On the fiftieth day of Easter we celebrate the Spirit, through whom and in whom the people of God are created and re-created. Pentecost is sometimes called the church’s birthday, but might more appropriately be called its baptism day, since the gift of the Spirit is the fullness of baptism. Ezekiel’s vision shows the Spirit resurrecting and re-creating not just individuals but a whole people. Romans makes it clear that God is in the process of re-creating the entire cosmos; yet the Spirit is also at work in the most intimate and personal way, praying in us “with sighs too deep for words” when we do not know how to pray.
Click on either the picture above or the following link to access the May 23, 2021 Live-Stream Worship Service:
The Lessons: (Link to the Readings)
First Reading: Acts 2:1-21 (or Ezekiel 37:1-14)
Acts Reading: Originally Pentecost was a Jewish thanksgiving-type festival celebrated seven weeks after Passover. On this particular Pentecost, however, the Holy Spirit is poured out upon the entire community of believers just as Jesus had promised and the scriptures had prophesied. Empowered by the Spirit, the entire community bears witness to God’s activity in multiple languages.
Ezekiel Reading: Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones is a promise that Israel as a nation, though dead in exile, will live again in their land through God’s life-giving spirit. Three times Israel is assured that through this vision they will know that “I am the Lord.”
Psalm: Psalm 104:24-24,35b
Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth. (Ps. 104:30)
Second Reading: Romans 8:22-27
By pouring the Holy Spirit into our hearts, God gives us the promised first fruit of eternal life so that we await God’s future in hope. In the meantime, the Spirit also intercedes for us by carrying the prayers of our weak human hearts to God.
Gospel: John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
When speaking to his disciples before his death, Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as “the Helper” and described the difference the Spirit would make in their lives and in the world.
Mighty God, you breathe life into our bones, and your Spirit brings truth to the world. Send us this Spirit, transform us by your truth, and give us language to proclaim your gospel, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.