“Are You a S.A.D. Christian?”                                                    June 8, 2014

Acts 2:1-21                                                                                   Stephens City UMC

 

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

I.                   Sharron Blezard in her commentary on Pentecost asks, “Are you a S.A.D. Christian?”

A.    She doesn’t mean that in an emotional sense.

1.     She’s not asking if you are down in the dumps or upset.

2.     She wants to know about your state of being.

3.     She actually wants to know if you are living and thriving in the Christian faith.

B.     As Sharron Blezard puts it together S.A.D. Christians are living paradoxes.

1.     Because of our baptism we walk around the world all wet.

2.     The water applied to us at our baptism is a powerful force that like a mighty river takes us in a different direction from the rest of the world.

3.     So to secular folks we are all wet.

4.     Yet because we have encountered the risen Christ and have received the gift of the Holy Spirit we are a people who are on fire for Jesus Christ and for Christ’s Kingdom.

5.     Our fire causes some people to want to pour a different kind of water on us.

6.     Thus we are a people who proudly are all wet and yet on fire.

C.     So Sharron Blezard has come up with a descriptive phrase to unify this odd combination of water and fire in Christian believers and she calls them “Spirit Activated Christians” which provides the letters for SAD.

1.     Spirit Activated Christians were present on Pentecost.

2.     Peter and other followers of Jesus were standing around Jerusalem on that day, possibly thinking that this was going to be just another Pentecost when they celebrated the harvesting of the barley crop, when a mighty wind came upon them and there were tongues of fire and each heard others speaking a different language and yet they understood what was being said.

3.     And they felt within themselves a power unlike any they had ever felt before.

4.     It was an animating force and what they felt stayed with them.

5.     The gift of the Holy Spirit was both amazing and terrifying for things began to happen that were beyond human power which was great, but they also recognized that they would never be the same again and that was scary.

D.    The members of our confirmation class help us to get in touch with this because they are 12, 13, or 14 years old and are transitioning from childhood into adulthood.

1.     It is exciting because they are in a “becoming stage” for their conversations have moved from dolls and toy trucks to relationships and future education or maybe even employment.

2.     Growing up can be fun. 

3.     But it is also scary as they have crossed the threshold of the age of accountability and now they have to assume more responsibility for their thoughts and actions.

4.     This group of youth is handling that task as today they accept responsibility for their faith for when they are confirmed and commissioned as disciples of Christ they are saying to their parents “Thank you for the faith in which you have raised me, but I now claim it for myself. I’m a Christian because I have experienced Pentecost and know what it is to be wet and on fire. By no means can I explain it all but I don’t have to be able to explain it all. Rather, because of what I feel within me I have decided to follow Jesus and that is what is most important to me.”

E.     So today we celebrate these S.A.D. Christians and by their witness they invite us to renew our faith and our journey with Jesus as “Spirit Activated Christians.”

1.     Jesus himself makes that blessing possible for us today by feeding us at this table.

2.     It is a table meant for those who are hungry for a word of how to live their identity as a S.A.D. Christian in a world that is broken and yet beautiful.

3.     As Sharron Blezard says, “They will come open-handed to Christ’s table hungry for the bread of grace and the wine of forgiveness.”

F.     So I hope everyone here will becoming totally S.A.D. as you present yourself at the table of the Lord for here God is present, Christ will be present for his supper, and the Spirit will again be blowing among those gathered so that you can leave worship as a Spirit Activated Disciple equipped to be Christ’s hands and feet wherever He sends you.