Pentecost is coming - we celebrate it every year. The third great holiday - HOLY DAY - of the church. And many people do not realize how important it is. Or can be.
Pentecost is the "birthday of the church" and it is the remembrance of the gift of the Holy Spirit that came upon the people like "tongues of fire". Peter preached that day and 3000 people were baptized.
I find personally that the Holy spirit becomes more real to me every year. It is God within me and God around me. And it is like wind and fire giving energy and power and sometimes, even, scary when it comes upon us. But not too often because I think we mostly block it.
Today I am doing the opening worship at a meeting and using this litany which was written by Joyce Rupp. Before I share it, I will have us sing "Spirit of the Living God" and hear not only some of the passage from Acts but also what Jesus says in Luke 11
Reading Luke 11: 9-13
So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
The spirit like everything with God is a gift but we also can ask for it. Here is the Litany
The Energies of the Spirit of God (from May I Have This Dance? J. Rupp)
When we come face to face with the challenge of self giving, when we are asked to go the extra mile, to take the risk of reaching out to another, to offer forgiveness to the heart that rejects us…….
Spirit of God, fill us with the energy of your love.
When our world seems bleak, when we walk with sadness written on our soul, when we have days in which everything goes wrong….
Spirit of God, stir the energy of your joy within us.
When anxiety and concern take over our spirit, when restlessness or boredom holds sway over us, when our world cries out in distress and turmoil…..
Spirit of God, deepen in us the energy of your peace.
On those days when we hurry too much, during those times when our anger flares because our agendas aren’t me, when we stop giving people our understanding and acceptance…
. Spirit of God, draw us toward the energy of your patience
When someone needs a simple gesture of thoughtfulness, when a look of love is all another asks from us, when a good word could take the sting out of the gossip of foes….
Spirit of God, create in us the energy of your kindness.
As we face the shadow of our inner world or peer into the darkness of our outer world, as we struggle to believe in our own gifts and blessings…
Spirit of God, strengthen in us the energy of your goodness.
In those difficult times when fear threatens to drown our trust in you, during those experiences of growth when we are tempted to doubt all the ways we have known you….
Spirit of God, renew in us the energy of trusting in you.
When harshness or abruptness dominates our moods, when we feel challenged by the power of another, when we use the things of this good earth…..
Spirit of God, bless us with the energy of your gentleness.
As we walk the edges of life and death, as we struggle with the disciplines of spiritual growth, as we yearn to be faithful amid the many changes of inner and outer growth…
. Spirit of God, fill us with the energy of your love.
My prayer is that we continue to ask God and receive the energy of his love - his Holy, life giving Spirit.
May we experience Pentecost! YES!