Pentecost- Week of May 31, 2020
Begin your devotion time by praying this prayer: 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. (Collects: Contemporary, Book of Common Prayer, p. 227)
Adult and Small Child
Read: Acts 2:1-21
Reflect: Today is the birthday of the Church! We tell the story of how the Holy Spirit came down and rested with the disciples. The Holy Spirit came down like a wind—a breath from Heaven—and it filled the disciples and everyone around them up with so much love. They were so filled with God’s holy love that they started telling the story of Jesus right in the middle of town, to anyone who would listen. God made it possible for them to hear and understand languages they didn’t know, so that they could tell even more people about Jesus’ love for us. The Holy Spirit comes to rest on us, too. At our baptism, we are sealed to the Holy Spirit—kind of like the way lipstick can stick to our cheek when someone kisses us, only we can never wash that kiss off. That means that the same Holy Spirit that came to help the disciples tell others about Jesus’ love—that same Holy Spirit—rests in and on you. Happy Birthday, Church!
Respond: Maybe today is a good day to send a letter to someone you love. You and your little can use a nice array of pens and fun paper to breathe a word of encouragement to a friend or family member. When you seal up the letter, remind your little one about the seal of the Holy Spirit, how it keeps us safe and makes us strong, and pray together for the person receiving your letter.
- Rachel Jones
Adult and Elementary
Read: Acts 2:1-21
Reflect: My extended family is quite large. I have so many first cousins! On holidays, our house is packed with people. There are people watching sports in the living room, children playing games in the front hallway, and there are people in the kitchen and dining room! It can be difficult to hear because of the many conversations going on at once.
Our reading describes the day of Pentecost; this day is the birthday of the church! On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came and fell on all of the people who were assembled together. God wants us to remember that we should gather together. The Holy Spirit dwells among us always.
Respond: Try to imagine the day of Pentecost by drawing a picture of the people that you love. Try to draw at least 3 people. Then using a red or an orange marker, draw a squiggly line above your loved ones. The squiggly line represents the Holy Spirit.
- Imani Driskell
Adult and Youth
Read: Acts 2:1-21
Reflect: Pentecost is a day of celebration. This is when the disciples were able to go out into the world and tell the Good News of God and Jesus, and they were able to do this because of the Holy Spirit. Here, we see the Holy Spirit as “a rushing wind” and “tongues of fire.” The Holy Spirit descends on the disciples and gives them the ability to speak in various languages. This made it possible for them to spread the love of God and Jesus all over the world.
This seems crazy, right I mean, our reading even says that people thought the disciples were drunk, and the only explanation we get is “it’s too early for them to be drinking.” While probably a logical explanation, it does cause one to wonder. How can “wind” do that? However, when we look at the other instances of the Holy Spirit coming down, we see how powerful the Holy Spirit is. The Holy Spirit, one of the Trinity, was present in creation, as the breath that gave Adam life and wind above the waters. The Holy Spirit was present in the manna that fell from heaven to God’s people in the desert. The Holy Spirit came down like a dove at Jesus’ baptism, and the Holy Spirit continues to be with us today. The divine inspiration and mere strength given to us by the Holy Spirit is amazing and enough to make use rejoice. Celebrate the Holy Spirit this week as we celebrate the birth of the church!
Respond: The Holy Spirit is referred to as a rush of wind and brings the power to tell the whole world God’s Word. Take time to sit and breathe in the Holy Spirit. Take intentional, deep breaths. If it helps to focus, say these words: “Breathe in the Holy Spirit, Breathe out God’s Word.”
- Maggie Paul
Adult and Adults
Read: Acts 2:1-21
Reflect: I’m sometimes a stickler for liturgical rubrics and rules. One of the occasional rubrics that is broken is when a deacon or priest adds an unexpected “Alleluia, alleluia” to the dismissal outside of the Easter season. When I’m in a context that does this, I’m often caught off guard by the joyous proclamation and I usually begrudgingly add an “Alleluia, alleluia” to the end of my “Thanks be to God.”
And I miss out on joy. Because of my insistence on following rules, I forget that God isn’t bound by our rules, that the Spirit moves and goes as the Spirit wants. And I forget that God is always doing a new thing and always bringing joy, even to the mundane parts of our lives.
That’s what we see happening on the Day of Pentecost. God is doing something new, something wondrous, something that cannot be contained, something that goes outside the normal ways that people expect to experience God. The Spirit is poured out on the disciples and they are empowered to do things they could never have expected. And God continues to pour out God’s Spirit on us, with unexpected alleluias.
Respond: Be intentional about finding joy this week, particularly in unexpected places. Take time during prayer or journaling time to note those moments that you experienced the Spirit’s presence and any “unexpected alleluias.”
- Clayton Harrington
Download a printable copy of this week's devotions HERE.