The assigned scripture readings for this Pentecost Sunday are Acts 2:1-21, Psalm 104:24-34, 35b, Romans 8:22-27 and John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15.
Acts 2:1-21 The Message
1 When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force - no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. 3 Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, 4 and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them. 5 There were many Jews staying in Jerusalem just then, devout pilgrims from all over the world. 6 When they heard the sound, they came on the run. Then when they heard, one after another, their own mother tongues being spoken, they were thunderstruck. 7 They couldn't for the life of them figure out what was going on, and kept saying, "Aren't these all Galileans? 8 How come we're hearing them talk in our various mother tongues? 9 Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; Visitors from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene; 11 both Jews and proselytes; Even Cretans and Arabs! "They're speaking our languages, describing God's mighty works!" 12 Their heads were spinning; they couldn't make head or tail of any of it. They talked back and forth, confused: "What's going on here?" 13 Others joked, "They're drunk on cheap wine." 14 That's when Peter stood up and, backed by the other eleven, spoke out with bold urgency: "Fellow Jews, all of you who are visiting Jerusalem, listen carefully and get this story straight. 15 These people aren't drunk as some of you suspect. They haven't had time to get drunk - it's only nine o'clock in the morning.
16 This is what the prophet Joel announced would happen: 17 "In the Last Days," God says, "I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people: Your sons will prophesy, also your daughters; Your young men will see visions, your old men dream dreams. 18 When the time comes, I'll pour out my Spirit On those who serve me, men and women both, and they'll prophesy.
19 I'll set wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below, Blood and fire and billowing smoke, 20 the sun turning black and the moon blood-red, Before the Day of the Lord arrives, the Day tremendous and marvelous; 21 And whoever calls out for help to me, God, will be saved."
A Pentecost Prayer of Confession
“Awesome and disturbing God, you breathed life into us, and each day you fill us with the power of your Spirit. We are given your courage and yet act with caution and timidity. We know your intentions for justice, yet too often keep silent or yield to the complexity of issues and do nothing. We are over-whelmed with your love, yet are hesitant to mention your name to another. We have been forgiven much, yet we harbor old resentments, hold on to past hurts and turn away from reconciliation.
Wondrous God, restore us to clear thinking, give us compassionate hearts, and lead us to bold actions. Let your forgiving love cleanse fear and timidity from us. Set us on your path with your Spirit in our minds. In the name of Jesus. Amen.”
A Pentecost Prayer
“Holy Breath, Holy Spirit, you who move so lightly on wave and wind, you who can be as mighty as a hurricane, as strong as a tornado, as quiet as breath, draw near. Give us light. Give us hope. Give us spirit. Let us be strong and tender, simultaneously, even as you are. Let us be fierce in defending the gospel and humble in our understanding of its completeness.
Let us join your disciples in awe and wonder, and let us become the kind of people they were - real, awed, full and capable, despite weakness, of great witness.
When we lose our way, guide us. When we are winded, invigorate us. When we go too far on too little, befriend us. Never let us be far from our source in you. Amen.”
Prayers for Beth Green as she recovers from her fall.