The Day of Pentecost is a festival that could easily develop an inferiority complex if its liturgical value were measured by Protestant celebration.
Pentecost, like its first cousins Epiphany and Ascension, passes unnoticed in many congregations. It doesn’t possess the intrinsic “awe” factor of Christmas or the “wow” of Easter. But Pentecost is an amazing holy day. It marks the end of a whole season of resurrection celebration and the beginning (or re-energizing) of Spirit-led, day-to-day, rubber-meets-the-road ministry.
Our liturgical arts committee aims to include color, music, motion, and symbolism in worship. For Pentecost, we wanted to symbolize how the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples with wind and flame.
There are many ways to depict a flame, but depicting wind is more difficult. To capture the motion of both and remind us of the motion of the Holy Spirit, we used wind to blow the flames of an 8-foot-tall fabric fire.
The love of God has been poured into ourhearts through the Holy Spirit that hasbeen given to us” (Rom. 5:5). By pouringlove for God into our hearts, the Spiritgathers and forms a new community.
After returning from the Calvin Symposium last January (2004), I began to think of ways I could implement some of the ideas I came away with. One of the results was this Pentecost service, inspired by several services at the symposium as well as previous resources in Reformed Worship and The Worship Sourcebook (TWS). Our congregation invited three area churches for this evening service in order to get a larger choir as well as a full church. Unfortunately, there was a tornado watch in our area that night, so Pentecost had to be put on hold for two weeks!