Pentecost Sunday is less than 2 weeks away and many of us are scrambling for resources to help us celebrate. But what are we celebrating.
- First we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit and the infilling of Jesus’ disciples with the power to go out and change the world
- Second we celebrate the great multi cultural gathering that we catch a glimpse of as we watch the spirit fall and suddenly everyone is able to understand each other – not all speaking the same language but able to understand each other in their own languages. Acts 2:11.
- Pentecost is traditionally the time that many churches pray for the peace of our world in which at times there seems to be so little cross cultural understanding.
So what kinds of resources do we need? First I think we need to provide our congregations with resources that help them to see Jesus from other cultural perspectives. In a visual society like ours art is one very powerful way to do this. Liturgy is another powerful tool because as we read the words aloud they resonate deep within our souls and take root.
Matt Stone at Glocal Christianity still has the best collection of art from different cultural contexts – not just European, Asian, African, South American, Middle Eastern, Australian and Celtic but also other more unusual perspectives – goth, alien, feminist and tattoo. We may not agree with all these perspectives – after all how many of us can relate to Jesus as a Cyclon – but it important for us to see the different ways that people perceive if we want to “understand them in their own language”.
Another great resource is The Text This Week which has one of the best online collections of links to Christian art I have come across – all indexed according to Biblical/liturgical subjects. They also provide an interesting list of movie clips that correspond to biblically related themes.
Another great collection of pentecost art is available at Biblical Art on the WWW
If you are looking for alternative approaches to worship for this season I would heartily recommend Jonny Baker’s worship tricks
In terms of Pentecost liturgies there are endless possibilities out there so please don’t expect this to be a comprehensive list. However the ones I have most enjoyed browsing this year are:
The Worship Well with great resources mainly from Australia & New Zealand
Reformed Worship has some great reflections and ideas on Ascension Day and Pentecost
Everyday Liturgy also has some great reflections on Pentecost this year
I know I have used “great” too many times in this blog post but I hope that you will forgive me