COCU39A.Day of Pentecost.31May2020

See also Pentecost B and Pentecost C
Also, Reconciliation Sunday in Australia

Readings
Acts 2:1-21
The believers are filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and they start to praise God in various languages.
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
The world and all its creatures depend on God for provision and breath – which leads the Psalmist to commit to praise God.
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
No one can acknowledge Jesus’ lordship without God’s Spirit, and God’s Spirit, given to all of God’s people, gives different gifts to each person for the good of all.
John 20:19-23
Jesus appears to the disciples in the Upper Room and commissions them, breathing on them and giving them his Spirit, and instructing them that they are sent as he was sent.
(Bible summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Diana Butler Bass sermon – Pentecost, Prejudice and Pandemic, on Church Anew

A reflection (1 Corinthians 12 reading)
“We grow, change and develop into more mature, complete people because we listen and learn from those who think and believe differently to us. We grow each others’ empathy, understanding, depth and character by building authentic community with one another and by proactively seeing one another as valuable to our development as whole people.” Brad Chilcott

Prayer
God, who in generous mercy
sent the Holy Spirit upon your Church in the burning fire of your love: 
grant that your people may be fervent in the fellowship of the Gospel that,
always abiding in you,
they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service; 
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. 

In a time of COVID-19
Pentecost us, God,
let us learn to conjugate the Spirit,
shed the comfortable accents
of churchy insider talk,
learn to speak digital,
worship virtually
fit our mouths to something strange,
speaking through a mask of love 
– mostly verbs, present tense, but not passive voice –
for our worry, like the worry of those who waited
in the Upper Room so long ago
leads us to the active voice of love
and not many possessive pronouns. Amen
(Source: Maren Tirabassi, Gifts in Open Hands)

God, on this Pentecost, 
remind us of the fruit of the Spirit,
for we are trying to put forth
the buds of the church.
Lift us with the wings of the Spirit,
for we must rise above sorrow
on bent feathers and hope.
Confuse us with how many languages
the Spirit speaks,
so we may listen to our neighbours. Amen.
(Source: Maren Tirabassi, Gifts in Open Hands)

Let the Spirit come and fill and pray and laugh in us, O God. Let the Spirit come and be in the silences between our words. As our lungs and lips breathe in and out and we consider how much a blessing that simple act is, may true needs, deep longings, unglimpsed hopes, and paralyzing fears, be exhaled into your heart through the Spirit’s sighing. Let the Spirit come and lead us to one another so that we receive not just personal blessings, but the wonderful gathered vision and vocabulary of your Pentecost people, where the distance may be physical but never spiritual. Amen.
(Source: Maren Tirabassi, Gifts in Open Hands)

Pentecost us – from our emotionally lockdowned upper room
to new ways of interacting with the world,
from a church birthday cake faith with slices for us,
to a red balloon virtual gospel
that will escape our tight fists and float into the world,
from the received wisdom
of those in the responsible years
between thirty-two and sixty
to the excited ideas of teenagers,
still calling us all to care for creation,
and the precious wisdom
of elders so endangered,
whose lives are often implied as disposable
but with so much love to share. Amen
(Source: Maren Tirabassi, Gifts in Open Hands)

God, give us a Pentecost,
that communicates less
like the old pew liturgy
and Zooms with images of Spirit,
brief, surprising,
remembered in our hearts and hopes. Amen
(Source: Maren Tirabassi, Gifts in Open Hands)

They were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages,
as the Spirit gave them ability. Acts 2.4
Holy Spirit, loosen our tongues and teach us new languages of love.
Help us convey your grace across the divides of language,
of culture and race and class and identity.
Put the breath of love in our lungs,
the words of mercy on our tongues,
the song of grace on our lips.
Help us give voice to blessing
that is clear in any language.
Give us grace to listen to every foreign tongue,
respect every foreign story, and honor every foreign soul,
for you have sent us to them
so they may know their belovedness,
and they may reveal to us our own.
Spirit of God, breathe in us.
Spirit of love, sing in us.
Spirit of justice, rise in us to do your will.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light

A Confession of Balloons
O God, forgive us when we let the Spirit of love or hope, of liveliness or adventure, of tenderness or courage, deflate within us. Forgive us when we do not breathe inspiration into all your people or when we puncture the joy of the youngest ones. Forgive us when we let go of the church just because it isn’t exactly as we wish it this year and let it float away into meaninglessness. Amen
Inflation of Grace
God is merciful and gracious – a patch to our leaking faith, helium to lift us into joy – and a breath for all who need breathing.
(Source: Maren Tirabassi, Gifts in Open Hands)

A Pentecost prayer
Spirit of truth: guide us into all the truth;
consume the lies that shroud the world in hate;
pray in us with sighs too deep for words;
and let the victim’s voice ring out
with hope for a new world;
through Jesus Christ, who goes to the right hand of God. Amen.
(Source: Steven Shakespeare, Prayers for an Inclusive Church)

Prayer to conclude prayers for others
God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit
upon your Church in the burning fire of your love: 
grant that your people may be fervent 
in the fellowship of the gospel
that, always abiding in you,
they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen. 

Prayer after prayers for others leading into the Lord’s Prayer
Merciful God, accept these prayers, 
for the sake of your Son Jesus,
who taught us to pray…. (Lord’s Prayer)

Benediction
May your tongue tingle with the good news.
May your heart open to all the people of the street.
And, when you are bent over by sorrow,
walking masked in a lonely or dangerous or over-busy day
may you find the Spirit’s feather on the ground
waiting there to give you hope. Amen
(Source: Maren Tirabassi, Gifts in open hands)

MUSIC
A Pentecost Hymn for COVID-19: Gracious God, We Will Not Gather
BEACH SPRING 8.7.8.7 D (“God Whose Giving Knows No Ending”)
This hymn was requested by Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, Resident Bishop of the Boston Area of the United Methodist Church. It is inspired by a prayer he wrote for Pentecost, 2020. Words and music: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette

Gracious God, we will not gather, side by side, this Pentecost.
How we long to be together, crowded close, beneath the cross!
Still we join our hearts with others, trusting in your love and grace.
We are here – your sons and daughters – praising you in every place.

In our houses and apartments, in the rooms where people stay,
in the midst of this pandemic, God, we worship, sing and pray.
People from each land and nation, in each language that we use,
grieve the need for separation, yet, united, share Good News.

As we’re distant from each other in the midst of so much fear,
may your churches all remember: By your Spirit, you are here!
Long ago, the wind came blowing; flames of love and boldness spread.
Soon the church went out proclaiming: “Christ is risen from the dead!”

Peter preached what Joel had promised: In the most uncertain times,
you give dreams and visions to us; you send great and wondrous signs!
By your Spirit, give us courage! May your Church unite to be
bearers of your Good News message to your world community.

Biblical reference: Acts 2:1-21
Tune: The Sacred Harp, 1844; attributed to Benjamin Franklin White
Alternate tune: BEECHER (“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”)
Text: Copyright © 2020 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.

Email: carolynshymns@gmail.com New Hymns: www.carolynshymns.com
Carolyn has given permission to use for worship; please acknowledge the source.

Holy Spirit, living breath of God
(Sample of music here V.2)
Holy Spirit, living Breath of God,
Breathe new life into my willing soul.
Bring the presence of the risen Lord
To renew my heart and make me whole.
Cause your Word to come alive in me;
Give me faith for what I cannot see;
Give me passion for your purity.
Holy Spirit, breathe new life in me.

Holy Spirit, come abide within;
May your joy be seen in all I do –
Love enough to cover ev’ry sin
In each thought and deed and attitude,
Kindness to the greatest and the least,
Gentleness that sows the path of peace.
Turn my striving into works of grace.
Breath of God, show Christ in all I do.

Holy Spirit, from creation’s birth,
Giving life to all that God has made,
Show your power once again on earth;
Cause your church to hunger for your ways.
Let the fragrance of our prayers arise.
Lead us on the road of sacrifice
That in unity the face of Christ
Will be clear for all the world to see.
(Words and music by Keith Getty and Stuart Townsend)

John Stuart for Pentecost
‘Peace Prayer – in a time of conflict and tragedy, we need to pray for peace’

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon) in placement at Pilgrim Uniting Church, in Adelaide CBD (12 Flinders St). This blog is mainly to resource worship planners for our services, but of course may be useful for others. We have some great writers of music, words for hymns and liturgy at Pilgrim, so this blog also includes their words.
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