O 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. Collect for Pentecost. Episcopal Book of Common Prayer.

Readings found here.

Holy Spirit as Breath, at Pentecost, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55188 [retrieved June 4, 2014]. Original source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CodexEgberti-Fol103-Pentecost.jpg.
Holy Spirit as Breath, at Pentecost, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/
Here we are at the end of the Great 50 Days.  Jesus has died, risen, visited and ascended, and at last the long promised Holy Spirit is about to descend upon Jesus’ followers   The Pentecost story we know best – and the one that fits the chronology I just laid out – is found in the reading from Acts, where we feel the rushing winds and can picture the tongues of fire and imagine what it must have been like to hear the cacophony of different language being spoken by those receiving the Spirit. For most of us, especially the mainliners among us, this sort of event is far from our reality. How might we make the Spirit come alive for our congregations?  How DO we experience the Spirit?

The Acts reading might be paired with our reading from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Here Paul outlines the variety of gifts one might receive from the Spirit, while emphasizing that we are all nonetheless baptized into one body, the body of Christ. This diversity in unity is, I believe, something we need to embrace more than ever as we figure out how to be the church in the 21st century.

If  you want to move away from the traditional stories and delve into the OT, you might choose the reading from Numbers. Here we see evidence of the Spirit moving among Moses’ elders. How might this experience of the Spirit outside a Christian context inform our own understanding of the Holy Spirit?

And then there is the gospel where we have more choices. The more obvious of course is John 20 which narrates John ‘s version of the coming of the Spirit. If you have been following John closely during Eastertide this may be one way to bring closure to that   And for something entirely different, how about the excerpt from John 7? The commentary from Elisabeth Johnson  over at Working Preacher provides some excellent background on this reading.

So where is the Spirit calling you for this Pentecost Sunday? Join the conversation and share your questions, ideas, and inspiration!

Come Holy Spirit!


~Edited to (hopefully) clean up all the typos! Blogging from my iPad while out of town is extremely challenging!

6 thoughts on “Revised Common Lectionary~~Come Holy Spirit edition

  1. I’m jumping in with the OT Numbers reading. Something about how the Spirit moves where it will, in whom it will, even if it is outside of our structures and/or expectations. Hey, that sounds pretty good. Now to make it a sermon!


  2. In addition to being Pentecost, this Sunday is also Union Sunday for us UCCan types (the inaugural service of the UCCan took place June 10, 1925). And so I am intending to link the two celebrations, in this era where we are needing to rethink how we are a church because much of the structure we inherited from 100 years ago is no longer sustainable. My early thoughts are here:


  3. I have a baptism and an affirmation of baptism (confirmation) this Sunday. I’m preaching Acts and focusing on the fact that when the Holy Spirit shows up (in baptism, at confirmation, every day), we become part of something that is bigger than we are. And the Working Preacher video will be PERFECT for that sermon; I may not have to say anything more than “Amen.”


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