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While some come only out of a sense of duty or obligation, others have saved up to make the pilgrimage. It is Pentecost Day in Jerusalem, a fixed holy day for God’s people. From far and near the people come, acknowledging that those other people would also be there—Jews and...
God of wind and flame, thank you for breaking into the ordinariness of our existence with a fresh demonstration of what it means to be one people. Amen.
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.
• 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?
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"I am concerned about our aging church membership, not out of fear that we are becoming an 'old' church; rather, my concern is that churches are missing an opportunity to help build the Kingdom of God with older adults." Read more . . .