Spirit and Community

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Opening prayer –

Begin by praying this prayer.

Mighty God, you breathe life into our bones, and your Spirit brings truth to the world. Send us this Spirit, transform us by your truth, and give us language to proclaim your gospel, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Part 2: The Day of Pentecost

You can read the story of Pentecost in the second chapter of Acts. Here’s a link to Acts 2:1-12.

Part 3: The Gathering Community of Believers

The Holy Spirit unites the disciples and empowers them to head out into the world to share the story of Jesus. The disciples are given the ability to speak in other languages because the message about Jesus is intended for the whole world. The sound of the Holy Spirit descending upon the disciples gets the attention of people all over Jerusalem and very quickly people from all over the world begin to gather. They are amazed to discover that the disciples are speaking in their native languages. Peter takes this opportunity to share the story about Jesus who were living in Jerusalem. The people were so impressed by the story that about 3000 people were baptized and began to follow Jesus that day.

The story of Pentecost doesn’t end with the baptism of these 3000 people. Following their baptism, these new believers joined the early Christian community. They joined with the other believers and began to worship, to pray, to study and to share their gifts. You can read about this early version of the church at the end of the book of Acts. Here’s the link to Acts 2:37-47.

Part 4: So What Does this Mean?

You and I may not have experienced the rushing wind and the tongues of fire, that the original disciples experienced on the Day of Pentecost, but the good news of Pentecost is that the Holy Spirit comes and is with us still to help us discover the next best, most faithful step in our journey through life. The good news of Pentecost is that the Holy Spirit has come and is with us still to equip us with the gifts we need to meet people where they are, to speak to people in their own languages, to help others to discover what a gift it is to have the wisdom and love of God in your life. The good news of Pentecost is that the Holy Spirit and is with us still to nudge us to reach out in love and compassion when we want to stay in our locked rooms. For just as the Holy Spirit helps, strengthens and inspires Peter and the other disciples on that first Day of Pentecost, so to can the Holy Spirit help, strengthen and inspire each of us to use our gifts to be God’s heart and hands and voices share the story and the love of Jesus with the world.

Discussion Questions – answer the second and third questions below:

  • What do you think you would have done if you had been with the disciples when the Holy Spirit came rushing in?
  • Why do you think the Holy Spirit gave the disciples the ability to speak other languages?
  • What cultural languages (sports, band, theater, gamer, etc) do you speak that could allow you to share the story of Jesus with a segment of the world?

Part 5: Conclusion & Closing Prayer

Closing Prayer – Pray the follow prayer at the close of the session.

O God, 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 our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Opening and Closing Prayers adapted from Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2017 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #25165.