When Once-Slaves Prophesy
Here are worship materials for Pentecost Sunday. If you'd like to recite the liturgy and listen to the scripture and preaching, click here. You can stream or download.
Call to Worship 1 Corinthians 12 Adapted
One: We gather for worship by the power of the Holy Spirit.
All: We gather as the church in the communion of the Holy Spirit.
One: No one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says,
“Let Jesus be cursed!”
All: And no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.
One: Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.
All: There are varieties of services, but the same Lord.
One: There are varieties of activities,
All: but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.
One: To each is given the manifestation
of the Spirit for the common good.
All: To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom.
One: To another the utterance of knowledge
according to the same Spirit—
All: To another faith by the same Spirit—
One: To another gifts of healing by the one Spirit—
All: To another the working of miracles—
One: To another prophecy—
All: to another the discernment of spirits—
One: to another various kinds of tongues—
All: to another the interpretation of tongues.
One: All these are activated by one and the same Spirit,
All: who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
One: For just as the body is one and has many members—
All: and all the members of the body, though many, are one body—
One: so it is with Christ.
All: For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—
One: Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—
All: and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
One: So it is by this Holy Spirit that we greet one another,
“The peace of the Lord be with you.”
All: And also with you.
One: Let us pray.
Prayer of Invocation (in unison)
Living God, on this Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate your coming to us as Holy Spirit, by which the church is born and by which each of us is filled with the breath of life, wisdom, and peace. In sending this Spirit forth into the world, you have granted us a wild diversity of gifts, such that when we gather as one body, we are evermore enriched; you have also granted us a wild cacophony of truth, every part and particle of this creation a contribution to the building up of truth.
It's easier to imagine truth as something straight and clear. It’s easier to live in a world where authority is exactly where it purports to be and nowhere else, where what’s to be accepted as authority presents itself, obvious, unmistakable. And so there have been times when we’ve
built up such systems: clean lines, clear instructions, commonly held expectations.
Your spirit remains with us.
Help us to trust that your Holy Spirit is as ever with us. Help us to sense its presence, to discern its will, to abide by its truth, and to be filled by its insistence that in justice there is peace.
We live amidst trying times. Anxiety pervades. Injustice persists, cutting lives to the quick. Unwellness threatens, so inequality doubles down. Unemployment grows. Violence breaks out and chaos takes hold and people who mean to do what’s right clash and come to blows.
Save us, God, from these terrors. Fill us with your manifest presence. Move us toward your
promised reign. Free us from oppression, whether we wield it or we suffer it. Free us from racism whether it exalts us as supreme or denigrates us as but some fraction of a person. Enough. Away with that. Come, Holy Spirit, come.