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The Day of Pentecost "Pentecost Then & Now" by Pr. Jim



23 May 2021

Grace Lutheran Church

Ashland, Oregon

The Rev. James A. Kabel, Intentional Interim


Welcome to Grace Lutheran Church. We are happy that you have joined us for worship this morning. May all present grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in a love and desire to serve him. If you are a guest or visitor and have not done so already, please honor us by signing our Guest Book in the entrance hall of the church as you leave. If you have no church home of your own in the area, we invite you to make Grace Lutheran Church the center of your worship, learning, fellowship, and service. Pastor Jim or this morning’s lay assistant will be happy to answer any questions you may have concerning our parish. Come to worship with us again and often!

AS WE GATHER   Come, Holy Spirit

Fifty days after Easter, we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Crossing all boundaries that would separate us, the Spirit brings the wideness of God’s mercy to places we least expect it—to a crowd of strangers of different lands and tongues, to dry bones, to our weak hearts. Jesus promises his disciples that they will be accompanied by the Holy Spirit, and that this Spirit reveals the truth. We cele-brate that we too have been visited with the same Spirit. Guided by the truth, we join together in worship, and then disperse to share the fullness of Christ’s love with the world around us.


God, our Creator, earth has many languages, but your Gospel announces your love to all men in one heavenly speech. Make us messengers of the Good News to everyone every-where; through the power of the Spirit and in the Name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


PRE-SERVICE MUSIC At the Name of Jesus W&P 12

Spirit Song W&P 129



On this Day of Pentecost, we reflect on how the Spirit brought us to the living faith. Like the disciples of old, we too have been touched by the Spirit and have been given the charge to proclaim the Good News to all the earth. And on this day, we ask that our hearts and minds be opened so that the Spirit’s power and might may come to us in abundance. For the saving faith that he has brought us and daily brings to us we say, “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people and kindle in us the fire of your love.”

PRELUDE Come, Gentle Spirit—John Turner

Tatsiana Ascheichyk, Piano


In the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

In that Name, and with that faith—as dear children approaching a loving parent, as sinners redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, as believers filled with the Holy Spirit—let us confess our sins to God.

Most merciful God, we have been unworthy and disobedient children. We have ignored our Father’s admonitions, disregarded our Savior’s instructions, grieved the Holy Spirit. We are not worthy to be called your children. But we beg you —of your fatherly compassion, by your saving merits, at your inviting call —to have mercy on us and grant us forgiveness.

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him

might not perish but have eternal life. To those who believe in Jesus Christ, the heavenly Father gives the Holy Spirit that they may be children of God. Rejoice in

the Lord, your sins are forgiven in the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of

the Holy Spirt. Amen.



The grace of our Risen Savior, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

               And also with you.

NOW THE FEAST   Refrain:     Now the feast and celebration,

All of creation sings for joy

to the God of life and love and freedom:

praise and glory forevermore!

  1. Now is the feast of the Lamb once slain, those blood has freed and united us to

be one great people of God.Refrain

  1. Power and riches, wisdom and might,

all honor and glory to Christ forever.Refrain

  1. For God has come to dwell with us, to make

us people of God; to make all things new. Refrain    


Almighty God our Father, you breathe life into our bones, and your Spirit

brings truth to the world. Send us this Spirit, transform us by your truth,

and give us the language to proclaim your gospel to those around us,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

FIRST LESSON Acts 2:1-21

[Originally Pentecost was a Jewish thanksgiving-type festival celebrated seven weeks (50 days)

after Passover. On this particular Pentecost, however, the Holy Spirit is poured out upon the entire community of believers just as Jesus promised and the scriptures had prophesied. Empowered by

the holy Spirit, the entire community bears witness to God’s activity in multiple languages.]

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was

bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.

Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?

And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes,

Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,

Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors

from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own language we hear

them speak about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to

one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with

new wine.”

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

“In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,

and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

The word of the Lord.

             Thanks be to God!

PSALM 51 (Please join Worship Team in singing the Refrain)

     Refrain: Come, Holy Spirit, renew our hearts and kindle in us the fire of your love.

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not

take pleasure in burnt offerings.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite

heart, O God, you will not despise.  Refrain

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit

within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.  Refrain

SECOND LESSON Romans 8:22-27

[By pouring the Holy Spirit into our hearts, God gives us the promised first fruit of eternal life so that we await God’s future in hope. In the meantime, the Spirit also intercedes for us by carrying the prayers of our weak human hearts to God.]

We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now, and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we await for it with patience.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what the mind of the Spirit is because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God!

SPECIAL MUSIC Breathe on Me, Breath of God—Robert Jackson

GOSPEL John 15:16-17; 16:4b-15

The Holy Gospel according to John, the 15th chapter. Glory to you, O Lord.

[While speaking to his disciples before his death, Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as “the Helper” and described the difference the Spirit would make in their lives and in the world.]

Jesus said:] “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.

“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the

Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you in all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

     Praise to you, O Christ.

