Pentecost Sunday
May 31, 2020
 
Before settling down for worship, gather a piece of bread plus your wine (or wine substitute) and make them ready.
 
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
Amen.
 
Collect Prayer
 
God our creator and redeemer, the resurrection of your Son offers life to all the peoples of Earth. By your Holy Spirit, kindle in us the fire of your love, empowering our lives for service and our tongues for praise, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
 
Psalm 104: 24-34
 
O Lord, how manifold are your works!
   in wisdom you have made them all;
  the earth is full of your creatures.
Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
  creeping things innumerable are there,
  living things both small and great.
There go the ships,
  and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.
These all look to you
  to give them their food in due season;
when you give to them, they gather it up;
  when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
  when you take away their breath, they die
  and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created;
  and you renew the face of the ground.
May the glory of the Lord endure
forever;
  may the Lord rejoice
in his works—
who looks on the earth and it trembles,
  who touches the mountains and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord as
long as I live;
  I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
  for I rejoice in the Lord.
 
1st Reading: Acts 2:1-21
 
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
 
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was  bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’
 
But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

“In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
  and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
  and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
  in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
    and they shall prophesy.
And I will show portents in the heaven above
  and signs on the earth below,
    blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
The sun shall be turned to darkness
  and the moon to blood,
    before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
 
2nd Reading: Galatians 5:22-23a
 
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
 
3rd Reading: John 20:19-23
 
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for  fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’”
 
Sermon
 
On the Festival of Pentecost, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ followers.            
 
The Holy Spirit as three jobs. Each requires so much attention, that I doubt if the Holy Spirit will ever become unemployed.            
 
The first job is to unite the Father and the Son in love. The Holy Spirit is the power of love that binds together what is separated,  even estranged. The Son had differentiated himself from the Father at creation. And as Jesus, the Son of God may even have felt a certain level of estrangement. When suffering on the cross Jesus cried out, (Mark 15:34)  "’Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" In the power of the Holy Spirit, the Father and Son are bound together under all conditions, even suffering and death.          
 
As the power of love that unites, the Holy Spirit is working continually to bind together all the grown-ups and grandparents and children in and around Cross and Crown into a single community. Just as God the Father and God the Son are bound to one another in love, the Holy Spirit works tirelessly to bind us together in love as well.            
 
The second job is to make the resurrected Christ present to you in me in faith. The Holy Spirit places the Easter Jesus within our heart, within our spirit. In some sense, the Spirit of Christ joins or even replaces the spirit that we had known at birth. Because Christ is present in our very faith, we are gifted by the Holy Spirit with our life in Christ, and Christ in our life. The Holy Spirit is able to over come time and space, making the Easter Christ of yesterday and the future Christ of salvation present right now, in our faith.         
 
We are justified by faith, Lutherans like to say. Why? Because Christ is actually present in our faith, making each of us a child of God just as Jesus is. That’s why we can connect grace and forgiveness and healing and resurrection and such with our faith. We’ve got the Holy Spirit to thank for all of this.            
 
The third job is to empower us. The Holy Spirit is like a spiritual wall socket. We only need to plug in, and the Holy Spirit delivers to each of us electrifying power to transform, to renew, to grow in holiness. In Galatians 5:22, St. Paul announces: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” If you’d like to grow in holiness and embody these virtues, then pray. In your prayer, ask the Holy Spirit to give you one or more or even all of these fruits.Let me alert you: the Holy Spirit does not deliver as fast as Amazon via UPS. Fruits ripen into virtues only over a bit of time. Holiness grows. So, you’ll quickly see your life start to grow and then pick up speed over time. The Holy Spirit offers more spiritual horsepower than Harley Davison offers a motorcycle.            
 
Pentecost is a special festival day for celebrating the coming of God’s Holy Spirit. I wonder if the Holy Spirit could inspire us to be thankful today. And every day.
 
Prayers of Intercession
 
Mighty God, you breathe life into our bones, and your Spirit brings truth to the world. Send us this Spirit, transform us by your truth, and give us language to proclaim your gospel, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.
 
O God, you breathe life into our bodies and eternal life into our spirits:  in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
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We pray, O God, for all those who worship you this day, either from home or together in churches. Keep us bound together in community, in mutual care and compassion. Strengthen us for faithful endurance during this time of sorrow and distress. O God, you are our Temple: in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
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We pray, O God, for the well-being of creation: for the health of seas and rivers and lakes; and for the will to care for your earth. O God, you are our Rainbow of promise: in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
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We pray, O God, for peace and justice in the world: for an end to war and international turmoil; for concord in our troubled society; for the heads of state, legislators, and local civic leaders, that they enact wise procedures to deal with the coronavirus. O God, you are our Mighty Fortress: in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
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We pray, O God for all who are facing the coronavirus:for all who mourn their dead; all who have contracted the virus; those who are quarantined or stranded away from home; those who have lost their employment; those who fear the present and the future. We pray for physicians, nurses, and home health aides; medical researchers; and the World Health Organization. Fill the aching in our hearts with your merciful power. O God, you are our Everlasting Arms: in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
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We pray, O God, for all in need:
for those suffering for the faith;
for those who are poor, hungry, and homeless;
for those who are sick and those awaiting death;
and for those we name before you here.
O God, you are the Healer of our every ill: in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
---------- ----
Receive our thanks for all who died in the faith and bring us at the final resurrection into your everlasting life, where sorrows will be no more. Into your gracious and mighty hands, O God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, through your Son Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Amen
 
Holy Communion
 
Pastor Ted will be consecrating the congregational sacramental moment online for those who have computer access. If you do not have computer access, then when you are ready read silently the Words of Institution holding one hand on the wine and the other on the communion wafer. Recite the Lord’s Prayer out loud following.
 
Words of Institution
 
In the night in which he was betrayed, Our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;
Broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying
Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.’
Do this for the remembrance of me.
 
Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,
And gave it for all to drink, saying:
This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
Shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.
Do this for the remembrance of me.
 
Lord’s Prayer
 
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil,
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever.
Amen.
 
 
At this time, munch the communion wafer and follow it with one sip of the wine (or grape juice). Pause silently for a moment of  thanksgiving.
 
May the body of our Lord Jesus Christ and his holy and precious blood abide with you now and forever.
Amen.
 
Post-Communion Prayer
 
Eternal giver of life and light, this Pentecost festival shines with the radiance of the risen Christ. Renew your church with the Spirit given us in baptism, that we may worship you in sincerity and truth and may shine as a light in the world, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
 
Benediction
 
Almighty God, Father, + Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us now and forever.
Amen.