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Resources for Pentecost

THE OPENING

May the love of God the Father, the grace of the Son, and the fellowship born of the Spirit be among you all.
Amen.
Lord, send out your Spirit,
and renew the face of the earth.
How manifold are your works, O Lord!
The earth is full of your creatures.
If you take away their breath, they perish;
they return to their dust.
When you send forth your Spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the earth.
may the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works.










CONFESSION AND ASSURANCE

The Call to Confession

Do not marvel that Jesus says to us: "You must be born again." That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the spirit, he who convicts us of sin and leads us into all righteousness.

The Confession

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, both by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart. Too often we have failed to welcome into our hearts your quickening Spirit of love and power. We are truly sorry and humbly repent. Wash away our sins; send rain on our dry ground; bend our rigidity; inflame our cold hearts; anoint us for witness; and direct our wandering feet into your ways. Amen.

The Declaration of Pardon

There is, therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus: For the Spirit of life in Jesus Christ has set us free from the law of sin and death.

The Response

[All sing]

O seed of Israel's chosen race now ransomed from
the fall,
hail him who saves you by his grace. And crown him, crown him, crown him, crown him Lord of all.

PENTECOST PRAYER

O God, how mysterious is your presence in our lives. We experience you as the warmth of the sun or the whistle and whisper of the breeze on a windy day. You are in the words that somehow form in our minds when we seek them. You are in our hearts as the security that holds us fast when we are troubled or afraid. You are in the vision that catches and tantalizes the eyes of our soul.

But who is that we see and feel and hear?

Is it you, O Spirit?

Yet you are always reminding us of our risen and ascended Savior. You are our Savior's second self.

Is it you, O Christ?

Yet the words that you speak are not your words either; they are the words, you said, of the One who sent you. You are the revelation of God to us.

Is it you, O Creator?

Yet you come to us only in the shape and the voice of our Savior and the Spirit.

Your presence is almost like a holy game of hide-and-seek: "Now you see me, now you don't."

Yet, however mysterious, we need your presence. Come softly as the breath of life. It takes a long time for us to be truly reborn. As you brooded over the world until it was fully created, so nurse us until we too grow up in grace. Come strongly as a mighty wind to fill the sails of our soul as we travel along the river of time. Unless you fill our sails, we are dead in the water, drifting aimlessly, the plaything of whatever current there is. Come purely as the light so that we may learn what to look for and what to look out for. Come with confidence as our Paraclete. Only if you teach us will we learn how to sail, how to avoid the perils of the journey, how to tack and veer so as to catch your wind at its fullest. Come faithfully as our companion on the journey. May we always hear your voice even when it suggests such unexpected things as giving and forgiving without counting the cost. And as we listen for your voice, we know you listen for ours. Hear now our concerns.

[Here, prayers for the church and the world may be included.]

And so with the wind at our back and the sun in our face and a companion to talk with, what more could we need? It is enough. It is everything. Amen.

THE DISMISSAL

Congregation in Christ, since the Lord has fed us at his table, let us go forth in the power of the Spirit, with thanksgiving. Remember—the harvest of the : Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Amen.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy , Spirit you overflow with love and hope.

Amen.

The Pentecost prayer was written by Robert Westveer; a worship leader at the Ann Arbor Campus Chapel, Ann Arbor, Michigan. This prayer is one of a collection he wrote for the entire church year The other resources were prepared for a Pentecost service held at Calvin College for the Ministers Institute of the Christian Reformed Church.