Sunday 31st May 2020
Join us for a service of praise and worship in celebration of Pentecost – sometimes thought of as the ‘birthday’ of the Church.
You can find the order of service here
Don’t forget to wear red and bring along your Pentecost creation to be blessed at the end. Stay after for chat and fellowship – bring your own coffee!!
Contact us for information about how to join us. Why not sign up to our Newsletter on this page to find out what we are doing as a church during Lockdown?
Collect for Pentecost
Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, ignite in us your holy fire; strengthen your children with the gift of faith,revive your Church with the breath of love, and renew the face of the earth, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen
Readings for Pentecost
37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
Acts 2: 1 – 21
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
2 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6 And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7 Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” 12 All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”
Peter Addresses the Crowd
14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
17 ‘In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show portents in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
20 The sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
Psalm 104: 26- 36, 37b
26 There go the ships,
and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.
27 These all look to you
to give them their food in due season;
28 when you give to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
when you take away their breath, they die
and return to their dust.
30 When you send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the ground.
31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the Lord.
35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
and let the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Praise the Lord!
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved
Reflection for Pentecost
This Sunday we are celebrating a special day – Pentecost. It is described in Acts 2. The day that the Disciples finally met with the one Jesus promised them would come. This takes place after what can only be described a momentous time in the disciples’ lives – or to be accurate a whole list of momentous events. They had each met with this wonderful person, Jesus, and had been so inspired, so amazed that they had left their lives to follow him. They had travelled, listening to his teaching that was so different to what they knew. They had watched how he led his life – living out what he said. He had told them the most important things were to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and love your neighbour as yourself.
Then it all seemed to go wrong. Jesus was arrested, tried and crucified. The disciples fled – terrified, maybe some of them feared they had got it wrong.
Then it got even stranger when Jesus was raised from the dead. Terrified the disciples met together in a locked room, and Jesus appeared to them. In Acts it tells us Jesus appeared to them over a period of 40 days and spoke to them about the kingdom of God. In Luke it says “he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures”. Jesus then said “I am going to send you what my Father has promised, but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Then he left them to go up into heaven – which we celebrate on Ascension Day which this year was Thursday 21st May.
Now 10 days later they are back together in a room. Praying and waiting. Suddenly a sound of a violent wind came from heaven and tongues of fire came to rest on all of them. Then as the Message says “Like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.”
This is strange in itself – but it did not stop there. Other people hear them, people from many different countries, speaking different languages, suddenly hear their own language being spoken. The twelve stand up, they recognise that what has happened to them is what Jesus promised, they have been clothed with power from high. Peter begins to speak about Jesus, he is Lord and Christ. In Acts 2 verse 38 he says “repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call”
So, Jesus died, was resurrected and ascended into heaven, and now the Holy Spirit has filled his followers – with the promise that it is available for us all, the disciples, those in that crowd over 2000 years ago and all of us today.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit gave the disciples at that moment what they needed to carry out the plan God had for them. It also gave them the strength, the courage as well as the words needed to speak out. By welcoming the Holy Spirit the disciples were changed. We can read about what Peter and other Disciples did after this in Acts, how they changed the World.
In Galatians we can read about the fruits, or external evidence, of the Spirit in us – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. It can also give us courage and strength, as well as the gifts we need to step out to do what God asks of us. This is not a onetime offer – in fact we are encouraged to continually ask to be filled. Again, and again and again.
At this moment in time, we are waiting to see what happens next. Just like the disciples, many of the things we built our lives upon may be gone, maybe they will come back, maybe they won’t.
The way I used to deal with stress in my life was by being busy – spending time with people I love, going to shows or the cinema, having a laugh. Having hugs. Smiling at people and getting smiles back. Hugging on zoom is not that great!
I don’t know what is going to happen next. But I do know that I have a God who loves me, and I can ask again and again to be refilled with the Holy Spirit so that I am never alone, and can have what I need to do what he asks of me day by day – whatever that day looks like.
It was not just external rushing of wind and flames of fire, the disciples were changed inside as well. We too can ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit, and can expect God to do signs and wonders, to change us, so that we can serve him and never be alone.