WORSHIP FOR EASTERTIDE
The season of Eastertide culminates in the wild imagery of the Holy Spirit appearing at the first Pentecost as tongues of fire that fills the disciples with power and sends them out to share the Good News. (Acts 2:1-21).
Today, some of us are being filled with that Pentecost energy as we’ve received our vaccinations for COVID-19. We’re excited, hopeful, seeing Spring everywhere.
Others of us are weary and wary, knowing too well the challenges we’ll face in the year ahead. We’re grieving, unsettled, worried how to find our way.
Today, some of us on the church Search Committee are listening for the Spirit’s call as we discern candidates for a settled pastor.
Others of us are praying for the committee’s listening care and our own as we seek guidance on an important decision ahead.
For all of us, this is the time to wonder on this Spirit that longs to free us up and send us forth empowered and strengthened on paths unexpected and new.
Over the next weeks, we’ll ponder scriptural texts that explore this Holy Spirit fire that;
Illuminates paths in bold new directions,
Inflames our hearts and sends us out in love and service,
Stretches our boundaries and challenges our comfort zones,
Opens our eyes to the possibility that some cherished practices, entrenched attitudes and life-limiting perspectives may need to die in order for the Spirit to bring to life the “new thing” that God longs to cultivate within and among us.
Together we’ll wonder,
Where might the Holy Spirit be encouraging us to embrace new perspectives or explore new directions?
Where might the Holy Spirit be encouraging us to let go of programs or initiatives that have outlived their effectiveness?
What might happen if we followed the Spirit’s way?
April 18 | Third Sunday of Easter
“The Spirit’s Call”
Exodus 3:1-12 - Moses encounters God in the fiery bush.
“And the angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of the bush.” (Exodus 3:2)
April 25 | Fourth Sunday of Easter
“The Spirit’s Lead”
Exodus 13:17-22 - God’s guiding presence is made known to the Hebrew people in the pillars of cloud and fire.
“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light.” (Exodus 13:21)
May 2 | Fifth Sunday of Easter
“The Spirit’s Voice”
Deuteronomy 5:1-5, 22-27 - The voice of God comes out of fire.
“For who is there of all flesh, that has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of fire, as we have, and has still lived?” (Deuteronomy 5:26)
May 9| Sixth Sunday of Easter | Mother’s Day
“The Spirit’s Power”
Daniel 3:8-30 - Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego miraculously survive the furnace of blazing fire.
“I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt.” (Daniel 3: 25)
May 16 | Seventh Sunday of Easter
“The Spirit’s Baptism”
Matthew 3: 1-12 - John the Baptizer warns of the unquenchable fire.
“I baptize you with water for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Matthew 3:11)
May 23 | Pentecost Sunday
“The Spirit’s Understanding”
Acts 2: 1-21 - The Holy Spirit commissions and sends forth disciples to live the Good News.
“Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks.” (Acts 2:3)
May 30 | Trinity Sunday | Strengthen the Church Offering
John 3:1-17 - What’s our opportunity to be born of the Spirit?
“The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3: 8)
(Many thanks to Linda Witten Henke and her article, “Visuals for Pentecost: The Fire of Your Love”, for inspiration for this series!)