The Ongoing Story - Peter, Te Taumata-a-kura, and us

Gate Pa – Pentecost Sunday 2016

Psalm                          Psalm: 104:24-34,35                                                  
First Reading:                         Acts 2:1-21
Second Reading:                    Romans 8:14-17 
Gospel:                                    John 14:8-17                                                   

What I want to say:
The work of the spirit allows us to ask – what does it mean, and to continue to retell and reinterpret the story of Jesus to each new situation we find ourselves in. Use the story of Piripi Taumata-a-kura of Ngati Porou to illustrate this
What I want to happen:
People to be part of the story

The Sermon

     1.     Introduction:

today we heard Luke’s grand story of Pentecost
a grand story with lots of special effects
            people speaking all kinds of languages
Luke really pulls out the stops with this one
and it captures our imagination.
story we know well
invite you turn neighbour and together retell the story

     2.     some questions

-         who were all together? – and who did it include? (120 as were there for election of Matthias? women including Mary mother of Jesus?)
-         where were they? (who knows, just one place)
-> we assume these details
            do itall time
            in this case not overly important
            although can influence how we read
            everyone does it
            those assumptions influence how we read all scripture
                        end up with very different understanding of same passages
            also means that these kinds assumptions made in writing
                        they are assumptions we miss
                        means we often danger missing point writer trying make
            reading scripture is not as easy as some make out

     3.     What happens next

-         what happens? - sound like violent wind
·        divided tongues as of fire on each
·        filled with holy spirit and speak other languages
·        at this sound of all languages – crowd gathers in amazement
·        ask what does this mean
·        Peter’s speech
o   based on Joel 2: 28-32a

     4.     Luke’s changes

Luke makes three changes
            after these things -> in the last days
            slaves (all slaves) to “my” slaves
            to “I will pour out my spirit”
            adds “so that they shall prophesy”
Not misquoting
not correcting
adapting prophets old words to fit this new situation he has Peter finding himself in
            Joels original words finds new meaning in light deeds God through Jesus and sending of his Spirit.
they asked – what does this mean
answered them

     5.     Prophesy

what then is prophecy
often think it is about predicting the future
but biblical understanding is that ability to see the world now as God sees it
speak from this understanding
see how this works in Peters words
a - speaks to present time
            uses images, passages from past to speak into the present
            on basis of that – looks to future
                        when all talking about will be ultimately accomplished
b. – prophesy answers question – what does this mean? 
c. – involves all of us, and not just resident experts
            - Spirit was poured out on people across all social boundaries including age, role, socioeconomic status – including slaves
Lastly Pentecost not one off event 2,000 years ago
could fairly call Books of Acts
            ongoing story of Pentecost
that day was just start
story went on
story goes on today
we are part of that story.

     6.     Piripi Taumata-a-kura of Ngati Porou[1]

in our churches calendar today we remember one great missionaries here in Aotearoa
certainly one very significant figures in formation  of this diocese.
Piripi Taumata-a-kura
captured by Ngā Puhi in 1820’s
He had been influenced by the gospel in the north - He learned to read and write at the mission school in Waimate, though he was not baptised there, and did not seem very interested in Christianity at the time.,
and on his return in @1833 had taught and preached, using short prayers and hymns, referring to Bible texts written on scraps of paper.
Significant moment was in 1836 when he successfully negotiated restraint based on Christian principles in an inter-tribal battle with Te Whanau-a-Apanui. He agreed to take part only if there was no cannibalism and no wanton destruction of canoes or crops. This code of conduct was agreed to, and Taumata-a-kura led the Ngati Porou forces in the Bay of Plenty with his musket in one hand and New Testament in the other. The fact that he was not hit only served to increase his mana. Taumata-a-kura’s restraint left a strong impression on his opponents and did much to establish the virtual legend surrounding his work.
William Williams was informed of his work by Ngā Puhi chief visited area 1837
led to nine young men being trained catechists in Paihia to join him in his work
eventual move of Williams to establish what became Dicoese of Waiapu
what is interesting aboput this story is that Ngāti Porou are very clear
this is not story maori accepting teaching of English missionairy
but Ngati Porou making deliberate choices around spirituality for our own purposes[2]

     7.     What does this mean?

What does this mean for us this Pentecost?
Like on Day Pentecost
Holy Spirit used Te Taumata-a-kura to use scripture he knew to answer question
          what does this mean?
Ngati Porou began new way seeing world and living in it
based on peace of God found in Christ

and for us
ours is same task
          same tasks we see in Peter
          that same task we hear about with Te Taumata-a Kura
-> is also our task
We are to be people who in words and actions
answer question – what does this mean
Importance of Pentecost Sunday is not what happened 2,000 years ago
it is that it continues today
we are ongoing story of Pentecost.

[2] -


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