Thursday, June 1, 2017

Whiteboard: The Day of Pentecost

This Sunday is Pentecost!

It marks the passage of 50 days since our Easter Sunday Celebration. It marks the beginning of a new season in the worship life of the church. And it marks our celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit!

Oh, and it give us an excuse to wear red!

On Pentecost Sunday the colors of everything in the sanctuary change – we have red paraments, I’ll wear my red stole, we have red banners on the walls and (hopefully) pews full of church members decked out in red. We change the colors to commemorate the change in the season in the worship life of the church, and to welcome “the inspiring flame” of the Holy Spirit once again.

In preparation for our Pentecost Sunday worship service I keep coming back to the following prayer from “Chalice Worship”:

God of wind, word, and fire,
We bless your name this day for sending the light and strength of your Holy Spirit.
We give you thanks for all the gifts, great and small,
   that you have poured out upon your children.
Kindling Spirit, build well the fire in our hearts this day.
   Fan us to flame that all will see the Christ-presence of love blazing in our midst.
   Burn the witness on our tongues: Christ’s Spirit moves among us.
Jesus Christ, our risen Lord has set his church on fire with strength and boldness and power.
Kindling Spirit, build well the fire in our hearts this day
   to clean our hearts,
   to hallow our gifts,
   and to make perfect the offering of ourselves to you.

I’ll see you on Sunday for Pentecost celebration. Don’t forget to wear red!

Acts 2:1-21 The Coming of the Holy Spirit

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
“In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
And I will show portents in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
The sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

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