Over the past couple weeks we have been using some audio meditations and reflections from The Liturgists at our Worship Gatherings. On Mother’s Day we used tracks 4 & 5 from their “God our Mother” album to learn about the Orthodox practice of Apophatic Meditation, that draws attention to the limitations of human language to describe God.
There is also an album for “Pentecost” and we listened to tracks 2 & 3 before our Pentecost Potluck Supper. These tracks talk about the story where the Holy Spirit of God is given to the early church as tongues of fire. but then expands our ideas of miracles in a way that sees the magic and gift in the science of our very existence. If you haven’t ever listened to The Liturgists’ you should give them a try.
June 4th, 2017 was Pentecost Sunday. We celebrated this day on the church calendar with a table liturgy. You can listen in below.
For those of you looking for ideas for your own Pentecost Gathering, here are the words we used.
Pentecost Table Liturgy – June 4th, 2017
by Randell Neudorf Quotes taken from Acts 2, The Message Translation (unless otherwise noted)
(Ask people to Close their eyes)
When the Feast of Pentecost came, all of Jesus’ followers, all of Jesus’ friends were together in one place.
(Start wind sound using White Noise Synth or turn on a Fan)
Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, like a gale force wind—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks,
Some people have said “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them…” (Acts 2:3 NIV)
(Use a Mic with Delay for Mark 1:8)
I can only imagine that the words of John the Baptizer were ringing in their ears: “I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 1:8 NIV)
(Ask people to open their eyes)
This is the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit of the Trinity of God. Today is the day of Pentecost. The day when we remember and celebrate the amazing gift, the very spirit of God poured out on her Church.
The story goes on to say that all these Jesus Followers who just received the Holy Spirit start speaking in other tongues, other languages. People from many different lands were in Jerusalem at that time and they couldn’t believe that these uneducated fishermen and vagabonds were talking to them about the Kingdom of God in their own language.
They were seeing the spirit in action. But even in the middle of this some people were missing it. They decided that the Disciples, these followers of Jesus were all just drunk. They were quick to give an excuse to explain away the Holy Spirit.
People often say that they want to experience the Spirit of God, they want to feel and know that God is real. But the problem is that we are very gifted at explaining away any encounter we’ve actually had with God.
I really believe that everything is spiritual. God did not create us to separate our bodies, our minds and our spirits. We are physical/spiritual creatures (not one or the other).
We are like fish and the Holy Spirit is like the water all around us.
This is why I think we have such a hard time recognizing the Holy Spirit, because in reality the Holy Spirit touches so much of our lives.
Before we eat out meal, I want to give you an opportunity to reflect on this idea and to be prayed for, but you are going to have to take a step out of your comfort zone.
Tongues of Fire Communion & Anointing
Use Water (instead of juice or wine) to remind people of John the Baptizer’s words in Mark 1:8
Use Nachos & Salsa (instead of bread) with there being Mild, Medium and Hot salsa to choose from. Ask people to go one higher in heat than they normally would as a way of stepping out of their comfort zones.
Invite people to be prayed for and Anointed with Oil. Pray that they would recognize the Holy Spirit somewhere in their life this next week. You can also pray that this would be a teaching moment so they can learn to be more attuned to the work of the Holy Spirit.
Feel free to follow your liturgy with a meal. We had Taco Salad to tie into the Salsa & Nachos used for communion. Our hope is that through being playful with communion that the next time people have salsa or taste something spicy that they will remember what we were talking about and think of the Holy Spirit.