Lectionary - Day of Pentecost Year B

| DB Home | RCL Resources Index | Questions and Comments |

Acts 2:1-21 The Holy Spirit comes upon those gathered in the upper room
or Ezekiel 37:1-14 Life given to the dry bones
Psalm 104:24-34,35b All creatures are created through the spirit of God
Romans 8:22-27 The spirit helps us
John 15:26-27;16:4b-15 The Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father

Suggested Hymns (From Denis Towner. TIS = Together in Song; AHB = Australian Hymn Book; SA = Sing Alleluia)
Acts 2: 1-21
Christians lift up your hearts… Praise for the Spirit TIS.423
Filled with the Spirit's power TIS.411 AHB.328
Holy Spirit, ever dwelling TIS.410 AHB.323
Like the murmur of the dove's song TIS.419
Lord God, the Spirit blest TIS.404 AHB.317

Ezekiel 37: 1-14
Breathe on me, breath of God TIS.407 AHB.320
Loving Spirit, loving Spirit TIS.417
O Breath of life, come sweeping through us TIS.409 AHB.322

Psalm 104: 24-34, 35b
All things bright and beautiful TIS.135 AHB.70
O worship the King all-glorious above TIS.133 AHB.67
Praise the Lord, O my soul TIS.65

Romans 8: 22-27
Come down, O Love divine TIS.398 AHB.310
O God of every nation TIS.621
O Spirit of the living God TIS.405 AHB.318
Praise the Spirit in creation TIS.415
There's a spirit in the air TIS.414

John 15: 26-27; 16: 4b-15
Breathe on me, breath of God TIS.407 AHB.320
Christ is alive, with joy we sing TIS.393
Come gracious Spirit, heavenly dove TIS.402 AHB.311
Come, Holy Spirit, come! TIS.422
Come, Holy Spirit, our souls inspire TIS.396 AHB.308
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me SFGP.91 NJS.134

Other Possible Hymns
(Numbers refer to The Australian Hymn Book and Sing Alleluia.)
SA 41 (TIS 416)Great God, your Spirit, like a wind
SA 49 (TIS 632)In great thanksgiving
324 (TIS 412)God send us his Spirit -- Spirit Friend
325 When our master Jesus went away
364 (TIS 440)Christ, from whom all blessings flow
377 (TIS 406)Spirit divine, attend our prayers
486 (TIS 572)O thou who camest from above

Sermon Summary (To be added: click here for complete sermon on John 15:26-27 and Acts 2; and here for alternative sermon on Ezekiel 37)

Spirit and apostle: two witnesses?

The Spirit will testify and you also are to testify (John 15:26-27). Jesus seems to be talking of two different kinds of witnesses, the Spirit and "you also" (the apostles and cf Matthew 28:18-20). Two witnesses to the truth can easily become, within the wide range of fallible human experience, two authorities which differ on what the truth may be. There has always been a struggle in the church to hear what the Spirit is saying while receiving also the witness of the apostles. Indeed, is not the idea of orthodoxy itself under challenge in the very possibility of individuals being guided by the Spirit?

The Spirit came upon all those who were gathered together (Acts 2:4). They were not blessed separately and apart but together (Acts 2:1), but it was an individual gift. Each one was marked out (Acts 2:3) That was made explicit when Peter addressed the crowd (Acts 2:16-18).That does not mean that they were all equipped to do (1 Corinthians 12:8-11 and 12:4-7).(1) different members have different gifts and (2) the gifts are given for the common good; and witness of the Spirit is still direct and personal (Romans 8:14-16) as an assurance.

Leadership is not to be forgotten in the diversity of gifts ( Ephesians 4:11-12 and 1 Corinthians 12:28). The teaching of the apostles was marked out as an original characteristic of the catholic church (Acts 2:42 with 2:38). The teaching of the apostles is not sufficient without the Spirit of God dwelling with each member, and the gift of the Spirit to each one still requires the members to learn from the teaching of the apostles.

So, what's the problem? If that is the way that Jesus intended it to be, why do we have tension and division? Basically it is because of human failings, our pride and weakness. The apostles even disagreed among themselves (Galatians 2:11) but they all seemed to believe that the gift of the Spirit was necessary (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 7:40). There have certainly been times when the authority of bishops or local pastors has overpowered too much of the contribution of ordinary members. In recent times the contrary claims of individual members who oppose their own believes to the official teaching of the church have done more damage. You will know them by the test of the fruits -- as Jesus taught (Matthew 7:20; Galatians 5:22-23).

