Pentecost 2021

Pentecost Sunday | May 23, 2021

Acts 2:1-21 • Psalm 104:24-34, 35b • Romans 8:22-27 • John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

John 15:26-27 | New Living Translation

26 “But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. 27 And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.

John 16:4-15 | New Living Translation

Yes, I’m telling you these things now, so that when they happen, you will remember my warning. I didn’t tell you earlier because I was going to be with you for a while longer.

“But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. 10 Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. 11 Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.

12 “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. 14 He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’

Prayer for the Week

Almighty God, on this day, through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, you revealed the way of eternal life to every race and nation: Pour out this gift anew, that by the preaching of the Gospel your salvation may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer for the Week

Almighty God, on this day, through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, you revealed the way of eternal life to every race and nation: Pour out this gift anew, that by the preaching of the Gospel your salvation may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Receive the Holy Spirit

Pentecost Sunday | May 31, 2020

Acts 2:1-21 • Psalm 104:24-34, 35b • 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 • John 20:19-23

John 20:19-23 New Living Translation (NLT)

That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Prayer for the Week | Pentecost

Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer for Pentecost

cropped-pentecost-front.jpgO God, who on this day taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Pentecost

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Day of Pentecost (May 20, 2018)

Acts 2:1-21  •  Psalm 104:24-34, 35b  •  Romans 8:22-27 •  John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

Romans 8:22-27 New Living Translation (NLT)


This Sunday is Pentecost. In recent years, churches have celebrated Pentecost by throwing a party and in many ways, Pentecost needs to be celebrated, because it really is the birthday of the church universal.  Many Jews were in Jerusalem – 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection. It was the Feast of Weeks, or the Feast of the First Fruits.  Jesus had told his disciples, which numbered at least 120 to tarry (or to stay) in Jerusalem until the promised gift arrived.  During the Feast of Weeks, the disciples were gathered in an upper room (I wonder if it was the same upper room where Jesus had his last meal with the 12,) and they were praying.  As they were praying, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they – as Jesus promised – became witnesses to the power of God and they told their story – in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the rest of the world.  

For our text today, I want to focus on the last two verses in our reading for today. The reason for celebrating Pentecost in our culture today is because of the work of the Holy Spirit.  Listen to what Paul writes:

26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

Have you ever been in the place where you know you are to pray, but you don’t know what or what for?  It is the Holy Spirit who works in our lives. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.  Sometimes it’s hard to comprehend that the Holy Spirit would take our random thoughts and pray to the Father – intercede to the Father on our behalf.  Without that, living the Christian life would be difficult at best.  As I think about it, I know that I need a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit in my life.  I think all of us need it – because we leak.  Today, as we celebrate Pentecost, let us pray for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit.

When We Were Utterly Helpless

blindfolded-1732539_640Second Sunday after Pentecost (June 18, 2017)


Romans 5:1-8  New Living Translation (NLT)

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.


If I’m not mistaken, we are picking up in Romans, right where we left off before Lent and Easter.  The reason I say that is that I remember writing about being made right in God’s sight through faith.  Again a reminder that Paul did not write with chapters and verses – it was one long letter.  He gets done telling us that we are made righteous with God through faith and then goes into today’s passage. Because we are made right with God through faith, we can have peace.  Whoa!  (and I say that in a good way.)

I’ve come to this passage many times because it reminds us just how great God’s love is for us.  We are reminded that we can have peace in our hearts because of the work that Christ Jesus has done for us through his death and resurrection.  Because of our faith, we are in a unique place – it is a place of grace – it is a place of undeserved privilege.  Because of our faith, we know that we will be able to share in God’s glory.

Here Paul reminds us of why we go through trials and why we suffer.  It’s a passage I’ve quoted many times.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Trials help us develop endurance.  As a runner, I have been relearning this endurance thing.  This winter in Eldred was tough and I lost much of the endurance that I had just regained back in the fall.  Finally my body is starting to respond.  Endurance takes time to develop.  We need to have perseverance. The old saying goes “Rome wasn’t born in a day.” Things take time. We live in an instant society.  Trials help us develop endurance. Endurance produces strength of character – we need people – we need believers who have a strength of character. Strength of character then strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  See the progression…God dearly loves us. He gave us Jesus to save us from our sins and we have the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

How great is God’s love – Paul tells us when we were utterly helpless – when we couldn’t even help ourselves – much like a little baby is after it is born – completely dependent on its parents.  This is what we were like before Christ – completely helpless.  When we were completely and utterly helpless – Christ came and died for each one of us – all 7 billion people on the planet now and everyone who died before.

We are reminded that Christ came to die for us, not because we were good – but because we were sinners. We know that we would have a hard time dying for someone who didn’t deserve it – we wouldn’t like dying for someone who was worthy of dying, but Christ, in his great mercy died for us…He took our place. He didn’t wait until we got our act cleaned up. No, we were too helpless for that.  He came when we were sinners.

The sacrifice that Christ made, makes us right in God’s sight through faith – it saves us from God’s condemnation – and it restores us back to the relationship with God that was designed in the Garden of Eden – Christ was the second Adam.  Because of Christ’s work, we can be friends of God – and we can rejoice in this wonderful new relationship!

Prayer for the Week

cropped-pentecost-front.jpgAlmighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.