Worship Materials: Pentecost

From the Festive Worship collection

THEME         The Festival of Empowerment

THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION

  1. The fire from above like the image of the halo or aura is an outward manifestation that springs from the strangely warmed heart, the heart that has experienced Christ’s liberation.
  2. Fire in the mind can birth new dreams, fire in the heart can birth new relationships, fire in the gut can birth new worlds.
  3. People are empowered through waiting together and sharing their hopes and fears.
  4. Community is the seedbed for empowering hope.
  5. The Holy Spirit is not a spirit that has to invade us but one that is already present in our depths.
  6. Pentecost is the language that unites rather than that of the competitive acquisitiveness of the Tower of Babel.
  7. Pentecost- the inclusive pluralism.
  8. When the fire from within is linked with the fire from without the whole world is set alight.
  9. If holy is taken to mean preoccupation with ethical purity at the expense of wholeness then the Spirit is not holy. But if holy is taken to mean wholeness, lightness, wonder, compassion and grace which flower in ethical purity then the Spirit truly is most Holy.
  10. The sin against the Holy Spirit may well be our attempts to deny the reality of the process because of our fear of its outcome since faith involves trusting the process.

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

Welcome to this celebration of the Day of Pentecost, the feast that affirms the possibility of each person becoming liberated and empowered, each person being filled with the spirit of God, the spirit of life and love, justice and healing, peace and delight.

 

PRAYERS

1.  Spirit of life and wholeness
who touches us both in the inner silence
and in the pain of the world fill our minds with wonder
our hearts with compassion and our whole being with fire
that our worship may enlighten, empower and transform us
in the manner of Jesus Christ.

 

2.  O God who comes as the disturbing comforter,
shattering the rigid preconceptions of our minds and hearts,
give us the grace to welcome your coming,
to trust beyond where we can see,
to have hope in the midst of chaos,
to learn from our mistakes,
to accept your forgiveness
and to walk steadfastly in the way of Gospel gladness.

 

  1. LEADER:

Let us give thanks for every experience

of letting go which has enabled us to grow.

For letting go of power and possessions,

of the need to always be right,

of the fanatical pursuit of perfection,

of destructive competitiveness,

of religious views that deny the reality

of other people’s spirituality,

of the false morality that artificially

divides the world into good and bad people.

 

All: In the letting go we find life,

for deeper than the striving is the flowing,

deeper than the searching is the knowing,

and deeper than the grieving is the mystery

in which darkness and light are one.

 

LEADER:

Let us pray for all who are afraid of

other world religions,

other political and economic systems,

other cultures,

other personality types,

for all who cannot cope with change,

disorder, chaos or death,

for all who are unwilling to forgive others

for the unjust hurts which they have received.

 

All: In the letting go we find life,

for deeper than the striving is the flowing,

deeper than the searching is the knowing,

and deeper than the grieving is the mystery

in which darkness and light are one.

 

LEADER:

O God, help us to move into that deep space within our spirit where all divisions, antagonisms, insecurities and fears disappear and where in the wonder of eternal love we know that everything belongs together, that all life is holy and that you, O God, are completely and utterly to be trusted. For in the letting go we find life.

 

HYMNS

Spirit of all freedom. (BL)

Spirit’s golden fire. (BL)

As wind that dances.(BL)

Deep in the human heart.(BL)

Holy Spirit as you speak. (BL)

 

Rise O my heart.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

God gives the song.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

 

On the day of Pentecost.(STS1)

God the sacred cosmic life-blood. (STS1)

Out of the stillness. (STS1)

If my heart grows icy cold. (STS2)

Be like young children. (STS2)

Spirit felt in raging waters. (STS2)

Singing the Sacred Vol 1 2011, Vol 2 2014 World Library Publications

 

SONG FOR TEENS

The energy of God (SYSJ)

 

RESPONSES AND CHANTS

In the letting go. (BL)

 

Wild wind of the Holy Spirit.

http://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

Out of the stillness. (STS1)

Singing the Sacred Vol 1 2011. World Library Publications

 

BENEDICTION

And now may we each know the spirit of God within us

and throughout the world that this day may be for us

an experience of heaven,

of stillness within the busyness,

of hope within the pain,

of peace beyond our anxieties,

and a quality of life that is not limited to the competitive or the mechanical.

May this day be a spirited day for us all.

 

FOCUS FOR ACTION

  1. Do the groups I belong to increase or decrease my sense of being empowered?
  2. What techniques can I use to change a group which is disempowering?
  3. What inner resource can I use to transform the negative impact which some people have upon me?
  4. Should I continue in that situation or should I withdraw?  Is that what Jesus meant when he said, ‘Do not cast your pearls before swine’. (Matt. 7/6) which may be paraphrased “Do not allow those with negative energy to sap you of your positive energy.”

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Text and image © William Livingstone Wallace but available for free use.

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