Ah! But! You might say church leaders today are not the apostles. The apostles died long ago. When the original witnesses were dying out the written record of their teaching, the New Testament scriptures, became important. At the same time there were leaders who were accepted as standing in the tradition of the apostles and that tradition was important to the life of the church (e.g.1 Corinthians 11:23-24). It was used together with writings and the personal witness of pastoral leaders to make up the continuing witness of the apostles, a witness which should be confirmed by the witness of the Spirit with each one. But divisions are to be expected (1 Corinthians 11:18-19) while claims to truth are tested. Both the witness of the apostles and witness of the Spirit should lead us in the same direction, that is to the reality of Christ.

| DB Home | RCL Resources Index | Questions and Comments |

Order of Service for Day of Pentecost (Whitsunday) Year B and Congregational Re-affirmation of Baptism

The Gathering of the People of God

Come, Holy Spirit , fill the hearts of your people;
And kindle in us the fire of your love

HYMN 377 Spirit divine, attend our prayers


Loving and eternal God, we come to worship you in wonder and in gladness. You have blessed us and made yourself known to us in countless loving ways in your creation of a world that is full of your glory, in your coming to us in Jesus Christ to bring us back to yourself, and through your presence in the power of the Holy Spirit whose presence inspires our worship.

Today we recall with special thanksgiving and adoration your coming in the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. Let us all be blessed now with that great gift that we may faithfully worship and serve you Lord God in the power of the Spirit for years to come, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


In seeking such a blessing Lord we confess that we are unworthy of even the least of your gifts. Forgive us for the many occasions when we have enjoyed the riches of your creation without offering a word of thanks. Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.

We seek reconciliation in the name of Christ, yet we have been slow to witness to his love and serve to him in the world. Christ have mercy. Christ have mercy.

We have grieved the Holy Spirit in our reluctance to be led into new ways and in our unfaithfulness to the witness of the apostles to the word of truth conveyed to us in the church. Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.


Hear the assurance of the apostle, that no matter what you have done you are not bound by the past: "If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:17-18). And so I declare to you Christ's word of forgiveness: Your sins are forgiven. Thanks be to God.

Service of the Word

NT READING Acts 2:1-21 The Holy Spirit comes on those in the upper room
An African song to the Holy Spirit

Wa wa wa Eminimo (Emioloye)
Wa wa alagabrara (Alagbarameta)
Wao wao wao (Eminmino)
Come, O Holy Spirit, come. (Holy Spirit, come)
Come, Almighty Spirit, come. (Almighty Spirit,come)
Come, come, come. (O Spirit, come)

[PSALM 104:24-34,35b All creatures are created through the spirit of God]
[EPISTLE Romans 8:22-27 The spirit helps us]
GOSPEL John 15:26-27;16:4b-15
The Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father ... It is for your good that I am going away

HYMN 324 God sends us his Spirit -- Spirit Friend

A Congregational Reaffirmation of Baptism

Do you turn to Christ? I turn to Christ.
Do you repent of your sins? I repent of my sins.
Do you renounce evil and the false values of this world? I renounce them.
And now I ask you to confess the faith into which you were baptised, and in which you continue to live and grow:

Do you believe in God, who made you and loves you?
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, your Saviour and Lord?
I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, and the continuing work of our salvation?
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

This is the faith of God's baptised people.
We are not ashamed to confess it in Christ our Lord.
I ask you now to pledge yourselves to Christ's ministry in the world:
Will you continue in the community of faith, the apostles' teaching, the breaking of bread and the prayers?
With God's help, we will.
Will you proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ?
With God's help, we will.
Will you seek Christ in all people, and love your neighbour as yourself?
With God's help, we will.
Will you strive for justice and peace, and respect the dignity of every human being?
With God's help, we will.
May almighty God,
who has given us new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, keep us steadfast in the faith, and bring us to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

RECOLLECTION OF BAPTISM [The people remain standing.
An elder pours water into the font. The elder then says:]
Come, Lord Jesus, refresh the lives of all your faithful people.
[The minister may sprinkle water from the font by hand three times towards the people:]
Always remember you are baptised, and praise the Holy Spirit.
Today we remember that, from the time of our baptism, the sign of the cross has been upon us. I invite you now to join me in tracing the sign of the cross upon your forehead, saying - I belong to Christ. Amen.

[The minister and people may mark themselves with the sign, saying:]
I belong to Christ. Amen.

HYMN 310 Come down O love divine
SHARING TIME [Notices, celebrations, requests for intercessions]
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE .....Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Praise be to you, my Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits you have won for me,
for all the pains and insults you have borne for me. O most merciful Redeemer,
friend and brother, may I know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen. Attributed to St. Richard of Chichester


The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper [Responses SA 100 c and d]

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Thanks and praise ..... in the eternal hymn: [SA 100c and 100d]
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

We thank you ....
Lord's Prayer [front of Hymn Book]

The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN 486 O thou who camest from above
DISMISSAL Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.

| DB Home | RCL Resources Index | Questions and Comments |

| Christian Beliefs | Family History | Public Affairs | Higher Ed Research | Hobbies and Interests | Issues in the UCA | Personal Background | Psychological Research | Templestowe UC | Worship and Preaching |