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Worship Service

Call to Worship

Leader:             The prophet asks: Can our soul-weary bones live again?
People:            O God, you know!
Leader:             We ask: Can we dance again after mourning, loss and grief?
People:            O God, you know!
Leader:             The gift is sure and unmistakable:
People:            Godís breath poured out as new life for weary souls!
Leader:             Let us celebrate the gift of Godís new life
People:            And come to worship God in laughter and dancing!

Song: Breathe , Spirit of the Living God, O Breath of Life, Holy Spirit, Truth Divine

Readings:  Acts 2:1-21, Ezekiel 37:1-14

Multimedia Presentation: A Prayer to Spirit God

 
 

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Devotion:
Spirit-Breath of God
by Rev. Frank Schaefer

At the original Pentecost event something extraordinary was reported to have happened to the disciples of Christ. Something changed them from the inside out and there were even descriptions of a physical manifestation such as tongues of fire and a miracle of language.

The two most common words used for spirit in the Bible are the Hebrew ruach and the Greek pneuma.

Ruach means breath, air; wind; breeze; and spirit among others [1]

The idea that "wind," "breath" and "spirit" are so closely related that they share the same word may seem strange to modern people, however, this explains a lot of things. For instance, when God breathed into Adam's nostril he became a living being (Gen 2:12). The breath of God is the very spirit that animates human beings.

Ruach is also the word used in Ezekiel 37 which describes the resurrection of an army of men slain in the desert.

The Greek Pneuma is the equivalent of the Hebrew ruach. In Luke 4, where Christ read from Isaiah 61, the account substitutes pneuma for the Hebrew ruach in referring to "the Spirit [ ruach/pneuma ] of the Lord."

Theologically speaking, every living human person thus has the spirit of God dwelling inside. Our very breath, our very spirit comes from our Creator. However, on the day of Pentecost, the disciples received a special endowment of God's Spirit--a phenomenon that lies at the very heart of the nature of the Church of Christ. This endowment of the Spirit is supernatural. Paul associates it with the gifts of the Spirit including the gift of healing, working miracles and speaking in tongues (1Cor. 12).

Jesus made it clear to the disciples that the same spirit that dwelled in him was now going to be in the disciples as well. ( And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit [ pneuma ] ' John 20:21-22).

The same power that conquered the grave was now to dwell in his followers to empower us overcome whatever challenge may come our way. Let us take courage, let us believe in the power of his Spirit in our lives. With God all things are possible, even those things that seem unconquerable. Please join me in a prayer of confession.....

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[1]Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 1985, p. 240)
 

Prayer of Confession

Almighty God, breath of life, your power goes far beyond our own, and yet we still  act as though the pains of this world have a final claim upon us.
 

We give in to the despair and hopelessness of death, not trusting in your ability to call forth new life from the tombs of our lives.

Forgive us for doubting your power to raise up new life in the midst of all the deaths we experience.

Forgive us, and open our eyes to the wonder of new life sprouting into being in our very midst.

         
SONG:
Wind Who Makes All Winds That Blow, Filled with the Spirit's Power, Same Power, Come Holy Ghost Our Souls Inspire.


Sending Forth:

Come out! Jesus calls
And entices us into a world filled with grace and possibility.
So: Go out!
Into a world that needs our life, our breath, our spirit!
Go out!
Into a world that needs the Spirit of God, carried on our lips and in our loving arms.
Go out!
Into the world to live as Godís resurrected people!
Go out: and go on the breath of Godís holy wind!