Year B, Pentecost, 2018 – Windstorms
It’s Pentecost! This is that time of the year when the color red is prominent in our places of worship, and we talk a lot about fire and wind. For this podcast, we are going to pay attention to the Old Testament and New Testament readings for the day. Both readings feature the movement of the Spirit which accomplishes truly astonishing things. The Hebrew word for spirit, ruach, also translates as “wind” and just this past Monday, we experienced the power and might of wind as a storm ripped through our area with high winds and hail. WOW. We know from our own experiences that the wind and the Spirit can do fantastic things that leave us in awe. Let’s go examine what is available in these passages to blow new life and energy into our congregations. Bring a mop!
This week’s texts are:
Ezekiel 37:1-14 [01:58]
As we lost visual contact with the end of our deck Monday afternoon, I was not thinking about the Holy Spirit moving through a valley of dry bones. I *was* praying to that Spirit for protection, though! Once the storm was over and we were mostly confident about going back outside, the power of the wind was evidenced everywhere. Hail had shredded leaves on many trees and our roof looks like someone dumped a salad up there. We saw that a neighbor had lost the top out of a pine tree – which gave the air a fresh smell as he was probably calling his insurance agent. I bet, like us, Ezekiel stood in trembling awe of what the ruach had done in the valley. If you have experienced a big wind storm like that, try to use that energy and awe in the choral reading we have for WORD smart. We did not see the wind blow dead bodies back to life, but maybe the clip from the movie in EYE smart might be fun to show. The bones in the valley are thought to be the result of a massacre so we have a list of massacres in MATH smart. The numbers are staggering. We have a link in BODY smart about decomposition rather than recomposition. The bones represent the spiritual reality of the people of Israel who feel entirely cut off from hope. We have a very brief list of people in our world today who may be experiencing that same hopelessness in PEOPLE. We also have links to how others could help. And we have a question for you and your congregation to ponder in SELF smart. What is more terrible to see; our tendency towards destruction or God’s power that overcomes it?
Here is a link to a past episode that covers this passage. We have some different options here.
- Smarts – Word [03:04], Eye [04:00], Math [06:48], Body [07:43], People [09:00], Self [11:09]
- Ezekiel 37 worksheet
- Links in Ezekiel
- WORD smart –
- Ezekiel 37 NRSV Choral Reading
- EYE smart –
- Did the revived look like Jason vs. Children of Hydra?
- MATH smart –
- Here’s a list of historic massacres by date, geography, number, and a brief description. Holy cow.
- BODY smart –
- What happens to your body when you die. GRAPHIC CONTENT!
- PEOPLE smart –
- WORD smart –
Acts 2:1-21 [13:07]
This is a Sunday that is just made for experimentation! It only happens once a year, has some spectacular special effects, and a huge party at fellowship, so why not break down some traditional practices and let a little air inside? As we read the story, a whole LOT of air came inside; so much that the apostles were blown out into the street with the capacity to speak another language! We think exploring the sound of diversity is a great way to begin the service, so use this passage as we suggest in WORD smart special effect. Since fire is part of this story, David has a link to a way you might demonstrate tongues of flame in EYE smart. As usual, BE CAREFUL working with fire. Some preachers, if they read further than the assigned passage, get distracted by the addition of 3000 new members as the result of one really good sermon. We indulge in that a bit with some number crunching in MATH smart. Want to demonstrate wind instead of fire? We have a links to a lot of science projects in NATURE smart! The boom of the wind is what draws people’s attention and the plethora of languages spoken by Galileans is what keeps people around. Talk about the challenges of language in PEOPLE smart. And finally in SELF smart, when have you been surprised at what comes out of your own mouth?
We’ve covered this passage twice before and here are links to those times! We didn’t re-invent anything – too obviously!
- Smarts – Word [14:58], Eye [17:30], Math [20:52], Nature [23:25], People [time], Self [17:47/25:58]
- Acts 2 worksheet
- Links in Acts
- EYE smart –
- NATURE smart –