Pentecost, Year B

Musical Reflection
Fireproof by The National

Kazimir

Invocation

Spirit of truth:
guide us into all the truth;
consume the lies
that shroud the world with hate;
pray in us
with sighs too deep for words;
and let the victim’s voice ring out
with hope for a new world;
to show another way;
through Jesus Christ, who goes to the right hand of God.
Amen.
First Reading
Unmediated Experience
by Bob Hicok
She does this thing. Our seventeen-
year-old dog. Our mostly deaf dog.
Our mostly dead dog, statistically
speaking. When I crouch.
When I put my mouth to her ear
and shout her name. She walks away.
Walks toward the nothing of speech.
She even trots down the drive, ears up,
as if my voice is coming home.
It’s like watching a child
believe in Christmas, right
before you burn the tree down.
Every time I do it, I think, this time
she’ll turn to me. This time
she’ll put voice to face. This time,
I’ll be absolved of decay.
Which is like being a child
who believes in Christmas
as the tree burns, as the drapes catch,
as Santa lights a smoke
with his blowtorch and asks, want one?

Second Reading
Holy Cussing
by Robert Morgan
When the most intense revivals swept
the mountains just a century ago,
participants described the shouts and barks
in unknown tongues, the jerks of those who tried
to climb the walls, the holy dance and laugh.
But strangest are reports of what was called
the holy cuss. Sometimes a man who spoke
in tongues and leapt for joy would break into
an avalanche of cursing that would stun
with brilliance and duration. Those that heard
would say the holy spirit spoke as from
a whirlwind. Words burned on the air like chains
of dynamite. The listeners felt transfigured,
and felt true contact and true presence then,
as if the shock of unfamiliar
and blasphemous profanity broke through
beyond the reach of prayer and song and hallo
to answer heaven’s anger with its echo.

malevich

Gospel Reading 1
John 15:26-27

“When the Paraclete comes – the Spirit of truth who comes from Abba God, whom I myself will send from my Abba – she will bear witness on my behalf. You too must bear witness, for you’ve been with me from the beginning.”

Gospel Reading 2
John 16:4-15

“I have told you these things so that when the time comes, you’ll remember that I told you ahead of time. I didn’t tell you this at first because I was with you. Now I am going to the One who sent me – yet not one of you has asked, ‘Where are you going?’ You’re sad of heart because I tell you this. Still I must tell you the truth: it is much better for you that I go. If I fail to go, the Paraclete will never come to you, whereas if I go, I will send her to you. When she comes, she will prove the world wrong about sin, about justice and about judgment. About sin – in that they refuse to believe in me; about justice – because i go to Abba God and you will see me no more; about judgment – for the ruler of the world has been condemned. I have much more to tell you, but you can’t bear to hear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, she will guide you into all truth. She won’t speak on her own initiative; rather she’ll speak only what she hears, and she’ll announce to you all that is to come. In doing this, the Spirit will give glory to me, for she will take what is mine and reveal it to you. Everything that Abba God has belongs to me. This is why I said that the Spirit will take what is mine and reveal it to you.”

Scripture Reading
Acts 2:1-21

When Pentecost Day arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be individual flames of fire alighting on each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as she enabled them to speak.

There were devout people from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered. They were mystified because everyone heard them speaking in their native languages. They were surprised and amazed, saying, “Look, aren’t all the people who are speaking Galileans, every one of them? How then can each of us hear them speaking in our native language? Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; as well as residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the regions of Libya bordering Cyrene; and visitors from Rome (both Jewish and converts to Judaism), Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the mighty works of God in our own languages!” They were all surprised and bewildered. Some asked each other, “What does this mean?” Others jeered at them, saying, “They’re full of new wine!”

Peter stood with the other eleven apostles. He raised his voice and declared, “Judeans and everyone living in Jerusalem! Know this! Listen carefully to my words! These people aren’t drunk, as you suspect; after all, it’s only nine o’clock in the morning! Rather, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
    Your daughters and sons will prophesy.
    Your young will see visions.
    Your elders will dream dreams.
    Even upon my servants, men and women,
        I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
        and they will prophesy.
I will cause wonders to occur in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,
        blood and fire and a cloud of smoke.
The sun will be changed into darkness,
    and the moon will be changed into blood,
        before the great and spectacular day of the Lord comes.
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Musical Reflection
Wild is the Wind by Cat Power

Malevich1

Come, Holy Spirit Prayer
traditional prayer, translated

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth.

Lord, by the light of the Holy Spirit
you have taught the hearts of your faithful.
In the same Spirit
help us to relish what is right
and always rejoice in your consolation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

O Thou, The Breathing Life of all,
In the roar and whisper, in the breeze and the whirlwind, we hear your name.

Help us let go, clear the space inside,
Creating a holy place within for your light to shine.

Unite our “I can” to yours,
So that we walk as kings and queens with every creature.

Your heart’s fervent desire then acts with ours.
As in all sound and light, so in all creatures on the earth.

Give us the food we need to grow through each new day.
Produce in us the wisdom and understanding we need at each new stage of our lives.

Help us to let go of our past, the hidden guilt of our failures,
Just as we consistently release others of the knots of their guilt.

Let us not become lost in busyness, in the surface appearance of things. But free us from what holds us back.

May abundance, fertile power, and glorious harmony return again and again, in each new age. May this be the ground from which all our actions grow. Amen.

Musical Reflection
The Fire by The Roots (featuring John Legend)


Blessing

May the Spirit be the storm
that shakes the foundations,
the leap of new fire,
which turns oppression to ash;
may her wildness seduce us
with holy desire;

and the blessing of God,
the Lover, the Beloved and the Love,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

MalevichKazimir_103_41822000876944

Sources:

Artwork by Kazimir Malevich

Invocation and Blessing from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Fireproof by The National

Poem Unmediated Experience by Bob Hicok

Poem Holy Cussing by Robert Morgan

Musical Reflection Wild is the Wind by Cat Power

Prayer translated by the ICEL

Aramaic Lord’s Prayer, transliteration by Neil Douglas-Klotz, personalized by Virginia Melroy

Musical Reflection The Fire by The Roots

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