These Bones Will Live

These Bones Will Live

The Day of Pentecost, Year B

Do you ever feel like planning for Pentecost is like planning a birthday party? This momentous day is almost here, and you find yourself rushing around, collecting all of the bright colored streamers and tablecloths, curating the best party playlist, and wracking your brain for how to make this one day extra special.

Call to Worship

Beloved of God, pay attention. Did you notice? There are dry bones all around us. In our neighborhoods, our workplaces, our schools, our community and nation and world. They pop up wherever people are parched for love and dignity, provision and flourishing. We notice them, and we wonder:

Will these bones live?

Pay attention. Can you hear it? So many of us carry dry bones that clank around in our hearts. Dreams that are dying. Gifts that are languishing. Hopes left undernourished and neglected. Loneliness that eats away at our sense of connection with one another until we wonder:

Can these bones live?

Pay attention. Can you feel it? The Holy Spirit breathes among us. Breathe in love. Breathe in provision. Breathe in connection and flourishing. Because the Spirit never quits breathing among us, assuring us:

These bones will live.

Pay attention. Can you sense it? God is always putting us back together. In dreams of abundance and visions of cooperation, in the cacophony of voices who share and receive the good news in their own languages, the Spirit revives us and restores us, reminding us:

These bones live, because Love dwells among us, now and always. Thanks be to God!

Prayer for the Day

Send forth your Spirit, O God, and renew the face of the earth. Dwell among us, even though your presence will startle and unsettle us. Grant us your peace, we pray, as justice and love pour down upon the yearning earth. Amen.

Written by Mary Sue Gast in Touch Holiness: Resources for Worship, Updated, ed. Ruth C. Duck and Maren C. Tirabassi (Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 2012), 105.

For use in worship services, provide the following notice:

Reprinted by permission of the publisher from Touch Holiness, ed. Ruth C. Duck and Maren C. Tirabassi. Copyright © 1990 by The Pilgrim Press.

Prayer of Confession

We do not stop enough to listen to the still-speaking God.
And like the people of Jerusalem long ago,
we often misunderstand the Spirit’s movement among us.
In the silence and stillness of this moment,
let us draw near to God and listen.


Let us confess together:

We confess to you, Renewing Spirit,
that we confuse unity with uniformity,
and diversity with divisiveness.
We speak and behave as if being a part of your family
means assimilating others to our way of living.
We deny and destroy the beauty you created in each person.
We long to change these patterns, O Creator,
but we do not know how.
Teach us to value challenge.
Help us to see strength in difference.
And empower us to build your kingdom in creativity and love. Amen.

Hear the good news!
God’s Spirit has been poured out upon all flesh,
and we have been made one.
We are no longer scattered or divided,
but gathered together to build up the kingdom on this earth.
Thanks be to God!

Written by Rev. Mary Nelson Abbott in Come, Let Us Build. Posted on the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways Archive, Re-posted on the re:Worship blog at


Go out into the world,
and labour to bring forth new life.
Dream dreams, pursue visions
and speak of God’s goodness
in the words of those who would hear.

And may the God who breathed life into creation be your delight.
May Christ Jesus give hope to your dreaming,
and may the Holy Spirit, your advocate and supporter,
........set your hearts ablaze with a passion for peace.

We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
…In the name of Christ. Amen.

Written by Nathan Nettleton. Copyright © 2003. Posted at Re-posted on the re:Worship blog at

In This Series...

The Day of Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes