May 23, 2021
Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving
This is a great day to use visual cues for telling the story of Pentecost. Invite everyone to dress in red, fill the sanctuary with candle light, have a fan ready to blow crepe paper streamers, provide each person with a battery-powered candle…
Call to Worship (from Acts 2)
One: Like the disciples long ago, we’re gathered – in person or in cyber-
Many: Listen! God’s Spirit comes!
One: Like the rush of the wind? Like a still, small voice?
Many: The Spirit pours out!
One: God’s Spirit flows among us, energizing and engaging,
Many: so we raise our voices to praise the living God!
Holy Spirit, on this day of Pentecost, we rejoice in your presence!
Pour out your power once more on each and on all.
Call to the depths of our lives, luring us into a season of dreaming dreams,
and seeing the vision of all you desire for this congregation.
Breathe into us the abundance of resurrection life,
so we might call on the name of the Lord and be saved! AMEN
Moment for Stewardship (from Romans 8:20-23)
Paul wrote to the Romans “the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains”. That includes US! This image of impending birth of a whole new creation might frighten or unsettle us, but every time we see someone living in freedom (“the freedom of the glory of the children of God”, 8:21), it’s God’s new creation embodied!
Two four-year old children were playing at one child’s home. One asked, “may I take a toy from your house to mine?”
Without even a pause, the other child responded, “Sure! What do you want?”
When the toy was identified, the owner smiled and said “you’ll love this! It’s so fun.” And the new owner responded “Yes! It’s a great toy; you can play with it when you come to my house.”
What would happen if we would respond that way to God’s invitation for each of us to offer a gift to God? When we freely make our offering, we’re claiming the glory of being a child of God.
May the Spirit inspire YOU, and ME, to act out our identity as saved and beloved children of the living God as we receive our morning tithes, gifts and offerings.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Holy God, thank you for the gift of your Spirit, blowing fresh into our lives. Thank you for these offerings; responses from people learning to claim our identity as your children. Help us use them, and continue to offer our own lives to proclaim Good News of your love to a world still groaning in labor pain. AMEN
Invitation to Communion
(Can you call to mind an “amazing and astonishing” experience you’ve had connected to the Spirit present at communion? If so, describe it and invite others to step into that or into their own like experience, as they come to the table today)
In Acts 2, we hear of a great crowd of people astonished and amazed as they heard the first disciples speaking in a multitude of languages, telling of God’s deeds of power.
When we come to this Table, preparing to receive the gifts of bread and juice, we come face-to-face with God’s deeds of power! How amazing to remember Jesus as one betrayed, whipped, and nailed to a cross.
How amazing to remember Jesus’ lifeless body placed in a borrowed tomb.
How astonishing to claim God’s deed of power, raising Jesus to new life!
In the Spirit, we’re able to see in these emblems the signs of God’s great love for Jesus and for each of us. When you have bread in your hand, take a moment to breathe in your own astonishment of “love so amazing, so divine, (which) demands our lives…our all” (paraphrased from “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”),
then, eat the bread, drink the cup, and give thanks!