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Year C, Pentecost, 2016 – Happy Birthday!

May 13, 2016 / Molly Douthett / Pentecost


Greetings!! We are fast approaching Pentecost – that time of the year when everyone wears red or white and we use kites, or paper airplanes, or balloons to talk about the movement of the Spirit. Ironically, we have not included any of these elements in our podcast for the day. Instead, we are looking at what happens after the fire moves through. The Presence of God has arrived either with great noise and drama as Luke records in Acts, or as a transforming way of life that Paul presents in his letter to the Romans, or as the promise Jesus gives to his disciples as he prepares them for his absence. Whichever way you choose to present the Lectionary selections for this day, keep in mind that while the day has come and gone, the effects of the Spirit’s arrival remain.


This week’s texts are:  


Acts 2:1-21 [02:17]  – Luke presents the Paraclete’s arrival with high drama. I must admit, this was the celebration that made the biggest impact on me as a kid. I loved seeing all the red clothing and listening to the passage read in another language. I always felt a bit for the person who had to wrestle with the words “Phrygia” and “Pamphylia” and if someone in my congregation is charged with reading these, I give them to them phonetically to lessen the fear. In this podcast, we suggest auditory and visual aids, as well as singing hymns in languages other than English. We discuss the importance of visions and dreams for the life of a people, and how learning another’s customs and language signals a willingness to get to know and be known. We frequently refer to Pentecost as the birthday of the church, so bring a gift to worship that celebrates the day in style!

  • Word [02:44], Eye [04:45], Music [06:57], Nature [08:20], People [08:29], Self [10:35]
  • Acts 2 worksheet   


Romans 8:14-17 [11:27] – This is a short selection in the midst of Paul’s apology for life in Jesus Christ. Paul argues that this life is infused with the Spirit of God. Paul refers to the Spirit five times, so it seems wise to pay close attention. We look at the specific prefix “syn-” that Paul attaches to the words “heir,” “suffer,” and “glory.” We suggest some movies that use color to attract the viewer’s attention to subtext and suggest ways to use our bodies to feel the heft of the passage. What does it mean to inherit from God and what does it mean to suffer in or with Christ? If anyone wonders what happens now that the Pentecost party is over, Paul’s letter to the Romans is a great place to go for next steps.

  • Word [12:15], Eye [13:34], Body [16:24], People [17:08], Self [19:31]
  • Romans 8 worksheet   


John 14:8-17 (25-27) [21:08] – Paul urges the Christians in Rome to look for evidence of the Spirit in their transformed lives. In John, Jesus urges his disciples to participate fully in the life he will leave them. Here is the inheritance! As Jesus lived his life, we are to live ours. As Jesus was in union with God, we are in union with him, God, and one another. If we want to see God in the world, we learn to plant the seeds of faith in our hearts and offer them to people around us. And finally, Jesus promises to send an Advocate. In John’s Gospel, the Advocate arrives on Easter when Jesus breathes on his disciples and gives them the Spirit. Yet, whether we use this quiet version in John or the blow the doors off the hinges version in Acts, it is all the same – the Advocate has arrived, and we live our lives side by side, changing the world with one act of grace at a time. Maybe our gift to the church on this its birthday is to fully participate in the life given to us as our inheritance. Make it so.

  • Body [22:22], Music [24:24], Nature [24:50], People [26:25], Self [29:07]
  • John 14 worksheet   




… in Acts

Baptism by fire – from our Feedback Loop

Veni Creator Spiritus

The multilingual, multinational, and multi – tempo origins of How Great Thou Art

What a Friend We Have in Jesus – Koren transliteration


… in Romans

Forgotten God – Francis Chan

Symbolism for the color red in The Sixth Sense

The use of color (and other elements) in Schindler’s List

Video clip of the girl in red in Schindler’s List

Le Ballon Rouge – 1956 (This is the entire half hour movie.)


… in John

Bear stuffs

Alan Brehm – The Waking Dreamer

Amy Grant – Father’s Eyes

Juan and Amal



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