The Little Office of the Birth of the Christian Church for Renewal on Pentecost Sunday Part II
By Joe Colletti | May 25, 2017 | Comments Off on The Little Office of the Birth of the Christian Church for Renewal on Pentecost Sunday Part II
The Little Office of the Birth of the Christian Church, for the Society of Urban Monks, is comprised of passages of scripture for reading, reflection, and prayer that are framed around hours and periods of time noted in chapters 1 and 2 of the Book of Acts that lead up to, and include, the Day of Pentecost, which commemorates the birth of the Christian Church.
You are encouraged to observe The Little Office by designating a little time during the three Saturdays before Pentecost Sunday (June 4) for scripture reading, reflection, and prayer in preparation to be renewed by the Holy Spirit.
First Saturday (May 20)
The first Saturday was last week, May 20, and the passage of scripture for reflection and prayer was Acts 1. 1-11, which focused on the time that Jesus spent with his disciples after the resurrection and right before his Ascension. To read the passage and designate a little time for reflection and prayer click here.
Second Saturday (May 27)
The second Saturday is today, May 27, and the passage of scripture for reflection and prayer, Acts 1. 12-14, focuses on the times that Jesus’ disciples “joined together constantly in prayer” in the upper room that was “a Sabbath day’s walk from the city (Jerusalem).”
You are encouraged to read the passage and designate a little time for reflection and prayer. You are also encouraged to seek an “upper room” or “sacred space” later in the day for further reflection and prayer.
An upper room or sacred space has a long history in the scriptures as a personal powerful place of prayer as noted after the following passage of scripture.
Acts 1. 12 – 14
12Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called
the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city.
13When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying.
Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas,
Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus
and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.
14They all joined together constantly in prayer,
along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus,
and with his brothers.
You are encouraged to find an upper room or sacred space for at least one designated time of prayer later today to reread the passage for further reflection and prayer.
Be mindful that setting aside such a place for prayerful practice places you in a tradition of Old and New Testament seekers of intimate experiences with God.
- “. . . he (Daniel) went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before (Daniel 6.10).”
- “The LORD heard the voice of Elijah, and the life of the child returned to him and he revived. Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house and gave him to his mother; and Elijah said, “See, your son is alive (1 Kings 17. 22 – 23).”
- “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you (Matthew 6.6).”
Be Renewed by the Holy Spirit
Today, let your prayerful practice be a time for preparation to be renewed by the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday, which will be celebrated in a week (June 4).
For are we not “God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2.10).” And, for the (one) who plants and the (one) who waters are one in purpose . . . for we are God’s fellow workers (1 Corinthians 3. 8 – 9a).”
So, be prepared to “be renewed in the spirit . . . created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4. 23 – 24).”
Third Saturday (June 3)
The passage of scripture for reflection and prayer for the third Saturday in The Little Office will be sent on the Saturday before Pentecost Sunday, which is June 3.
Pentecost Sunday (June 4)
A time to be renewed by the Holy Spirit.