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On Prayer and Pentecost

When prayers in Jesus’s name go unanswered, and when unrelenting “knocking on heaven’s door” produces no result – even when bargains are offered (“I’ll stop smoking”) – instead of confronting the possibility that God is not going to intervene, the failure is treated as a “test of faith” that “God has a better plan for me.” But the transformation of human thought is far more powerful than petitions to a discredited god. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit, first given by John’s Jesus, descends in tongues of flames on the Christian community gathered in Jerusalem. They are empowered to tell the story of Jesus in every language of the known world. Peter quotes the prophet Joel, that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Paul proclaims, “For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” The imagery of fire represents the outpouring of the presence of sacred being and of creative power. No magic is required.

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Jesus’ Prayer Promise in John 14:13-14: In What Sense Is It True?

In John’s Gospel, Jesus says to his disciples, “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it” (John 14:13-14).
I’m sure most reading this recognize that this is not some universal blanket promise. So we have to ask, “On what level is this true?” Or, “Is it true on any level?”

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Topics: Spiritual Exploration & Practice. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus. Seasons & Special Events: Pentecost. Ages: All Ages. Texts: John. Resource Types: Articles.

Eucharistic Prayer on Pentecost

Presider: God be with you
People: And also with you
Presider: Open your hearts
People: We open our hearts to God

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Topics: Prayer and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: Pentecost. Rituals: Communion. Resource Types: Ceremony, Full Service Liturgies, and Prayers.

Long Years Ago

Tune: How Great Thou Art

Long years ago the promised Holy Spirit
With wind and flame, in resurrection might
Inspired true love, compassion rich within it,
And now as then rekindles vision’s light.

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Topics: Arts and Music and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: Pentecost. Resource Types: Hymns.

A Parable

The kingdom of God is like the leader of a mainline religious institution who needed to hire new clergy to minister to his congregations.

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Hungry for Peace: How You Can Help End Poverty and War with Food Not Bombs

The de facto how-to manual of the international Food Not Bombs movement, which provides free food to the homeless and hungry and has branches in countries on every continent except Antarctica, this book describes at length how to set up and operate a Food Not Bombs chapter. The guide considers every aspect of the operation, from food collection and distribution to fund-raising, consensus decision making, and what to do when the police arrive. It contains detailed information on setting up a kitchen and cooking for large groups as well as a variety of delicious recipes. Accompanying numerous photographs is a lengthy section on the history of Food Not Bombs, with stories of the jailing and murder of activists, as well as premade handbills and flyers ready for photocopying.

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Food for Life

Food for Life draws on L. Shannon Jung’s gifts as theologian, ethicist, pastor, and eater extraordinaire. In this deeply thoughtful but very lively book, he encourages us to see our humdrum habits of eating and drinking as a spiritual practice that can renew and transform us and our world. In a fascinating sequence that takes us from the personal to the global, Jung establishes the religious meaning of eating and shows how it dictates a healthy order of eating. He exposes Christians’ complicity in the face of widespread eating disorders we experience personally, culturally, and globally, and he argues that these disorders can be reversed through faith, Christian practices, attention to habitual activities like cooking and gardening, the church’s ministry, and transforming our cultural policies about food.

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Creator God of Many Names

Creator God of many names, Give us your widest view;
We seek your Spirit none can tame, Your visions bright and new.

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Topics: Arts and Music and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons and Pentecost. Resource Types: Hymns.

Responsive Reading

Leader: The presence of God is surely in this place.
People: The presence of God is everywhere.

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Topics: Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 3: Inclusive Community and Point 8: Compassion and Selfless Love. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons and Pentecost. Prayers: Call to Worship and Invocation. Resource Types: Prayers and Readings.

Pentecost Doxology

Sung to the traditional tune

Praise God whose breath fills all the earth
Whose love reveals our sacred worth

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Topics: Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: Pentecost. Resource Types: Hymns.

Theology from Exile: Commentary on the Revised Common Lectionary for an Emerging Christianity: The Year of Luke

The Year of Luke is the first in a series of commentaries on biblical scripture found in the three-year cycle of Christian liturgical readings of the Revised Common Lectionary. Instead of interpreting these readings as a precursor …

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