May 13

Pentecost Sunday (Year C)

You will likely want to look at the resources that were posted last year, since some of the readings are the same.  You can find the lectionary reflections and ideas here, and the liturgy is available here.

PentecostColorsActs 2:1-21
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • Find (or make) recordings of wind noises, and play them while you read this passage.  Or, invite the children of the church to add their own sound effects while you read the text.
  • Share a flame of the Spirit with one another during worship by holding a candlelighting service.  You could even use the same candles that you use for Christmas Eve.  Or, have a variety of candles (white or red – or any color, really) arranged on a table in your worship space.  Invite the congregation to light a candle to celebrate the gift of the Spirit in their lives.
  • You may want to experience the speaking and hearing of many languages that occurs in this passage (as well as the Genesis passage).  Consider using Google Translate or Bing Translator to do this – especially if you do not have people in your congregation who can speak other languages themselves.
  • Don’t forget to decorate your worship space with lots of red (the liturgical color for Pentecost) and other “fire”-colored elements!
  • Those who doubt what happens in this story, suggest that the disciples are drunk.  Use this as an opportunity to give thanks for groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon   If your church provides space for those groups to meet, consider doing something special for them to encourage them in their journey — perhaps providing special refreshments or some other special token to wish them well.  Be sure to talk with the leader of their group first before you do anything, to arrange for materials to be dropped off while insuring the group maintains the anonymity that is required.
Genesis 11:1-9
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • It may seem as though God is causing problems here, but it is really a blessing.  God pushes us out of the nest, making us to populate the whole earth.  Also, in confusing our languages, God makes us dependent on God and one another in a new way.  God’s action also encourages things like creativity, ingenuity, and exploration.
  • Make a tall tower in your worship space, making sure that it looks incomplete.
  • Use multiple languages in your worship service.
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • God is described as generous and the provider of all things – including the gifts of both life and death.  God’s Spirit brings about creation..
  • This psalm could be used as a prayer for illumination (before reading the other scriptures or offering the sermon).
Romans 8:14-17
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • We are welcomed into the family of God through the gift of the Spirit.  We are free thanks to this gift.
  • We are all children of God.  Offer the sermon today as a Children’s Sermon for everyone.
John 14:8-17, (25-27)
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • Jesus promises the gift of the Spirit (the Advocate).  Do we believe that God’s Spirit still comes to us today?
  • Jesus tells us that the Spirit “will teach (us) everything”.  Why is it, then, that we act as though the Spirit’s job is to tell us what we already know?  Why are we surprised (and usually scared) when the Spirit tries to teach us something new?

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