For Sunday May 15, 2016
Year C, Pentecost Sunday
Acts 2:1-21:: Psalm 104:24-34; 35b :: Romans 8:14-17:: John 14:8-17
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 104
L: Bless the LORD, O my soul!
P: Let all that is within me, bless the LORD!
L: O LORD, how manifold are your works;
P: In wisdom you have made all creatures.
L: They look to you to give them food;
P: When you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
L: When you send forth your spirit, they are created;
P: You renew the face of the earth.
L: May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
P: Bless the LORD, O my soul!
Pour out your Spirit O God, upon all flesh. As we have gathered in your presence, we are eager: not only to celebrate that which has happened, but to experience your spirit anew. Pour out your Spirit, and grant us your vision. Pour out your Spirit, revive us again. Pour out your Spirit, fill us with fire. Pour out your Spirit, that we may return the blessing in praise. We offer our prayers in the name of the one who Was, and Is, and Is to come.
About three thousand were added. The Pentecost story in Acts of Apostles reminds us that on that day about three thousand believers were added. Friends, that is what church is really about: baptizing new believers. Since Dick Hamm first articulated the 2020 Vision for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), about 934 new congregations have been started. Since that day, three thousand baptisms has happened about three times over. We as Disciples are in a Pentecost movement. God is doing an amazing and wonderful thing. When you make a gift to the Pentecost Special Offering, you are making a gift which says “I want to see us baptize another 3000 new believers. Your gifts will help to make that happen. Let us now receive the tithes, offerings and special gifts which make these Pentecost moments possible.
O God who makes all things possible, we come to you bearing our gifts. We bring them out of our sense of what else is possible through your Spirit. Pour out your Holy Spirit again, and bless these gifts. Use these gifts to spread your Good News, so that others may come to know the everlasting joy of life in the Spirit, which comes through belief in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
In John 14:11 Jesus says “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” And as the old saying goes “you are what you eat.” When we come to this table and eat this bread and drink this cup, we should take seriously the notion which Jesus himself instituted. We should remember that this bread is His body, and when we eat of it, we are making ourselves one with Jesus Christ. This is the food which feeds the Holy Spirit, which lives in each of us. Take, eat, and remember: you are what you eat.
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Scripture Quotations from the New Revised Standard Version. Online Scripture links a service of the Jean and Alexander Heard Divinity Library, of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN