This coming Sunday is the celebration of Pentecost when we commemorate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the formation of the church. To me the imagery of Pentecost is always one of the family of God – a multicultural, multinational family in which all barriers of race, creed and culture are broken down, a family in which the misunderstandings and divisions of Babel are reversed and we once more understand each other – not becoming blended together as an amorphorous group, but blended together as a diverse family in which the uniqueness of each branch is appreciated and celebrated.  I have tried to represent this in the litany below which is also adapted from one of the litanies in my book Light for the Journey 

To God above us, creator of life and love

To Christ all around us, revealer of truth and justice

To Spirit deep within us, transformer of darkness into light.

To God above, around, within, the three in One, the One in three

All praise and glory to you forever  

To the One you sent your spirit to lead us into all truth

To the One who has sealed us with this sign of your ownership

To the One who unite us into one family from every tribe and nation and culture

To God above, around, within, the three in One, the One in three

All praise and glory to you forever 

 

(Silence)

 

For the busyness that has distracted us

God forgive us

For the anxieties that have burdened us

Jesus forgive us

For the selfcentredness that has isolated us

Spirit forgive us

Holy Three who would unite us

Have mercy on us

Pardon and deliver us from our sins

Draw us into your eternal family

 

(Adapted from Psalm 72:1-10, & Amos 5:24)

God let your justice and fairness flow like a river that never runs dry 

Please help those of us who are rich to be honest and fair just like you, our God.

May we who have such abundance be honest and fair with all your people, especially the poor.

Let peace and justice rule every mountain and fairness flow as a river that never runs dry.

God let your justice and fairness flow like a river that never runs dry (Amos 5:24)

May we your people defend the poor, rescue the homeless, and crush everyone who hurts them.

May we be as helpful as rain that refreshes the ground, to those who are treated unjustly.

Let the wholeness and fairness of your kingdom live forever like the sun and the moon.

God let your justice and fairness flow like a river that never runs dry (Amos 5:24)

Because you our God rescue the homeless and have pity on those who hurt

May we who are rich stand up for the poor and let peace abound until the moon fades to nothing.

Let God’s kingdom of justice and fairness reach from sea to sea, across all the earth.

God let your justice and fairness flow like a river that never runs dry 

 

God your world is broken and in pain

Broken by hunger that kills our brothers & sisters

Broken by injustice that enslaves and oppresses our friends

Broken by disease that deprives us of our loved ones

Forgive us God for our complicity and the times we have been indifferent to its cries

Forgive us for the times we could have shared our food 

Forgive us for places we should have spoken out 

Forgive us for acts that have polluted and destroyed immunity

Cleanse our hearts and wash away our sins

Fill us with your Spirit and restore our joy in your salvation

Make us willing to count the cost of our responsibility to our neighbours near and far

May we enter your kingdom of peace and justice for all

 

Isaiah 11: 1-9

John 14:21-29

 

We believe and trust in God the creator

Who made us to be family together 

People from every tribe and nation and culture

We believe and trust in Christ the redeemer 

Who saves us from self-centeredness and isolation

To be joined together as parts of a body that loves and cares for each other

We believe and trust in Holy Spirit the enabler

Who calls us into community 

With the rich, the poor, the disabled, with the young, the old, the oppressed and despised

We believe and trust in the triune God – 

Perfect community, perfect relationship

The three in one and one in three,

Whose kingdom of justice and fairness and unity will have no end

We believe and trust in God.

Amen

 

Our Father in heaven…

 

God we want to share life together,

Enable us to break down the barriers dividing us from our brothers and sisters around the world

Lord have mercy,

God we want to share life together

Help us move beyond our prejudices to live in unity and peace with those who are different

Lord have mercy,

God we want to share life together

Restore our vision to see and respond to those who suffer and are in need

Lord have mercy,

In a world divided by war and strife may we be your reconcilers

And share life with all who are torn apart by violence, oppression and dissension 

Christ have mercy,

 In a world that kills and maims may we be those who care for our enemies

And share life with all who are divided by race, culture, disabilities or gender

Christ have mercy,

In a world of indifference and despair may we be those who heal and restore

And share life with all who live in poverty, sickness and injustice

Christ have mercy,

God through the power of your spirit we can be your image bearers

Unite us in that great community of sisters and brothers from every nations that is Christ’s body

Lord have mercy

God through the power of your spirit we can be your image bearers

Bind us together with the love, peace, mutual concern and cultural diversity that represents you

Lord have mercy,

God through the power of your spirit we can be your image bearers

As one family living and serving together under the lordship of Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

Lord have mercy

 

Pause for a time of intercession and prayer for our broken world 

 

God hear our prayers,

By the power of the spirit which is present in all of us,

May your river of love continue to flow,

Over us, in us and through us,

And out into the world you love.

God be in our heads and in our understanding,

God be in our eyes and in our looking

God be in our mouths and in our speaking

God be in our hearts and in our thinking

God be in our end and in our departing

 

The blessing of God be upon you.

The blessing of the God of life.

The blessing of Christ be upon you.

The blessing of the Christ of love.

The blessing of the spirit be upon you.

The blessing of the spirit of peace.

The blessing of the triune God be yours, today and evermore.

Amen

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