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Here stands Pentecost, tall, proud, and long-legged. Originally a celebration for the children of Israel, now the “birthday” of the Christian movement—repurposed by the faithful who have seen Jesus! More than a holiday or a holy day, Pentecost is a movement born of prayer: not prayers judiciously measured or metered...

When we are tempted to retreat to the comfort and safety of the fold, remind us, O God, that we also have a message for the public square. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
May 14–20, 2018
Scripture Overview

This week’s readings remind us of the powerful role of God’s Spirit. For many Christians, the Holy Spirit is the person of the Trinity we understand the least. In the book of Acts, the Spirit empowers the apostles on Pentecost to speak in other languages and, in so doing, initiates the establishment and missional reach of the church to the wider world. The psalmist uses a wordplay on ruach, the Hebrew word for breath or spirit, to teach us that God’s Spirit was present at Creation and is necessary for the ongoing survival of all life. Paul writes that God’s Spirit confirms that we are children of God and can approach God with confidence, not fear. Even the disciples feel uncertain about what will happen when Jesus leaves, so John provides Jesus’ assurance that God will remain with them and with us through the teaching of the Holy Spirit.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Acts 2:1-21. How often do you take solace in praying in private without moving to take action in the public square? Which site is the more comfortable for you?
• Read Psalm 104:24-34, 35b. Where have you seen evidence of nature’s resources being spent? How can you help?
• Read Romans 8:22-27. How consequential is it to you to acknowledge that God prays for us and the world? Why?
• Read John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15. What instructions do you wish Jesus had left for you?

Respond by posting a prayer.

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"One Thanksgiving night there was a shooter in my neighborhood . . .

. . . The police were getting the closest families to evacuate. My house was close enough that we could see things happening but far enough away to be safe. The police had told some people to wait in front of our house where it was safe. There was a father and his young son outside our house, and they were getting cold. We invited them to come inside until it was safe. Thankfully, the situation was resolved without anyone getting hurt." Read more from Pockets magazine.