Grace and peace to you in the name of the Father, +Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

1When the day of Pentecost had come,[the apostles were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Acts 2:1-4

  26Likewise 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. 27And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  Romans 8:26-27

13When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into 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. John 15:13

On Pentecost Day we focus our praise and thanksgiving upon the third person of the Holy Trinity: the Holy Spirit.  Following Jesus’ ascension, the disciples waited for the promised power from on high to arrive.  It came on Pentecost Day and the book of Acts describes the Spirit coming with a sound like a violent wind and as tongues of fire.  The Spirit gave the apostles the ability to speak in other languages. Paul spoke of the Spirit’s work assisting us and our prayers.  The evangelist John recorded how Jesus indicated the Spirit guides us into all truth.  Martin Luther in his Large Catechism, described the work of the Holy Spirit in this way: “All this, then, is the office and work of the Holy Spirit, to begin and daily increase holiness on earth through these two means, the Christian church and the forgiveness of sins.” The work of the Holy Spirit is multi-faceted.  God’s Spirit creates faith and empowers all disciples with gifts to share the love of God, witness to Christ’s death and resurrection, to help those in need and work for justice.

For centuries Christians have prayed Veni Creator Spiritus, –“Come Creator Spirit” or “Come Holy Spirit, Creator, Come.”  This month on May 23 we will gather again to offer our praise and thanksgiving for the gift and work of the Holy Spirit.  As Pentecost approaches, we lift up our prayers inviting the intercession of the Spirit.

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator, Come and bring healing to all those suffering from illness.

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator, Come and bring an end to this global pandemic.

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator, Come and sustain all those providing healthcare, homecare, care and support for the aged, isolated, and mentally ill, and those developing and administering vaccinations.

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator, Come and guide Christ Lutheran Church’s life and ministry during these challenging days.  Strengthen the many volunteers who offer their time, talent, and treasure in service to the congregation’s ministry and mission.  Come, Spirit, come and sustain the staff in their ministry, work, and service.

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator, Come and be present with Elizabeth Peter Eckman as she prepares for her ordination into Word and Sacrament ministry on June 6

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator, Come and be with all graduates from Christ Lutheran Preschool, Gettysburg Area High School, Bermudian Springs High School, all area public and private schools, Gettysburg College, Harrisburg Area Community College, and United Lutheran Seminary.

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator, Come and guide Vicar Julie Jackson through the final steps of her seminary education, internship, and approval for ordination.

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator, Come and inspire this congregation in its worship, education, service, witness as well as in its global, ecumenical, social, advocacy, and justice ministries.

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator, Come and renew your church around the world including the Lutheran World Federation, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Lower Susquehanna Synod and Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gettysburg.

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator, Come and deepen our commitment, discipleship, and stewardship.

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator, Come and guide the congregation council, COVID-19 Task Force, and church staff as they consider the return of in-person, indoor worship and activities.

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator, Come and enlighten those preparing for baptism and the confirmation class as they continue their confirmation journey.

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator, Come and guide the work of the Christ Lutheran Preschool, its staff, the preschool committee, and the students and their families as they prepare to reopen the school later this year.

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator, Come and comfort all those who grieve and mourn the death of loved ones.

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator, Come!  Bless and keep us in your grace!  Deepen our faith!  Show us your mercy!  Sanctify us day by day as we seek to follow your commands and live into the grace you have shown us!

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Stephen Herr