Welcome to the end of the season of Easter, and one of the only days in the church year that celebrates the work of the Holy Spirit! (Do you know where your red stole is?) RCL texts for this Sunday can be found here, and links to additional resources are available on The Text This Week. You can also find an interpretation of the Acts lesson in three voices in the files on the RevGalBlogPals Facebook page.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbHThis week’s preacher can choose from many adventurous paths! In the Pentecost story of Acts 2, the Spirit of God shows up in Jerusalem, among the faithful people who have gathered there. How does that sound in this week that has seen the USA move their embassy to Jerusalem, in defiance of the UN’s position that the city should have international status, and in contrast to most of their allies who maintain embassies in Tel Aviv? What does it mean to have God’s Spirit poured out on folks in Jerusalem in Scripture, when today the city is filled with protests and violence?

While conflict over gender equality grips the United Methodist Church, how does the Pentecost story inform our response? If “sons and daughters” and “men and women” were good enough for the Spirit, then why not for the church?

While human trafficking plagues nearly every country on earth, how does this story sound to us? While prisoners in the USA continue to suffer near-slavery conditions, how does Pentecost bring good news today? If “slave and free” was good enough for the early church, why not for us today?

The Pentecost story offers countless relevant preaching options for our congregations. But the RCL, as ever, does offer other Scripture passages for the day. Perhaps you are considering Ezekiel and the valley of dry bones. This text can be encouraging for folks trying to breathe life into a project or church or mission that seems to be defeated. God has the power to bring new life!

Psalm 104 rejoices in God’s creativity. This would be a wonderful passage for preaching if you have the option of leading worship outdoors this week! Romans 8 also addresses creation, but highlights the need for renewal. The Spirit will intercede on behalf of the world, even when we don’t’ know how to ask for help.

What direction are you taking this week, dear preacher? What special occasions are happening in your community? How do you plan to address the Word to your context? Please share your reflections and ideas below, along with additional links to other resources you find helpful. Happy writing!

Katya Ouchakof is an ELCA pastor in Madison, WI. If the rain ever stops, she might just finish planting her garden before midsummer. Katya is a contributor to There’s A Woman in the Pulpit, and blogs at Provocative Proclamations.

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15 thoughts on “Revised Common Lectionary: Pentecost!

    1. Thanks for this response – now that I’m settling in to serious writing, I think I’ll include my refrain in my sermon. I appreciate your feedback!


  1. I’m not preaching this week because my son is being graduated from his college, which is very exciting. Two members of my church are going to preach together, and I’m so excited for that, I’m tempted to miss my son’s graduation (I won’t, but I’m tempted). She is a 50 something progressive artist. He is a 90 something WW2 Vet and Trump voter. They are so different, yet their faith has brought them together into a friendship that is meaningful for both of them, for different reasons. And they are sharing their story as a sermon. It’s a perfect Pentecost tale and I am so thankful they are willing to do it. Neither of them see themselves as ‘preachers’, and so the gift they offer us with their testimony comes with a cost for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like your church will be in for a treat! Will anyone be recording their sermon?

      Congrats to your son on his graduation 🙂


    2. Marci, what a gift to have them stand and preach together. I know your sermons are posted on the church’s website. Will this one be posted as well?


  2. Prayer of Confession, Pentecost B, is posted. Let us confess our sin before God. Call to Confession

    The Psalmist laments to God, “When you hide your face , they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.” (Psalm 104:29) Let us confess our sin before God and seek God’s merciful, life-giving spirit to recreate us and renew the earth.

    Prayer of Confession, Pentecost B

    Our bones are dry, Lord.
    Our structures are lifeless,
    our frameworks do not inspire movement.
    We lie empty
    and despairing —
    moaning and lamenting our fate.
    Our hope is gone.
    Yet, we do not try to change
    what we are doing.
    We cannot begin to fathom
    the new thing you might do in our midst.
    Prophesy is a thing of the past.
    Isn’t it?
    Surely there are no prophets among us,
    no new voices —
    at least not ones we are willing to hear.
    Is it any wonder
    we lie dying
    in the dust?
    Forgive us, God.
    Raise up prophets among us
    who will speak words of
    encouragement and hope,
    who will open our eyes
    and transform our thinking.
    Breathe new life
    into these dry bones,
    and lead us forward with praise!

    Assurance of God’s Grace

    The prophet Isaiah shares the promise of God, saying, “Your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise. O dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a radiant dew, and the earth will give birth to those long dead.” (Isaiah 26:19) By the power of the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, we are renewed in God’s mercy. Thanks be to God!

    Since God has forgiven us in Christ, let us also forgive one another. The peace of Christ be with you.
    Please extend the peace of Christ to all whom you encounter this day.


  3. My congregation is in a period of discernment with 2 other congregations of different denominations to see if we might eventually want to share a building. This is exciting. I will be preaching on Sunday to the first gathering of the three congregations. I’m contemplating the resistance to growth, change, possibility. I will be preaching on a combination of the Ezekiel and Acts passages, but in my blog I got a little more “flowery” 🙂 https://rachaelkeefe.wordpress.com/2018/05/16/gardening-tip-plant-what-will-grow/

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Tomorrow is confirmation … so I will be weaving together past / present / future.
    How did they get there? (A bit of baptism … promises made) (tell their favorite stories from Bible)
    So now what? Why are you here? (affirm their baptism, acknowledge fluidity of faith, yet still fed and forgiven)
    Where are you heading? (Sent out into the world) (equipped to serve) (You are not alone … paraclete, advocate, Spirit)

    Their stories and their selected verses all tied together.

    On that note … I am turning off the light 3 hours earlier than usual …
    In AM … I will just go with notes and the Spirit


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