Sunday May 31 is Pentecost Sunday. Ten days after the ascension of Christ and fifty days after his resurrection, the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples on the day of Pentecost. Pentecost was an established Jewish festival of Shavuot, also known as the Feast of Weeks, which drew people from many nations back to Jerusalem. (Leviticus 23:15-21; Deuteronomy 16:16)
Pentecost symbolizes a new beginning. It celebrates the unleashing of the Holy Spirit on the world and the empowering of the church to reach the world with the gospel. In recognizing Pentecost, the church expresses its gratitude for the faithfulness of Christ in fulfilling his promise to send “another counselor” (John 14:16); celebrates the work of the Spirit in renewing all of creation; professes its confidence and security in knowing the Spirit’s power is available for its mission; and grows in awareness of the immensity of its calling to reach the world with the gospel.
While formal observation of the ecclesiastical calendar is not necessarily a big part among Grace Covenant’s traditions, awareness of certain days and seasons can offer a more well-rounded experience of our faith – somewhat like allowing us entry into the story, in our imaginations; as well as enable us to feel connected to other Christians across differing traditions, and throughout the centuries. Many of us have sensed that connection on Easter Sunday and at Christmas. For many Christians, Pentecost falls just behind Easter in order of important Church holidays.
Our service this week will reflect a subtle acknowledgment of Pentecost. Clear recognition of the Holy Spirit is present in the prayers and songs. While the Holy Spirit is always present, and always honored, in our worship services, a little more intentional attention is given this week. Other than that, and other than the fact that this week’s service begins with a Responsive Prayer followed by the Words of Approach – and not the other way around – our service follows the familiar pattern.
Please print out a .pdf of the service for each person in your household/group to use, and please check out the digital worship outline, with videos embedded as tools for your worship.
GCPC Worship May 31, 2020 (.pdf)