a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession and Assurance: Chaotic Mess of Voices

Holy and Beloved God, though the world calls us in a chaotic mess of voices, your voice stands apart. Yours is the soft, still voice that speaks to our very heart of hearts. If we would pay attention to your voice, we would hear your love and concern for us – and for those whose voice is getting lost in the chaos. Help us to hear you, and through you, to hear the voices of the oppressed, the lost, the seething, and the frightened. May your voice bring justice and mercy to us and to all the world.

 

My friends, God hears your voice – whether you shout from the top of your lungs or whisper softly below your breath. God has already forgiven you for not listening – and is calling you to live this Good News through the Holy Spirit.

Praise God, who sends the Spirit of Truth and Love to the world. Amen!

 

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, Okla.

A day of holy celebration

Children of God, let us rejoice in the day of Pentecost! We give thanks to God for the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

Today is a day of holy celebration.

Siblings in Christ, we are inheritors of the work of the church- work done by apostles and preachers, disciples and teachers, lay leaders and children, followers of the Way of Jesus and their loving neighbors.

Today is a day of holy celebration.

We come to this place- perhaps not recently from Mesopotamia or Cappadocia or Phrygia and Pamphylia- but from other states, cities, and townships. We come from states of doubt, rejoicing, and curiosity, drawn here together by the Holy Spirit.

Today is a day of holy celebration.

Peter assured those who heard the many languages of the apostles that they were not drunk, but overwhelmed by the power of the Spirit.

Today is a day of holy dedication.

Those who were gathered to celebrate the giving of the law, the Torah, were awed by the fire of the Spirit, pouring forth in line with the teaching of Jesus- burning away divisions and clearing a path for unity.

Today is a day of holy dedication.

The work of the Holy Spirit always brings order out of chaos- as it did in the beginning over the face of the darkness, on the day of Pentecost, and in the church across creation today.

Today is a day of holy dedication.

The Holy Spirit has been poured out and move, unrestricted, over young and old, without regard to race, gender expression, physical or mental ability, or sexual orientation.

Today is a day of holy inspiration.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control- are not mix and match, but are planted and nourished in the words and deeds of those who have been found by grace in the Way of Jesus.

Today is a day of holy inspiration.

We give thanks, with our whole hearts, bodies, and minds, for the power and pervasive love of the Holy Spirit, which guides our prayers, preserves our faith, and leads us into path of righteousness for God’s own sake. We are awed and appreciative.

Today is a day of holy inspiration.

Thanks be to God! Amen!

Submitted by Rev Julia Seymour, Lutheran Church of Hope, Anchorage, AK

POP: on the wings of your Spirit

God of our awakening…

we have named our fears;
we have named those things
that hold us back
and keep us from moving beyond
where we are.

You have taken our fears…
our inhibitions…
and our complacencies…
and you have invited us
uninhibited…courageously…
passionately and COMpassionately
to fly on the wings of your Spirit.

We look to the sky…
we look on the streets…
we look in the alleyways…
we look in our homes…
we look to the mountains and the rivers…
the valleys and the seas…
we look into the eyes of one another…
those we know,
and those we are meeting for the first time…
we look at individuals,
we look into communities…
we look throughout your whole creation…
and we see potential.

Where there is despair…we see the potential for hope.
Where there is hunger…we see the potential for satisfaction.
Where there is war…we see the potential for peace.
Where there is prejudice…we see the potential for fellowship.
Where there is oppression…we see the potential for justice.

This list could go on…
but when we dare to look at the world through your eyes…
when we make enough room for your Spirit to enter in…
when we have the audacity
to trust your perfect vision for creation…
all there is to see is potential.

So inspire us…
in the midst of hatred and destruction,
abuse and neglect,
natural disasters and human-generated disasters…
inspire us with the stories of loving and building up,
respecting and caring,
helping and sharing and repairing…
so we may cling to your Spirit
as she leads us beyond where we are
into a way of life that reflects your goodness…

just as Jesus prayed…

OUR FATHER…

 

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

illumination: a breath of fresh air

Let the fire of your Spirit shed light on your word, O God. As we open these pages, may we find a breath of fresh air, a word for our hearts, a light for our path. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL

confession: we explain away

Call to Confession

When we come together to confess our sin, we find that the closed room of our minds and the locked door of our spirits burst open, making room for the Spirit of God to run wild. When we think we can contain God, we deceive only ourselves—the Spirit is here, and calls us to join the dance. Before God, with the people of God, let us lay down our burdens of brokenness and join what God is doing. Let us pray.

Confession

The wind blows and we hear the sound of it, but we do not know where it comes from.
We try to explain it away, but even our own breath speaks of new things we cannot understand.
We may be together in one place, but we do not speak with one voice, we do not listen with one heart.
We hear, and dismiss, your deeds of power, your call to love those who are different, your insistence that the whole world be included.
You pour out your Spirit, and we squash the vision—it is too big, too unrealistic, too uncertain, too unruly.
You send visions of a future with hope, and we look back instead.
You light the way, and we look for a fire extinguisher, trying to keep ourselves (and you!) safe.
Forgive us, O God. We long for your new life, but we do not know how to live it.

~silence~

Rush into this place again, and fill every nook and cranny with dreams and visions of possibility.
Turn our hushed whispers into proclamations of your grace, in every language of the world.
Lead us out into your future.
Amen. 


Assurance

This is the promise: “I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh—young and old, men and women, rich and poor—and all people will see.” This promise is for you, and for us. No matter who we are or where we have been, the Spirit of the Living God falls fresh, with mercies new every morning. Know that you are forgiven, and let the Spirit speak through you!
Thanks be to God. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL

CTW: come together

We come together from many places—

from north and south, from east and west, just as God calls.

We come together in one place—

piece by piece, becoming the Body of Christ.

We come together in one place—

not always understanding, not always courageous, not always ready,

and the Spirit rushes in!

Let us rejoice, and proclaim God’s power in this place!

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL

CTW: pour out your peace

In the last days, when great wonders will occur, says God,
I will pour out my spirit on all people.

On the very first Pentecost, to begin my church, says God,
I will pour out my spirit on all people.

On this Pentecost, in this very church, says God,
I will pour out my spirit on all people.

Your Spirit is here among us, O God.
May we feel the spark of her fire, the rush of her wind.

May our visions and dreams be of justice and mercy for all your creation;
May we prophesy to your vision of a new heaven and a new earth.

Remove our anxious nerves that prevent our calling out your name.
Come, Holy Spirit, come! May you pour out your peace on all your people!

 

Based on Joel 2:28 and Acts 2
Submitted by Rev. Rebecca Page Lesley, Suffolk Presbyterian Church, Suffolk, VA

illumination: stale minds and slowly-beating hearts

Spirit…

Wind…

Breath…

fill our lungs and lives with your energizing presence;

refresh our stale minds;

and stir our slowly-beating hearts;

so that we may humbly and courageously

be your breathing, gusting, good presence in the world.

Amen

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)