Pentecost as Worship and Response

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Christian worship is the glad response of individuals and community – through “heart, soul, strength, and mind”-to the saving acts of God in history.  It is the celebration – both personal and the community of faith- of God’s love for creation and every human being.  This divine love is revealed in God’s gracious covenant with the people of Israel and in God’s coming into the world in Jesus Christ.

Christian worship is not meant to be a passive response to God’s revelation.  It is in itself a proclamation in the tradition of Pentecost.  Worship both announces the good news of God’s love for all the world and invites all people to share God’s saving embrace.  This active response would not be possible without the presence of the Holy Spirit.  It is the Holy Spirit who endows the community of faith and individual Christians with the gifts that are necessary for God’s service.  All that we as Christians are and do, individually and together, is worship, : the work of daily praise and thanksgiving.  What we commonly call worship cannot be separated from our faithful response to God in words and acts of love and justice for all people.  That is the transparent meaning of Jesus’ liberating command: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  That is Pentecost.

(much of this blog comes from the introduction to: Book of Worship, United Church of Christ)

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