Sunday Worship Service: The Struggle Itself

Don’s LOL email received from a Southminster-ite this week:
“Think we should start a pool as to how soon the unmasked Deranged One is going to stage a packed house re-election rally, right after he orders Twitter to cease operations.” Now, who among you would send me an idea like that?

Welcome to Pentecost Sunday!

“It is the spirit that confesses all things are possible
– and the spirit that recognizes –
we are the miraculous, true wonder of this world.” 
~ Maya Angelou

CALL TO WORSHIP Acts 2: 17-21

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days and they will prophesy.
I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.


Pastor Don: May the Spirit of Christ be with you.  
Congregation at Home: And also with you.  
Pastor Don: Please share the spirit within you to those around you.


“Spirit of Gentleness” Text & Music by James K. Manley

HEBREW READING Genesis 32:22-30, Jacob Wrestles with God

The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children,and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel,for you have striven with God and with ‘humanity’, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.”


“I will be a hummingbird” Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai stood up to seemingly insurmountable challenges all her life and won. Like the hummingbird in this story; to give up was never an option for her. Her spirit lives on in the millions of trees she helped plant.  


When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.                

“The Struggle Itself!” 
by Rev. Don Ludwig

If you prefer to read the sermon text, click here.


Come, O Holy Spirit, Come – Sequence for Pentecost “Veni Sancte Spiritus” Jerome Larkin, soloist


“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear” (Psalms 46:1-2).

Spirit of Life and of Love, great mystery that lives in us and through us.
At the beginning of time you moved over the face of the waters;
you breathe into every living being, the breath of life.
Come, Creator Spirit, and renew the whole creation.

Spirit of Life and Love, voice of the prophets:
You enflame men and women with a passion for your truth,
and through them call your people to the ways of justice and compassion.
Come, Spirit of Righteousness, and burn in our hearts.

Spirit of Life and Love, Spirit of Jesus:
By your power Jesus came to bring good news to the poor
and release to those held captive.
Come, Liberating Spirit, and free us from the powers of sin and death.

Spirit of Life and Love, wind and flame:
You filled disciples with joy and courage,
empowering them to preach your word and to share your good news.
Come, Spirit of Power, make us bold witnesses of your redeeming love.

Spirit of Life and Love, Spirit of Peace:
You break down barriers of language, race, and culture,
and heal the divisions that separate us.
Come, Reconciling Spirit, and unite us all in the love of Christ.


As we reflect on all of our blessings, individually and as a community, may we consider how we may give of ourselves so that the work of Christ’s love and peace may continue throughout our world. (Please contact, or one of our Trustees to discover simple ways you may give electronically or via mail.  Thank you for supporting the staff and on-going ministries of Southminster Presbyterian Church).


“Holy Spirit, Dwelling Inside”


May each of you live as Pentecost people,
knowing that you are not alone,
trusting that you will find strength in the struggle itself,
and relying on the Spirit to keep you, hold you and empower you to do great things. 
And may you and your family be safe and healthy—always.  Amen.


Billy Joel’s “Longest Time” – Quarantine Edition