Posted by Craig Borlase on 14 May 2018

TeachingWhat Is Pentecost?

Q: Someone has just told me that it’s Pentecost some time soon and I’m going to be leading. If we don’t have tongues of fire, mass singing in tongues or the sound of a mighty rushing wind filling the building, will I have failed?

 

A: Easy there, friend. We’re here for you. Leading worship on Pentecost Sunday might seem a bit daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Take a deep breath and read on. We’ve got a great selection of songs for you to start building your set list, as well as a few thoughts that we hope will help…

What is Pentecost anyway?

Forty-nine days after Easter Sunday we remember the day in Jerusalem that the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ. You can (and probably should) read about it in Acts 2. It was, by any measure, a pretty remarkable event.

In the UK we sometimes call it Whitsunday (from White Sunday), due to the fact that years ago the day was seen as a good opportunity to welcome new members in  (who would wear white for baptism).

And why does it matter?

Galatians 5:22-23 reminds us that the Holy Spirit helps us live like Jesus.

'But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law'

Galatians 5:22-23

Pentecost is therefore less about the scale of the production and more a chance to remember the way that God invite and equips us to follow Him.

That makes Pentecost a great time to consider questions like these:

  • Are we aware of the way the Holy Spirit guides our lives?
  • Is there more evidence of the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control - in our lives today than there was this time last year?
  • What do we need to put aside, to confess in order to allow ourselves to be led more effectively by the Holy Spirit?

And what about the Church?

That first gathering in Jerusalem became the first Christian church. When you get up to lead your church in sung worship on Pentecost Sunday, you’ll be tapping into some powerful symbolism. God chose to work through the gathered collection of believers, underlining the important role that the church plays in God’s work here on earth.

So, if there’s one Sunday where you can encourage people to see themselves as a gathered community, this is it! Be free to give it all the enthusiasm you have, inviting people in and reminding them of the unique gift and blessing the church is designed to be to the world.

May you feel God’s call on your own life as you prepare for this service. May you invite others in to see the church in new ways. And may you gain fresh vision and hope for the role you and your community can play in the world around you.

If you feel inspired then click through to see our Pentecost Sunday Song List.

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