This is a service of celebration for Ascension Day. Parts of the service might also be used on Ascension Sunday. It requires at least one leader and a Scripture reader. The congregation speaks the lines in bold.
Articles in this issue:
The Lord’s Supper is the pivotal feast that celebrates the victory of God, which he shares with each person in his kingdom. Here we gratefully acknowledge our inclusion in the community that God has designed. Here we confess our reluctance to demonstrate the full power of the gospel on our lives together, particularly as it pertains to the lack of hospitality and grace extended to others. Here we all recommit ourselves to following the example of Jesus—the Host at the table—who calls us, in view of his sacrifice, to serve others with humility and love.
Alive to the Spirit at Neland Church was a season of focusing our lives and worship on the Holy Spirit. Using six biblical pictures—wind, breath, down payment, seal, dove, and fire—we explored and experienced the Spirit’s presence and work through sermon, song, dance, visual arts, writing, and prayer.
Reformed Worship to Celebrate 100th Issue
The staff of RW has been working hard in anticipation of our 100th issue, which marks twenty-five years of sharing worship resources and articles. That issue will be dedicated to the theme of celebration and joy, with resources from the book of Philippians.
When you receive your next issue of RW you will notice many exciting changes to both the print and the web copy as we continue the tradition of providing excellent resources for the next generation. Here is an overview of what to expect:
This litany was used for the 2010 Pentecost worship service at our church. That service was held the same weekend as the local high school’s graduation ceremony, making the theme especially meaningful as graduates seek God’s guidance for the future.
Song: “Dwell in Me, O Blessed Spirit” PsH 427
Of this poem, author Peter Menkin writes: “I chose the imagery of the Exodus from the Old Testament to say that we are liberated by our God, Christ, and that he brings us to freedom.”
Pentecost Sunday Prayer
For I am empty and forlorn,
so I hope and pray.
Tongues of flames. Language.
I search; let me
welcome the Holy Spirit.
The God who brought
us out of Egypt to freedom;
let God do this emancipation:
accept and welcome,
and let us receive the Spirit.
In this prayer, Julia Esquivel teaches us the meaning of each intercession of the Lord’s Prayer as we pray, opening our minds and hearts to a greater understanding of our great God and to the experience of brothers and sisters in Christ in another part of the world. Though our congregations may not experience many of the situations mentioned, we can pray on behalf of those for whom these things are realities.
Note: You may choose to read the boldface portions either in English or in Spanish.
The next issue of Reformed Worship will celebrate our twenty-fifth anniversary—number 100.
Anniversaries of any sort are a great time to take a look at what you’ve been doing for months or years or decades and to ask if what you’re doing still works. Has your audience or environment or approach to worship changed, but you’re still thinking the old ways are doing what you want them to?