June 2022


Overcoming Babel

Living the Spirit Life

Pentecost, Year C

It’s Pentecost! Go all out. Use red everywhere, depictions of flame, varieties of wind catchers—kites and streamers and balloons. It’s time for a celebration. That may feel over the top for many congregations, but there are ways to appropriately pull out the stops and enjoy worship this day.

Meditation for Worship

Lead Us Out of Babel

Lead us out of Babel, where we claim our own languages and cast out others,
where we label family by our money status,
and shirt colors define our brothers;
where we care for our own and make war with other tribes;
where we create borders we call protection
and shun those we say don’t belong inside;
where we earn all we can, spend all we can
and look at others confused
when they ask us to give all we can
while we sit in our own addictions-high;
where we choose our houses so that we match our neighbors’ skin;
where we even choose our churches so that our hues all blend;
where our differences create fear
and matter more than the promises you made
that we were all adopted into your glory
when Christ defeated the grave.
Lead us out of Babel where we speak a language of us, ours and mine.
Pour out your Holy Spirit upon all flesh, Lord, and make your children wholly thine.

Ciona D. Rouse, The Africana Worship Book, Year C, edited by Valerie Bridgeman Davis and Safiyah Fosua, Discipleship Resources, 2008, 41.

Call to Worship

When the world divides us

Come, Holy Spirit, make us one.

When the world calls us orphaned

Come, Holy Spirit, make us family.

When the world leads us astray

Come, Holy Spirit, call us home.

Come, Holy Spirit, come! Come and fill this place!

Ciona D. Rouse, The Africana Worship Book, Year C, edited by Valerie Bridgeman Davis and Safiyah Fosua, Discipleship Resources, 2008, 94.

Call to Worship

Leader: The Day of Pentecost has come and we are together. Let us face bravely into the winds of God

People: Surely God is in this place! The works of God surround us … listen … look!

Leader: The Spirit of God fills us with amazement. God sets us afire with wonder and awe.

People: We will sing to God as long as we live; we will celebrate the gifts of God.

Prayer of Confession

God of majesty and power, we tremble when we become aware of who you are. Who are we that you should visit us or expect something from us? We confess our preference for the predictable. We admit your resistance to your Spirit. We acknowledge our misuse of your gifts to us. We prefer our divisions to your unity. Forgive us, O God of power and might, that we might forgive. Draw us back into a right relationship with you, and with one another. Amen.

Words of Assurance

God has reached out to us once again, offering salvation, making us whole, drawing us into community where life is integrated and filled with meaning. The Spirit comes to us, making holy the commonplace. We are forgiven.

Mary Emaline Kraus, The Abingdon Women’s Preaching Annual, Series 2, Year C, edited by Leonora Tubbs Tisdale, Abingdon, 2000, 142-143.


Come, Holy Spirit

Ever living and ever loving God,
We praise you for your loving presence with us.

Come, Holy Spirit,
take and transform our societies—
that broken people find healing;
that lonely people find love;
that bitter people find peace;
that fearful people find hope.

Come, Holy Spirit,
take our world’s leaders and governments and bring renewal—
that communication can be open;
that relationships between hostile people and hostile nations will evaporate;
that a hunger for justice addresses the hunger for food felt by so many.

Come, Holy Spirit,
fill your church—
that our worship will be ever more pleasing to you;
that prayers will change our minds
instead of trying to get you to change yours;
that our lives will make a real difference to real people in the real world.

Come, Holy Spirit,
fill our lives with your presence—
so that more and more every day,
all that we do and say and hope
will be an act of worship to you and an expression of love to others,
to the glory of your name. Amen.

From the Baptist Union of Great Britain website. http://www.baptist.org.uk/. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/04/prayers-of-people-pentecost.html.

Pentecost Blessing

On the day when you are wearing your certainty like a cloak and your sureness goes before you like a shield or like a sword,
may the sound of God’s name spill from your lips as you have never heard it before.

May your knowing be undone.
May mystery confound your understanding.

May the Divine rain down in strange syllables
yet with an ancient familiarity,
a knowing borne in the blood, the ear, the tongue,
bringing the clarity that comes not in stone or in steel
but in fire, in flame.

May there come one searing word:
enough to bare you to the bone,
enough to set your heart ablaze,
enough to make you whole again.

Written by Jan L. Richardson, and posted on The Painted Prayerbook. http://paintedprayerbook.com/. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/04/pentecost-blessing.html.

In This Series...

Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Trinity Sunday, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes