Word for the Week and Theme

Word for the Week

Sunday, June 4, 2017 Day of Pentecost Introduction

Today’s festival derives its name from the Jewish festival of Pentecost, observed fifty days after Passover. On the fiftieth day of Easter we celebrate the Holy Spirit as the power of God among us that heals, forgives, inspires, and unites. In the reading from Acts, images of wind and fire describe the Spirit poured out on disciples of all nations. In John’s gospel the risen Christ breathes the Spirit on his followers on Easter evening. In the one Spirit we are baptized into one body, and at the Lord’s table the Spirit unites us for witness in the world.

Prayer of the Day

O God, on this day you open the hearts of your faithful people by sending into us your Holy Spirit. Direct us by the light of that Spirit, that we may have a right judgment in all things and rejoice at all times in your peace, through Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

First Reading: Acts 2:1-21

Pentecost was a Jewish harvest festival that marked the fiftieth day after Passover. Luke portrays the Holy Spirit being poured out upon the disciples before the gathered and astonished people assembled in Jerusalem for the festival. Filled with the Spirit, the disciples were able to witness to the power of Christ’s resurrection.

Psalm: Psalm 104:24-34, 35b

Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth. (Ps. 104:30)

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13

Paul is helping the Corinthians understand the relationship between our God-given unity and Spirit-created diversity. The Spirit creates the unity of faith and gives all Christians diverse gifts for the common benefit of all. We need one another’s diverse spiritual gifts, because the same Spirit has given them to each person for the common good.

Gospel: John 20:19-23

The risen Jesus appears to his disciples, offering them a benediction, a commission, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Theme for the Easter season
(April 16th – June 4th)

Jesus the Lamb –
endured persecution, suffering, and death on a cross, sacrificing himself for us all

Jesus the Savior –
was raised from the dead, forever breaking the chains of sin and death

Jesus the Shepherd –
calls us, finds us, and leads us back into the fold

God’s abundant love is revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice and triumphant resurrection shatters all chains, opens all doors, and reveals an endless realm of possibilities.

The gate is open!

There is hope in all things. There will always be a light shining in the darkness. No matter how far we stray, we will be led back.  No matter how lost we are, the Shepherd will find us. Our fears and doubts and questions no longer have control. Regardless of any danger that surrounds us, we will be protected.  We are not alone, and there is nothing we cannot do with Christ by our side.

Friends –
Rejoice and Be Glad!
God’s love has opened the Gate!

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