O God, you are Spirit;
You are wind; you are breath.
You meet us in the wonders of creation,
in the awe of wonderful things,
in the terror of fearful things.
You blow among the fallen leaves,
the broken branches, the whining pain,
and the whirlwinds of delight.
Your wind gently touches our brow
with comfort and caress;
your forgiveness raises us to life;
your challenge disturbs our tidy piles
and spreads opportunities before our eyes.
Gentle Spirit, breathe your life on us.
Open our closed doors to your compassion;
Inspire us to sing and sigh for justice;
Spirit of Jesus, teach us to walk, to work,
to pray, to live, to love your way.
Awaken our dreams, expand our visions,
heal us for hope, in the name
of God, our Creator,
of Jesus, our Risen Savior,
and of the Holy Spirit, our breath of life.
(written by William Loader)
Our God, we come in humility, confessing
who and what we are. We are often
unresponsive for we are afraid.
Lord, have mercy and give us courage.
When your Spirit speaks, we turn deaf ears,
for we fear what you might call us to do.
Lord, have mercy and prepare us to listen.
When your Spirit impresses on our lips, we close
our mouths, embarrassed to speak your Word.
Lord, have mercy and speak through us.
When the wind of your Spirit blows, we
close the windows of our hearts, afraid
the breeze will disrupt our ordered lives.
Lord, have mercy and quell our need for control.
When the fire of your Spirit touches
us, we try to quench its flame, afraid
of the new life it might bring.
Forgive us, Lord, and hear our prayer.
Help us turn to you and lean on your Spirit
to guide us through our days, to speak
and listen and to serve you fully.
We ask in the name
of the Father,
of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
(Nolan and Phyllis Palsma, Harmon Li)
Sermon and Reflection
In what ways have you recently seen the Holy Spirit at work in your life or community?
What practices have best helped you recognize the direction of the Holy Spirit in your life?
Listen to the promise Christ Jesus makes:
He will never abandon us as orphans – He will come to us.
Although the world will not be able to see him, he will never
vanish from our sight, and since he lives, we will also live.
Go from here with the comfort that
we do not go alone: the power and
presence of God goes with us.
Let us go, reflecting the love and grace
we receive to serve all we meet this week,
in the name of
the loving Father,
the resurrected Son,
and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.
[Photo by Maya Beano @ Flickr]