Worship Elements: May 31, 2020

April 17th, 2020

Pentecost Sunday

SCRIPTURE READINGS: Acts 2:1-21; Psalm 104:24-34, 35b; 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13; John 7:37-39


Wind, fire, surprise, cacophony of languages, promises fulfilled, dreams, visions, gifts given and received, and most of all the Spirit—these are all parts of what make up the Pentecost experience, not only for the first-century church, but for us as well. We need to help folks experience these feelings with an intensity that may have been lost through familiarity. Let the rush of the mighty wind be felt, the flames seen, and the visions and dreams happen as we celebrate the gift of the Spirit in our midst.


Call to Worship
Listen, can you hear the wind?
Come, Holy Spirit; come!
Look, can you see the dancing flames?
Come, Holy Spirit; come!
Can you hear the message
in a language you can understand?
Come, Holy Spirit; come!
Do you see the visions?
Can you dream the dreams?
Come, Holy Spirit; come!
Come let Pentecost become real in our lives this morning.
Come and worship our God who sends the Spirit
to touch us and transform us into Pentecost people.

Opening Prayer
Spirit of God,
we long to be open to your presence
in our church and in our lives.
Fill us with your wind and fire,
that we might be enlivened again.
Help us hear the words
as if for the first time,
that they might touch us anew.
Give us visions and dreams
of what you long for in your creation,
that we might begin to live them into reality.
Come, Spirit;
come into our worship,
into our church,
into our very selves. Amen.


Prayer of Confession
O God, giver of the Spirit,
we sit surrounded by red
and hear the amazing story of Pentecost this morning.
But we've heard it so many times before.
It is so familiar;
we've ceased to be amazed and surprised
or filled with excitement.
Forgive us for our complacency. Blow us out of our complacency.
Let the flames of passion dance in our lives.
Inspire us with visions and dreams.
Help us appreciate each gift you give us.
Help us be truly Pentecost People.

Words of Assurance
God has promised to send us the Spirit,
that we might know fully
God's presence in the world
and in our lives.
Know that the Spirit of forgiveness and understanding
flows over us this day and always.

Passing the Peace of Christ
Look around at all this wonderful red.
It symbolizes the passion of the Spirit in our lives
and in the church.
Greet each other with that same passion and joy
and celebrate that you are all here
this joyous Spirit-filled morning.

Invitation to the Word/Sermon
O God,
open our hearts and minds and souls
to hear your word as if for the first time.
Help us experience anew
the surprise and joy that your presence in the word
can bring us.

Response to the Word/Sermon
Hear what the Spirit is saying to God's Pentecost people.
Thanks be to God for this word of wonder
and delight.


Prayers of the People
For the gift of your Spirit in our lives and in our church
we give you thanks.
For the gifts you give to each of us
to create your beloved community here on earth . . . .
we give you thanks.
For all of creation, that it may be honored and preserved
and protected . . . .
we give you thanks.
For the leaders of our nation and all nations of the world,
that they might be guided with wisdom and
understanding and committed to act in ways that bring
your presence and peace . . . .
come, Holy Spirit; come.
For all places where there are wars and rumors of wars,
for those places where hunger gnaws,
for those places ruled by oppression and injustice,
for those places where hatred overcomes love . . . .
come, Spirit; come.
Where dreams have died and visions are squelched
renew their spirits with your passionate fire . . . .
come, Spirit; come.
For all who are ill, whether in body, mind, or spirit;
for all who mourn, whether for the loss of loved ones,
the loss of a job, or even the loss of faith,
fill them with your Spirit of compassion and strength
and healing, that they might know they are never alone.
Spirit, make us Pentecost people who reach out
in love and caring.

For all that you have given and will yet give,
we give you thanks.
May we always be open to your Spirit. Amen.

Invitation to the Offering
Pentecost people!
We have received gifts too numerous to count.
Now we have a chance to give in thanks and joy.
Your offering will enable this church
to be a Pentecost presence in this community
and the world—
to reach out in passionate commitment
and bring the wind and fire of the Spirit
to a people and a world that so desperately need it.

Offering Prayer
For all you have given, for all we have received,
we give you thanks.
We bring before you our gifts of substance
and the gift of our lives.
We bring our passion and joy and surprise,
our visions and dreams.
May they refresh and enliven our church and community,
as the wind of your Spirit did long ago.


Go forth now as Pentecost people,
filled with the Spirit, dreaming dreams,
and seeing visions of God's possibilities.
We go forth, knowing we are beloved and blessed
by a God who never leaves us alone.

Go, to be surprised by the Spirit in all that you do
and everywhere that you go.
We go, claiming our identity as Pentecost people—
people of wind and fire, dreams and visions,
people filled with that most amazing
and transforming Spirit. Amen.


Contemporary Gathering Words
Wow! Rushing wind, dancing flames,
dreams and visions, everyone wearing red—
it must be Pentecost!
Come and expect the unexpected.
Come and be surprised by our awesome God
and that wonderful, transforming Spirit!

Praise Sentences
Give thanks for all of God's great gifts!
Praise God for the gift of the Spirit!
Come and be transformed by wind and fire,
by dreams and visions.

Adapted from The Abingdon Worship Annual © Abingdon Press. Used with permission.

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