The Message by:

Rev. Betsy Jay

Pentecost Sunday

May 31, 2020




First Hymn: Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness

Second Hymn: Spirit of God Descend Upon My Heart

Third Hymn: Come, O Spirit, Dwell Among Us (EBENEZER) arr. B. Pfoltner

OPENING SENTENCES                                    

Remember the promise of the Lord: God will pour out the Spirit on all flesh.

The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Spirit of God dwelling within us, alleluia



You are truth, and from you comes every good gift, O God.

You come like the wind of heaven, unseen, unbidden.

Like the dawn you illuminate the world around us;

You grant us a new beginning every day.

You warm and comfort us. You give us courage and fire and strength beyond our everyday resources.

       At Pentecost your Spirit fell upon waiting disciples, now by that same Holy Spirit, fill us with joy and boldness. May the power of your Spirit transform us, the prompting of your Spirit lead us, and the gifts of your Spirit mark our lives, now and forever. Amen.


PSALM 104:24-34, 35b

Bless the Lord, O my soul; O Lord my God, you are very great!

How manifold are your works, O Lord. In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

Yonder is the sea, great and wide, with its swarms too many to number, living things both small and great.

There go the ships to and fro, and Leviathan, which you made for the sport of it.

All of them look to you to give them their food in due season.

You give it to them; they gather it; you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.

When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.

You send forth your Spirit, and they are created; and so you renew the face of the earth.

May the glory of the Lord endure forever; O Lord, rejoice in all your works.

You look at the earth and it trembles; you touch the mountains and they smoke.

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will praise my God while I have my being.

May these words of mine please God. I will rejoice in the Lord.

Bless the Lord, O my soul.  Hallelujah!


God of majesty, we are constantly surrounded by your gifts and touched by your grace; our words of praise do not approach the wonders of your love. Send forth your Spirit into our lives. Open the horizons of our minds by the flame of your wisdom. Loosen our tongues to proclaim your praise. Then, might that lives be refreshed and the earth renewed, until the new heaven and new earth resound with the song of resurrection in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.


FIRST READING                                               Acts 2:1-21

      When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

      Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’

       But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

      “In the last days it will be, God declares,

that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,

   and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

and your young men shall see visions,

   and your old men shall dream dreams.

Even upon my slaves, both men and women,

   in those days I will pour out my Spirit;

     and they shall prophesy.

And I will show portents in the heaven above

   and signs on the earth below,

     blood, and fire, and smoky mist.

The sun shall be turned to darkness

   and the moon to blood,

     before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.

Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”



SECOND READING                                  I Corinthians 12:3b-13

Therefore, I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Let Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.



GOSPEL                                                                    John 7:37-39

On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.” ’ Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.



This is the good news we have received, in which we stand, and by which we are saved. You are invited to take a few moments in silence to reflect on the meaning of the Scripture. Where do you see the Holy Spirit at work in these times? What gift from the Holy Spirit have you received and how do youthat see yourself using it “for the common good,” as Paul says to the Corinthians?





In the communion of the Holy Spirit, we call on the name of the Lord, saying: By your Spirit, O God, have mercy on us, transform our timid lives, and fill us with a flaming desire to be your faithful people: Lord, hear our prayer.


Maker of all things, in the beginning, you created heaven and earth. In the fullness of time, you restored all things in Christ. Renew our world, in this day, with your grace and mercy. Lord, hear our prayer.


Life of the world, you breathed life into the flesh you created. Now, by your Spirit, breathe new life into the children of earth. Turn hatred into love, sorrow into joy, and war into peace. Lord, hear our prayer.


God of compassion, through your Spirit you supply every human need. Heal the sick, and comfort the distressed. Befriend the friendless, and help the helpless. Lord, hear our prayer.


Source of peace, your Spirit restores our anxious spirits. In our labor, give us rest; in our temptation, strength; in our sadness, consolation; in our despair, hope. Lord, hear our prayer.


Gracious God, continue to pour out your power in the church, in the world, and in our daily lives, so all will know that you are at work among us; through Jesus Christ, our living Lord. Amen.



May the love of God be the passion in your heart, the Spirit of God your strength and joy when times are hard. The presence of God a peace that overflows. The Word of God the seed that you might sow.

And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be upon you this day and forever more.


Note: The prayers are adapted from the Book of Common Worship, PCUSA (2018)