On Pentecost Sunday we recall the gift of the Holy Spirit to Jesus' disciples and rejoice in the Spirit's continuing comfort, guidance, and intercession for us.
Since the crowd at Pentecost were devout Jews resettled in Jerusalem, Aaron Kuecker assumes they shared a language. Hearing Christ's spirit-filled disciples speak to them in their birth-languages was the subversion of shared language and culture as a necessary basis for common identity.
Bill Shiell explains how Peter reinterpreted the feast of Pentecost and the marvelous events as fulfilling Joel's prophecy for old and young, male and female, and slaves. Alicia Myers reminds us the disciples and their churches were imperfect and unfinished by the inclusive standards established that day.
Brandon Dahm draws attention to "the ordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit - the ones that grace the Messiah: wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, piety, courage, and fear of the Lord - for they are part of something equally marvelous: our being drawn into friendship with God." Exploring the mysterious role of the Spirit in praying for us, whether we are aware of it or not, Timothy Wiarda writes, "God knows our hearts and is intimately acquainted with our groaning. And that should cause us to love and praise him."
Heidi Hornik compares how four artists over ten centuries portrayed the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Carmen Butcher explores the importance of the Spirit in Hildegard of Bingen's thought as expressed in her prose, poetry, and illuminations.
The study guides and lesson plans integrate Bible study, prayer, and worship to explore the central roles of the Holy Spirit in motivating and guiding our discipleship. The guides can be used in a series or individually. You may download and reproduce them for personal or group use.
- "The Spirit's Gift and Witness: Communities of Reconciled Difference," by Aaron J. Kuecker
- "Dreams, Visions, and Prophecies," by Alicia D. Myers
- "Friendship with the Holy Spirit," by Brandon Dahm
- "When the Holy Spirit Intercedes," by Timothy J. Wiarda
- "'Supreme and Fiery Force,'" by Carmen Acevedo Butcher
- "Descent of the Holy Spirit," by Heidi J. Hornik, on the illuminated manuscript Descent of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost), Duccio's Pentecost, El Greco's The Pentecost, and Emil Nolte's Pentecost
Hymn and Worship Service
- "Revising Memories at Pentecost," by William D. Shiell
- "Tracing the Spirit through Scripture," by Dalen C. Jackson
- Gordon D. Fee, Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God
- Anthony Thiselton, The Holy Spirit - In Biblical Teaching, through the Centuries, and Today
- Christopher J. H. Wright, Knowing the Holy Spirit through the Old Testament
- Amos Yong, Who Is the Holy Spirit? A Walk with the Apostles
- "Who is the Holy Spirit?" by Barbara Mutch
- Jack Levinson, Inspired: The Holy Spirit and the Mind of Faith
- Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, ed., Holy Spirit and Salvation
- Craig S. Keener, Gift and Giver: The Holy Spirit for Today
- Phyllis Tickle, with Jon M. Sweeney, The Age of the Spirit: How the Ghost of an Ancient Controversy is Shaping the Church
Study Guides and Lesson Plans (Download the set of five Study Guides)
- "The Holy Spirit's Gift and Witness"
- "Dreams, Visions, and Prophecies"
- "Friendship with the Holy Spirit"
- "When the Holy Spirit Intercedes"
- "The Spirit's 'Supreme and Fiery Force'"
- "The Book of Acts" issue of Christian Reflection