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Daily Devotion for September 25, 2010

Pentecost Sunday


<i>Pentecost (detail)</i> by El Greco, ca. 1596.
Pentecost by El Greco, ca. 1596.
El Greco was born Doménikos Theotokópoulos, on the Isle of Crete. He rose to fame in Toledo, the religious capital of Spain,. I believe this is my favorite of all his copious output. (See Full Size).

Prayers

Scripture

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Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen.

The Goretti Girls are two young Irish lay sisters, who have dedicated their lives to spreading the Word in prayerful songs.
While we usually show a church service on Sunday, I could not resist this wonderful expression of Pentecost worship.




For the Spirit of Prayer

Almighty God, who pours out the spirit of grace and of supplication to all who ask for it; Deliver me, when I draw near to you, from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind, so that with steadfast thoughts and kindled affections, I may worship You in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayer to Use the Gifts of the Spirit

Breath of Life, on this Pentecost Sunday, we ask that You breathe on us once again. Make our consciences tender to Your touch. We hunger for the life-changing power that Your Holy Spirit brings. May our lives exemplify the fruit of Your Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. May we use the gifts of the Spirit that You have distributed to bless the church and build Your Kingdom on earth.

Amen.

Prayer of Repentance

humble prayer

Dear God, I come to you as a sinner who is undeserving of your grace and presence. I repent all my sins and ask you to forgive me so that my request may be heard by you. Lord, have mercy on me and fill me with your grace. Wash me with the blood of your son Jesus Christ that I may shine and walk unashamed. I ask for your favor from this moment to the end of the day. I thank you, for you are faithful.

Amen.

To Heal Divisions

Father, may our human family not become separated from you by building barriers of race, color, class, gender, or beliefs. Inspire us to recognize that we are all made in your image and likeness, so that we may grow in appreciation of all people, and encourage each other to grow in pride in who we are and who we are called to be. May we recognize your Son in our midst, and live truly as brothers and sisters. I pray this in the name of Christ, in remembrance of His love for the Samaritan woman at the well.

Amen.

Benediction

Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have blessed me with the grace of forgiveness through the sacrifice He made for me and for all people. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord.

Amen.


Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.



endless knot

Laced with Wisdom

“I used to tell young preachers, in order to preach you’ve got to have the power of God on your life. Now I tell them, in order to tie your shoes you’ve got to have the power of God on your life.”

~ Paul David Washer


Blue Latin Cross

Acts 2:1-11 (ESV)

The Pentecost
W

hen the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.

Peter preaching Pentecost

And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and 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 Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”


Notes on the Scripture

The Pentecost was, in effect, a “jump start” for the reign of the Holy Spirit. Christ had finished His mission on earth and had ascended to heaven. He promised that after he had left the world, He would leave “another Advocate” to dwell with those who believed in Him and followed His commandments. The Pentecost marks the coming of the Holy Spirit, the name by which we call the Spirit of God that remained with us after Christ had ascended.

The event itself is colorful and wonderful, a short time when everybody in the vicinity of the disciples could witness the miracle of the Holy Spirit. The disciples were speaking in the native language of every person present.

There is a wonderful metaphor in this, relating back to the ancient promise that Christ would make God’s grace available to all nations. The old covenant was specifically a relationship between God and the Jews; Christ brought a new covenant, that could be shared by anyone who believed in Him. The best we know, God had never spoken to human beings in any language but Hebrew, or Hebrew and Aramaic, if one counts the teachings of Jesus. Now, God speaks in the languages of all the nations.

On a more personal level, if we have accepted Christ into our hearts and follow His commandments, the Holy Spirit will live within us and we can know God in a way different from how we “know” anything else. He will speak to us in a language we can understand.



Coptic (Egyptian) painting of the Pentecost in icon style, artist unknown.
Coptic (Egyptian) painting of the Pentecost in icon style, artist unknown.

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Proverbs 30:5-6: Every word of God is flawless. Do not add to his words or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar.



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