Lectionary (Year B): Acts 2:1-21 or Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 104:24-34, 35b; Romans 8:22-27 or Acts 2:1-21; John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15
Theme: “Where is God When We Suffer?”
Message: Pentecost reminds us that God comes to the world of pain and suffering and brings the power that Christ promised would follow His departure (John 15). It is not only the power to enlighten and bring salvation to the whole world, but it is also the quiet, abiding power that comforts and sustains the people of God in the time of suffering and pain.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)
- Suffering gives us a realistic perspective on life and living.
- The Spirit helps us move from the cause of suffering to our response to it.
Quote(s): “Everything will work out in the end. So, if things are not working out, it is not the end.” Dev Patel, as Sonny Kapoor in the film, “The Best, Exotic Marigold Hotel”
Film, other visual aids:
“The Best, Exotic Marigold Hotel”
Music: “If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee,” “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah,” “Spirit of the Living God,” “Where the Spirit of the Lord is,” “Blessed Quietness,” “Santo Espiritu, excelsa paloma/Holy Spirit, from Heaven Descended”
We have come with various agendas and motives.
Some of us are here because it has been a family tradition—
a good tradition, but nevertheless a tradition.
Some of us have come out of a sense of deep personal need—
A need triggered by family tension, or illness, or other problems.
Some of us are here because we need to be forgiven—
Perhaps we have a hidden guilt that begs to be wiped clean.
Whatever our need, and whatever our motive,
We ask that you will supply that need with your goodness and grace,
Through the power of your Holy Spirit, whose ministry we celebrate today.
On this Pentecost Sunday we raise a special prayer that the Holy Spirit will be upon the church—our church here and the church around the world.
We pray for the Holy Spirit to help us to become more and more a devoted church, committed to Jesus Christ not only as Savior but also as Lord—a Lord whom we both worship and serve.
We pray for the Holy Spirit to help us to become more and more a praying church—a church that stays in communication with you, a church that shares with you its needs and its joys, a church that walks with you and feels comfortable as your people.
We pray for the Holy Spirit to help us to become more and more a church committed to others, a church that readily accepts those who are different than we are, a church that reaches out a hand to lift up, a church that reaches out in friendship, a church that reaches out to heal.
We pray for the Holy Spirit to help us to become more and more a growing church, a church that gives visible evidence of the Spirit’s transforming power, a church that is winsome and effective in the way it communicates the good news of Jesus Christ.
As we contribute our gifts this morning, we remember the words of Jesus, “You will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16)
Receive these gifts, we pray, as one evidence of the fruits of the Spirit, for they reflect the activity of the divine in our lives.
Remember God’s promise, that hope will not disappoint you, because God’s love has been poured into your hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. (Adapted from Romans 5:5)
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