Monday, May 17, 2010

Day of Pentecost - C

Texts:  Acts 2:1-21; Psalm 104:24-34, 35b; Romans 8:14-17; John 14:8-17, 25-27

Call to Worship
The Day of Pentecost is here!  God's children have gathered in this place:
we are transformed into God's family by God's Spirit joining with ours.
Come, Spirit of adoption, and open our hearts to our sisters and brothers:
Come, Holy Spirit!
Come, Spirit of peace, and calm our trembling hearts:
Come, Holy Spirit!
Come, Breath of God, and overturn our conventional lives:
Come, Holy Spirit!

Prayer of the Day
Holy God,
Keeper of promises:
you fill the empty aching of our lives
with the comfort of your presence;
you rejoice in us as your children
even when we throw temper tantrums;
you re-energize us with your grace
when we become most settled.

Jesus Christ,
Giver of peace:
we are not orphans of this world,
but claimed as your sisters and brothers;
you do not give up on us,
but give yourself for our sakes;
you show us the path to God,
when we have lost our way.

Holy Spirit,
Gentle Teacher:
you go to bat for us
when we are in a slump;
you whisper the language of faith
when we have forgotten the words;
you re-member us
when we are most fragmented.

Heart of our hearts,
Flesh of our flesh,
Spirit of our spirits:
hear us as we pray as one people, saying,
  Our Father...

Call to Reconciliation
It is easy to assume we are on our own; Jesus has left us behind to take care of things.  But if we rely only on ourselves, we quickly fall into lives that do not reflect faithfulness.  Like the first believers, we can join our voices, praying that God's Spirit will come to us, bringing grace  and hope.  Join me as we pray,

Unison Prayer of Confession
It is never easy for us to enter this time of confession, Abba God, for we have trouble believing our failures, our lives, our sins compare in any way to the evil and violence of our world.  Yet our hearts are troubled when we think of how we feast on the pain of others; we are dismayed when we remember how we turn away from those in need; we are afraid to be totally dependent on you.

Forgive us, Gracious God.  In your mercy, gather us up and embrace us with your love.  Open our hearts to receive your Spirit that we might live more faithful lives.  Fill us with the peace of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, in whose name we pray.

Silent Prayers may be offered

Assurance of Pardon
God's Spirit prays with us and for us; God's hope strengthens us in times of weakness; God's grace heals our brokenness.
God's forgiveness restores us to new life and new service.  Thanks be to God, to whom we sing our praises for ever and ever.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the Lord of Pentecost be with you!
And also with you.
People of Pentecost, lift your hearts to the Spirit moving in your midst.
We open our hearts to the Breath of God who fills us with hope and grace.
Daughters and sons of the Holy One, lift your joy to our God.
We sing the song of Pentecost in the language of every heart  -  praise and thanksgiving to our God on every tongue!

In the shadows of chaos you breathed,
Creator God,
your Spirit moving over the waters of life.
You opened your hands,
filling all creation with goodness and beauty.
You gathered up earth's dust,
shaping us in your image,
filling our lungs with Spirit's life.
But drunk on the new wine
of human arrogance and desire,
we listened to the competing voices
of evil, sin and death,
believing they alone spoke the truth.
With sighs too deep for words,
you continued to call us home,
speaking through teachers and prophets.
When we hid our faces
you looked upon us in compassion,
sending Jesus Christ to restore us to life.

And so, with your people here on earth,
with the great company of heaven,
in every language, and in every heart,
we glorify your name, praising you:

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of wondrous works.
All creation is full of your love and grace.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who sends the Advocate to us.
Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, God beginnings and endings,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, our Lord.
At his baptism,
Spirit named him your Beloved;
in the wilderness,
Spirit strengthened him to withstand
the seductive words of the Evil One;
Spirit-anointed for ministry,
Jesus sang good news to the poor,
set free those imprisoned in despair,
gave sight to the blind, fed the hungry,
blessed the little children,
and ate with sinners.
When his service of tender mercies was finished,
he went to the Cross,
suffering and dying for all humanity,
and was raised to new life,
as a promise to all your children.

As we come to this Table,
we remember his promise to always be with us.
Baptized by the Holy Spirit,
and purified in the fire of obedience,
we sing of that faith which is ours:

Christ died, crying "Abba! Father!"
Christ is risen, giving us peace.
Christ will return, glorifying God.

As Christ promised,
you have poured out your Holy Spirit
upon your daughters and sons,
and upon the gifts of this blessed Table.
As we offer our thanks to you
for the gift of the Spirit
in our lives and in the world,
may the flames of Pentecost
kindle compassion in our hearts;
may the tongues of fire
ignite our calls for justice for all people;
may the good news which is shared
in every place and in every tongue
unite us in service to others,
and to lives of faith in you.

Then, when the groaning of creation
tunrs into glad songs of praise,
and all people gather around your Table
on that great and glorious Day,
we will sing our joy to you through all eternity,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

(c) Thom M. Shuman