GRACE CHOIR Amen—Curtis Mayfield

HOMILY - Pentecost Then & Now—Pr. Jim Text: The First Lesson

+ In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. +

It must have been an exciting moment—that Sunday morning at 9:00 am—when the Holy Spirit descended on those who had gathered together. The noise of the rushing wind … the flames of fire … speaking in different languages … the inspired preaching … all of which added up to an impressive birthday of The Church. On this Day of Pentecost, there really isn’t any reason why the first Pentecost should be a one-time event. The same Holy Spirit is alive and active in The Church today. As I thought about that, I couldn’t help but think how much The Church in our day and age … how much Grace/Ashland … needs to recapture that Pentecost experience coming out of the pandemic. And so … on this Day of Pentecost … there are some thoughts and parallels I’d like to share with you.

First was the apostles’ zeal. They were filled with the Spirit as they spoke to the international crowd gathered around them. You can be sure that their Gospel preaching was more than reciting a few Bible passages, or carefully reading a prepared homily. They were on fire with enthusiasm—so much so that some of the crowd thought they had been into their cups a little too early in the day. But the apostles had a message they felt compelled to proclaim … no matter what anyone thought. They were eager to move out into their community … into the world … with conviction and courage. People might misunderstand them … hate them … persecute them … make martyrs of them … slam the door in their faces … make fun of their beliefs … but they felt compelled to share the Good News of God’s forgiveness and love for all men in Jesus Christ.

Compare that to the Church of our generation. In the in-between time, we’ve grown somewhat lazy and complacent. We’ve lost some of the fire of being alive in the Lord. At 10:00 am here at Grace, the faithful gather together in the sanctuary or on Zoom to sing a few hymns … pray a few prayers … listen to a few Scripture lessons and a homily. And then very often … without too much thought … we settle back into the day and week with lives unchanged … untouched … and unmoved.

Listen to what Peter had to say to the surprised crowd on that first Pentecost:

God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Therefore

… be assured of this: God has made this same Jesus, whom you crucified, both

God and Lord. [Acts 2:36]

That’s the foundation of faith and zeal—Christ crucified and alive for them … for us.

If we don’t share the conviction that Jesus is a living Lord vitally involved in each and every moment of our lives, then we’re not going to be very eager Christians. And … we’re not going to have very much influence upon our community and the lives of others. What The Church needs is a strong commitment and conviction in what it believes and is … the very body of Christ. To be effective in reaching the lost and disconnected, we need to remember that Jesus is the only reason for the Church’s and this congregation’s existence … for her outreach and ministry. Without Him there is no Church  no faith … no forgiveness … no hope. Without Him, it all becomes a terrible waste of energy and resources … unless … unless there is excitement and commitment to our Risen and Living in all we say and do as congregation … young and old alike.

Another thing that struck me about the first Pentecost is the list of countries that are represented in that first audience. People of sixteen [16] nationalities were there. They had come to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles or Harvest. 3000 of them became converts … 3000 excited people returned to their homes, sharing the Gospel. Notice that the Early Church wasn’t a group isolated from the world, holding on to a truth they had come to know and cherish—yet unwilling to share. Rather they were eager to share the message of Christ crucified and risen. They were willing to involve themselves in the lives of others for the sake of the Gospel.

Living in a country where being a Christian demands no special sacrifices, it’s all too easy to be a people parked in cathedral chairs or in front of a monitor on Zoomtoo easy to be complacent to the challenge our Lord places before us:

“You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends

of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

As God’s people here in this place, the ends of the earth challenge us today more than ever. Sociologists and church growth experts remind us that we are living in a global village. In years past we sent missionaries to foreign countries, but today nations are coming to us. As the apostles of old, we are empowered by the Spirit to be a dynamic force in the world and this community. We have been let loose by the Spirit through the waters of Baptism to be a witness for our Lord and His Kingdom.

On that first Pentecost, the people in Jerusalem heard the apostles speak to them of the wonderful works of God. I’m reminded of the time when John the Baptist was imprisoned and wanted to know whether Jesus was truly the One whose way he had prepared. Jesus sent back these words:

Go and tell John what you see and hear: the blind receive their sight and the

lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised

up, and the poor have good news preached to them.

That was the evidence that Jesus was The Christ—the things He did. When you and I are agents in making known the wonderful works of God … when others come to know and experience God gracious love in Christ through our witness and deeds … that is the evidence that we are part of Christ’s Spirit set loose in the world. When we … child, youth, young adult, middle aged, retired, and the tired … when we again have captured the enthusiasm and excitement of that first Day of Pentecost and live it … then we, too, will turn the world upside down.

Veni, Creator Spiritus. Come, Holy Spirit, fill hearts of your faithful people and kindle is us the fire and passion of your love and strengthen our lives for service in your Kingdom.

+ In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. +

APOSTOLIC CREED                                

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven

and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life + everlasting. Amen.


