seven times’, he did not mean that one should literally
forgive not six, nor eight, but exactly seven times. He understood as we do,
that seven is the number of completion. To forgive seven times means to forgive
entirely and forever.

This seems the most one could forgive, yet our Savior still corrects him. Seventy times seven, the Lord responds.
For, according to the Gospel of Luke, seventy generations preceded the coming
of the Christ, all of which require His atonement, His forgiveness, in full and
complete. Therefore, let the seventy
generations be forgiven, and all of them seven
that the people of God might be made whole. That they might have

Therefore, when the seven weeks of seven had been completed, and our Lord had
ascended in His body to the throne of His Father, to reign as the Son of Man
over all creation, He poured out His Spirit on all flesh, that being baptized,
we might be saved from our evil; that being washed, we might be cleansed of our
iniquity; that from the living water
flowing from His heart,
from the font of everlasting baptism, we too might call upon the name of the Lord and be saved.

Having been baptized, and being filled now with the Spirit
of grace, we are now joined to the great House of the Lord, His everlasting
kingdom, His holy dynasty, whose dominion has no end. For no people is
excluded, nor language denied, nor gender demeaned, nor class submitted, for Christ is all and is in all, and [even
as the Church be slain and steeple fall] His imperium knows no end.

Now beneath the Lord’s crown of empire the divine Scriptures are fulfilled,
where every nation and people, in which princes, the powerful, the wealthy, all
the lofty, and the poor, the lowly, the wretched, are gathered into one, even
as the Lord and His Father are one, that
our daughters may prophecy, and our young men see visions, and our old men
dream dreams.
For all nations and generations are forgiven, seventy times seven.

The Feast of Pentecost has arisen, the fiftieth day that completes the
forty nine days of the celebration of Easter. And indeed, it is a feast, for
there shall be eating, for the Ascended Son offers to us His flesh; and there
shall be drinking, for the victorious Lord gives us the draught of His blood. Who
then, hungers and thirsts for salvation?
Let him come. For:

‘On the last day of the feast, the great
day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and


Preached by Pastor

Sermon Texts: Numbers
11:24-30; Acts 2:1-21; John 7:37-39