Pentecost Sunday- Week of May 23, 2021
Begin your devotion time by praying this prayer: God, you send the Holy Spirit to guide the disciples and help them share the good news. Grant us the strength and courage to go out and share your love with the world, too.
Reflect on the Way of Love together: This week’s practice on the Way of Love is GO. In the story of Pentecost, the disciples go out and share the good news of Jesus’ love with other people. Who has shared Jesus’ love with you? To whom might you go out and share Jesus’ love?
Adult and Small Child
Read: Acts 2:1-21
Reflect: In this Scripture, many people are gathered to celebrate a Jewish festival (called Pentecost or Feast of Weeks.) While celebrating, the Holy Spirit descends among all the people including women and children. When going out and sharing the good news of Jesus, it is important to share it with all whom you meet. Share with people who are like you and with people who are different from you. Share with people who are older than you and with people who are younger than you. Can you name someone who is older than you that you could talk to about Jesus? Can you name someone who is younger than you that you could talk to? Share with people who share the same culture as you and with people from a different culture. What are some other cultures in your neighborhood? What about in your town or city? God made us all different, but God also made us all in God’s image.
Respond: Host your own feast. Make invitations and decorations. Then at the feast practice telling people (or stuffed animals) about the good news of Jesus. What is fun about getting together with your friends (or stuffed animals?) Do you remember going to a party? What was it like? What is your favorite thing to eat at a party? What do you think Jesus ate at feast?
- Kelly Benz
Adult and Elementary
Read: Acts 2:1-21
Reflect: This week we celebrate the Day of Pentecost (fiftieth day.) This day is sometimes called the birthday of the church because this was the day the Holy Spirit came down like a rushing wind and did something amazing. It gave all that were gathered the ability to speak in other languages so that they could communicate with one another. The people, “filled with the Holy Spirit” were given this ability so that they could go out and minister in the world and to tell all the Good News!
What if this happened today? Could you imagine being in a large crowd of strangers? All speaking in a different language. Then a gust of wind coming down and blowing on each person there. All of a sudden, we all understand each other. We can all communicate in a common language.
What if I told you that it did happen today...and yesterday...and will happen again tomorrow! The language is LOVE. The language we are given, being full of the Holy Spirit, is the language of LOVE.
Respond: Think about all the places you go. All the places you spend time. This could be school, church, dance school, or where you live. Think about ways you can use the language of love in those places. Where can your ministry of love be used? Now GO and spread this way of love.
- Malcolm McLaurin
Adult and Youth
Read: Acts 2:1-21
Reflect: Pentecost is the reversal of what happened at the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11, when no one could understand each other. There’s such a beautiful diversity in all those different languages God created, but since Genesis, humans have often allowed that to divide us; it’s been a boundary that has been difficult to cross. At Pentecost, now EVERYONE understands the words the disciples are saying as they are praising God. Since Pentecost, we have something that crosses those boundaries, breaks down those barriers, and unifies us: the love of God in Jesus, powered by the Holy Spirit. We see an example of God reconciling the world back to God’s dream (see how heaven is described in Revelation 7:9. Pentecost is a taste of heaven.) We pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.” It’s time for us to work to bring heaven to earth. God invites us to GO, to cross boundaries, break down barriers, and tell everyone about this life-changing love available in Christ!
Respond: How will you cross barriers of language and culture, building bridges in order to share God’s love? Do you know someone who speaks a language you don’t? Ask them what they love about that language, what ideas that language captures well or beautifully. Maybe you know someone whose cultural background is different than your own or has lived in countries you haven’t, who you might share their experiences with you. Hear the love there. Maybe explore the Episcopal Migration Ministries website, listening deeply to the stories of those coming into the U.S., and finding out how you or your church can reach out in love and welcome.
- Sally Ulrey
Adult and Adults
Read: Acts 2:1-21
Reflect: This week we celebrate the feast of Pentecost. In Christian traditions, this is the day when we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit. I’ve always wondered what it felt like to experience that Pentecost day: hearing the rushing wind, seeing tongues of fire, and speaking other languages. I can only imagine the overwhelming sense of awe and wonder in that moment. But what stands out to me the most in this text is the boldness of Jesus’ disciples to share the story and love of Jesus all throughout Jerusalem. Through the coming of the Holy Spirit, the disciples were empowered to go and share the good news of Jesus with all who could hear it.
We too are gifted with the presence of the Holy Spirit, which also empowers us to walk and share in the way of Christ’s love. We experience the awe and wonder that we feel with the coming of the presence of God, and like the disciples, we are sent out to share that awe and wonder with other people. I wonder: where have you felt the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit in your life? To whom will you go and tell about it?
Respond: Tell someone
(or even the whole world!) about how you’ve experienced Christ’s love in the
last week. Write a letter, make a phone call, send a text, or share a post on
social media. If you’re communicating with someone who is not already within
your faith community, invite them to join you for worship!
- Victoria Hoppes