Alive in the risen Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, let us pray for the Church, the world, and all those in need.

Gracious God, you give the Holy Spirit to your Church, filling it with many and varied gifts. In The Church throughout the world, strengthen us our visioning and dreaming, that it may discover anew the Spirit’s creative work. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of life, your mighty works are too numerous to count. The earth is full of your creatures, living things both great and small. Open your hand and give them the necessities of this life. Send your fresh Spirit over the face of the earth and restore your creation to wholeness so that cities and towns, countryside and wilderness may abound with life. Cultivate in us care for all that you have made so that all the earth may be sustained for future generations as well as our own. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of the nations, at the sound of the rushing wind, people speaking in different languages proclaimed and heard together your deeds of power. Fill the hearts of all world leaders and rulers with your Holy Spirit, so that they exercise your gracious will and serve with justice and mercy. Bring resolution to the conflict in the Middle East. Enable diplomatic negotiations for a cease fire and an end to all hostility. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of faithfulness, you tend to the needs of people, even the sighs of our hearts. Hear those who cry out to you in distress. Restore to wholeness all who are in any need this day especially Charlie and Marguerite (MaryAnn’s father and mother), Rusty (under hospice care), Shari (continued cancer therapy), Tim (Judy’s son recovering from knee replacement surgery), Todd (Dean and Mary’s son recovering from open heart surgery), those suffering from COVID-19, together with those we name in our hearts that they may receive hope, healing, and the mercies rendered by us as God’s people as we pray for them. Be close to the hearts of all who are lonely or homebound, especially Sharon, Richard & Doris, Bonnie, Vernia, Elma, and those we name in our hearts that they may be assured of your loving presence in our compassion, prayers, and care for them. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of love, fill this congregation with gratitude for the gifts we have received from you. Renew our ministries and life together in the midst of the pandemic challenges that we face as a congregation, fill us anew with your Holy Spirit. Guide the members of our Call Committee as they continue their search for potential candidates for the pastoral office of our parish. Give us patience and keep us mindful that it is your Spirit who leads and guides us, and will in due time provide us with a pastor yet unknown to us but known and loved by you. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of hope, those who have gone before us with the sign of faith raise their song of praise in your presence. We give you thanks for the many gifts of your people and rejoice in the witness of your saints. By your Spirit, bring us at last with them, we pray, to dwell in your house forever. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the hope of new life in Christ, we raise our prayers to you, trusting in your never-ending goodness and mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Heavenly Father, we welcome this day of Resurrection with it is opportunity

to bring gifts to a loving God. Receive these offerings, we pray, as our joyful celebration of our new life in Jesus your Son. And through the bread and

wine we have presented, share your new life with us. Through the same

Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Amen.


The Lord be with you.

   And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

  We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

  It is right to give him thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, O holy God:

You are the Life and Light of all.

By your powerful word you created all things.

Through the prophets you called your people

to be a light to the nations.

Blessed are you for Jesus, your Son.

He is your Light, shining in our darkness

And revealing to us your mercy and might.


In the night in which he was betrayed,

our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;

broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying:

Take and eat; this is my + body which is given

for you. Do this in remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,

And gave it for all to drink, saying:

This cup is the new covenant in my + blood

shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness

of sin. Do this in remembrance of me.

Remembering, therefore, his preaching and healing,

his dying and rising, and his promise to come again,

we await that day when all the universe will rejoice in

your holy and life-giving light.

                    Come, Lord Jesus, live in us that we may live in you.

By your Spirit bless us and this meal, that refreshed with

this heavenly food, we may be light for the world, revealing

The brilliance of your Son.

Amen. Come, Holy Spirit.

Through him all glory and honor are yours, Almighty Father,

with the Holy Spirit, in your holy Church, both now and

forever. Amen.


Our Father who art in heaven;

hallowed be Thy Name,

Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses .

as we forgive those

who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil;

For thine is the kingdom

and the power and the glory

forever and ever. Amen.


The peace of the Lord be with you always. And also with you.


Distribution Music You satisfy the hungry heart LSB 641



Lord Jesus Christ, in this meal you have put gladness in our hearts. Satisfy the hunger still around us, and send us as joyful witnesses of

all that you have done for us, so that your love may bring joy to the

hearts of all people. We ask this is your Name. Amen.


SONG Thanks Be to You(Join in singing)

  1. Praise to you, O God of mercy: Thanks be to you forever!

Raising high the weak and lowly: Thanks be to you forever!

  1. From of old you loved and sought us: Thanks be to you forever!

Truth and justice you have taught us: Thanks be to you forever!

Strong is your faithfulness, strong is your love,

Rememb’ring your covenant of love with us.

  1. Praise to you, O God of mercy: Thanks be to you forever!

Raising high the weak and lowly: Thanks be to you forever!

Thanks be to you forever!


Go in peace. Serve the Lord.

             Thanks be to God!       

+ With Great Boldness … Tell Everyone What He Has Done! +

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