*INVITATION TO WORSHIP
Across the plains and the prairies,
Through gorges and valleys,
Over mountain peaks and through sunlit skies:
God’s Spirit is at work in the world.
In our hearts,
In our minds,
In our hands and feet,
God’s Spirit is at work in us, too.
So let us worship God.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Can you bottle a breeze? Can you blow out a forest fire? Can you help but breathe?
For those times we stifle your Spirit, O God;
For those times we ignore your whispers and shouts
For those time when we turn away from your wonders and miracles:
The breeze is loosed on the world. The fire is consumed. We breathe deeply, for indeed, we are forgiven.
INVITATION TO WORSHIP
A wind from God blew over the face of the waters,
And the voice of God spoke from a burning bush,
Jesus breathed peace on the disciples,
And the Spirit of God, like little flames, rested on all who gathered.
So God’s Spirit moves among us this day.
Let us worship God.
*INVITATION TO CONFESSION & COMMUNAL PRAYER
As we come to God in prayer, let us open ourselves to the presence of the Spirit, to bring to our souls the freshness of mercy and grace.
Holy Breath, Wind, Flame, Spirit:
Set our hearts of fire.
Burn off all that is dry and lifeless,
And grow us anew.
Let your Spirit dance within our spirits,
Uprooting us when we have been unmoved
And refreshing all that is stale in our lives.
Breathe on us your peace
That we will share that peace with all we meet.
And hear the silent prayers of our hearts.
CALL TO WORSHIP
In those days, says the Lord –
In those days after Jesus rose from the dead, in those days when no one really knew what was going on or what was going to happen –
In those days God exhaled the Holy Spirit.
And when the disciples pushed out their fear
And as dancing flames heralded the arrival of something new
And as the birth cry was the cries of many languages, all understood –
In those days, the church was born, out of fear and fire,
With joy and awe.
The church was born.
Let us worship God.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Sometimes we are like those disciples so long ago:
Huddled in fear of what others will think,
Of what others will do,
Of what God will do.
Sometimes we are like passive bystanders:
Making fun of what we do not understand,
Tearing down what is sacred to another
Waiting until we are sure it’s okay.
Always God is with us:
Nudging us like a gentle breeze,
Stirring us with flames of hope
Speaking to us with words engraved in our hearts.
In silent prayer, let us offer God our confession and our hope.
*ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS
Sisters and brothers in Christ, God’s Spirit did not leave us after that first Pentecost. The Spirit is still with us, empowering us to know mercy and grace, forgiveness and service. In this Spirit, and through Christ, we proclaim the Good News:
We are forgiven Alleluia! Amen.
Some births begin with a sharp pain
This one began with a relentness, dull fear.
Some births begin with the breaking of water;
This one began with the dancing of flame.
Some births are met with tears and joy;
This one was met with wonder and a command:
Go out. Be My people. Live the Good News.
Share. Pray. Help. Sing. Dance.
Be born anew.
Call to Worship
They gathered in quiet…
And then the wind picked up,
And their hair got ruffled,
And the Spirit, like little flames, danced above their heads,
And they all started talking in all sorts of languages.
It was loud and strange,
It was not quiet or peaceful, but –
In the midst of confusion, they knew that God was behind it all.
God is here, too; let us worship God!
Prayer of Confession (this is not particularly Pentecost-y, but it’s what I wrote for this Pentecost Sunday. As always, adapt at your pleasure.)
I shut down.
I strike back.
I stay silent.
And so I pray that
You will heal me.
You will open my hands.
You will open my heart.
You will give me patience.
You will give me the courage to speak up.
You will help me accept fault.
You will show me what is good.
You will make me notice.
You will enable me to love.
You will kindle in me forgiveness.
This I pray; this we pray. Amen.