Pentecost — Brasil, China, United States

Resources for Pentecost — Todd Jenkins of the United States, Jaci Maraschin of Brazil and Wang Weifan of China.

Risking Pentecost — Call to Worship

When the resurrected Christ ascended,
the disciples went into organization mode,
promptly replacing Judas as a first order of business.

And the Holy Spirit broke out,
like the end-of-game fireworks,
accidentally unleashed in the fifth inning.

The institutional church has roped off
a tidy little section for Pentecost,
with red balloons, streamers, and pinwheels.

And the Holy Spirit laughs
to keep from crying,
exploding everywhere, noticed or not.

Bushes aren’t the only thing burning;
hearts and lives overflow daily
with forgiveness, love, and grace.

Give us courage, O God,
to risk our lives and selves
to your daily Pentecosts!   (Todd Jenkins)

The Hope of the Coming of Christ

We hope you come like the wind at this time of despair
And that with you bring a breath of fresh air.

We hope that you clearly say to this poor human race,
The ancient, the beautiful words of truth and grace.

We hope that you see now true acts of friendship
And that you be the joy of a new human fellowship.

We hope that you come soon, to falseness overcome,
The watchword of promise hands open and free. (Jaci Maraschin)

Open Your Hearts

The poet Li Si has said, “The mountain cherishes the soil which gives it height; the sea does not disdain the water that gives it depth. The boundaries of the realm of the Spirit depend on the narrowness or breadth of the heart.

If our embrace is narrow, we cannot put our arms around another. If we are partial to our own group or attack those who are different: this too is displeasing to God. If we take every small thing to heart, if we cannot forget past grudges, how can our hearts become as vast as the ocean?

The great land supports the myriad creatures. There is nothing that does not feel the warmth of the sun. But how narrow is my heart, smaller than the chicken’s roost or the pig’s enclosure; empty but for ambition. How can it soar with the eagles or race with swift horses?

I pray God to open my heart. Only then can I find peace. May it be as high as a mountain peak, deep as the sea — when, Lord, when?

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