Service for Pentecost Sunday

Posted by Barbara Nadin on 29 May 2020

Dear Friends,

I do hope you are all keeping well? I miss you!

Today is the end of May! Time seems to be passing by so quickly! Maybe it’s because I don’t look at my diary on a daily basis anymore. I have to say I was a little controlled by my diary commitments, and I would constantly watch the clock, checking the time, so I could arrive at my next appointment on time. This situation, although difficult, has made life a bit simpler for me. Sadly, though not for everyone, and my heart goes out to those who are suffering.

Barry and I are fine, but we do miss ours hugs or kisses from family, and our gatherings with friends. We love to sit chatting and laughing around the table, and that is what we should have been doing today.

We were meant to be having a Pentecost Party together. It was to begin with a service of praise, followed by a tea party, but, as we cannot gather together at the moment, because we need to keep each other safe, we have had to postpone that party for another time. But then I had a thought. Why can’t Barry and I sit down together at around four o’clock on Sunday, after a short reflection, with some singing, not sure Barry will sing, he usually mouths the words, but you know what I mean, and have a small celebration tea party with just the two of us? Even I can make sandwiches, and Barry can do the rest, he does make excellent scones, and we can sit, praising God for his love, and thanking him for our very special URC friends, and you are very special to us.

 It is Pentecost after all, and we all believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, the power of love, and love is not held by walls or distance. Nothing stops the Holy Spirit! In fact I can’t wait to see what will happen when we do gather again, even if it is different to what we are used to, we will adapt, that’s what we do, and the Holy Spirit will not only be there supporting us, He will inspire us! I am convinced of that – I really am!

Encouraged by Margaret, I have put together some suggested readings, hymns, and prayers, please use this as you wish. I am sorry but my reflection goes on a bit, I got carried away as usual.

Trust that we will celebrate the Holy Spirit on Sunday, we will be here and you will be there, you in your homes, and we will be here in ours, but all our homes will be filled with the love of God and the joy of the Holy Spirit.

Much love, and many blessings to you all

Julie Ann

 

Julie Ann Heath

07801 467348

julieannheath@pottersmaze.co.uk

THE SERVICE

A Pentecost Celebration           

Let us begin our celebration by singing:

Hymn:

This is the day,

this is the day that the Lord has made,

that the Lord has made.

We will rejoice,

we will rejoice and be glad in it,

and be glad in it.

This is the day that the Lord has made,

we will rejoice and be glad in it.

This is the day,

this is the day that the Lord hath made.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

A short prayer you may want to say before our reading from the Gospel of John.

Alleluia, alleluia. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people and kindle in them the fire of your love.

 

Bible Reading: John 7: 37-39

On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” Now he said this about the Spirit, which believer’s in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Hymn:

Lord, the light of your love is shining,

in the midst of the darkness, shining;

Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us;

set us free by the truth You now bring us –

shine on me, shine on me.

 

Shine, Jesus, shine,

fill this land with the Father’s glory;

blaze, Spirit, blaze,

set our hearts on fire.

Flow, river, flow,

flood the nations with grace and mercy;

send forth Your word, Lord,

and let there be light!

Bible Reading: Acts 2: 1 – 21

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 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. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked,

“Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes. Cretans and Arabs – in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another,

“What does this mean?”

But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”

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. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel;

‘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. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Reflection:

As I have probably told you many times before one of my favourite places in the world to visit is Melbourne Pool. Why you may ask? The reason I love it so much is because it is part of my story. As a child I was taken there, usually on a Sunday afternoon, for a walk that usually ended with an ice cream. As young as I was I would ponder on what it must be like to live next to the water to able to have a boat at the bottom of your garden, to observe all the wildlife coming and going and to watch the light reflecting on the water. Sometimes I would be looking so intently at the dance of the sunbeams on the water I would suddenly hear the voice of my parents telling me not to get so close.

When I first met Barry, I took him to visit the Pool. Barry is originally from Essex, so he wasn’t aware of all the secret places this area has tucked away, and, of course, when you live in a place you can take the local beauty a little for granted. We live opposite the ruins of Ashby Castle, and as beautiful as it is, especially at sunset, I am often too busy to notice it.

Are we often too busy to notice if the Holy Spirit is working?

 I know that I often repeat myself, and I make no apology for that, as sometimes things are worth saying twice, three times or more, as in this case; we have to take the time to recognise the gifts of the Holy Spirit in each other, and acknowledge them by giving thanks to that person for putting their gifts to good use. We cannot be too busy to notice, or too timid to say something. If we do say something, I believe, that person is affirmed, and their confidence, and trust in God, will grow deeper, and that my friends is what builds up the Church family. Remember those gifts that St. Paul lists in Galatians?

‘Live by the Spirit, I say….’

 and he lists things not of the Spirit, here are some of them, ‘jealousy, anger, quarrels, envy…’

He goes on to say, ‘By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control……………………If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.

Near the end of his letter he makes an, in my opinion, excellent point, ‘So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.’

You all have been given gifts of the Holy Spirit in abundance. I see them. Why do you think I keep coming back to be with you all? I have experienced your generous hospitality, your faithfulness, your kindness, and your joy!

“What does this mean?” This is the question posed in our reading from Acts, and we could ask the same question?

 If we read on in the book of Acts, we hear how Peter spoke from his heart about Jesus and told his story. We too must tell his story, but we must first turn to the Lord with an open, and ‘thirsty heart’.

‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’

Do you remember the story of the woman at the well? The woman arrives with her bucket to collect water, and she discovers Jesus. I love this story. The woman is bold, and sure of herself, on the outside at least. Initially, she was surprised that Jesus spoke to her but she just carried on with her task, but she was definitely shocked that he knew so much about her, including things that others might judge her for, but in spite of this she has the confidence to converse with him. Jesus told her,

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become to them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”

The woman responded by saying, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

She was performing the essential, daily task of drawing water, and although unclear about the nature of the ‘spiritual water’ Jesus was talking about, she knew in her heart this was a life-changing moment. Her story was about to change. She then had the confidence to go back to her village and tell the people all about Jesus.

Life-changing moments can happen at any time. Pentecost is a life-changing moment for the disciples. Their story was about to change.

We often say that every day is a gift, but do we recognise that every one of us is a gift too. Each of our stories count. As disciples of Jesus Christ the ‘living water,’ being the Holy Spirit, can be poured out through us. We are loved by God, you are loved by God, and through the gift of the Spirit we are drawn into this extraordinary Trinitarian relationship. It is life-changing, and it happens daily.

We have always had a garden pond here at Fairmount. It was here when we arrived, but in the last few ‘lockdown weeks’ Barry has been toiling away to give me one of the most wonderful gifts I could ever received. You see he is working on extending our little pond to be a miniature, ‘Melbourne Pool’. As I write, I am in the garden, I can hear him continuing to work on it. The sound of his trowel is audible, as he secures the stones around the edge to hold the water. The pond is lined with a material that is guaranteed for a great number of years, so it should not wear away or leak. He has added a channel that runs from the original pond, to the new pool, which he has dug out alongside the old one, and ensures that water flows from one to another. It isn’t finished yet, there is still lots to do, but you can see the reflections on the water, you can hear the sound of the flowing stream, and you can see how many birds and creatures are drawn to it. It is not perfect, but for me it is a dream come true – a circle of ‘living water.’ It is awesome!

We are not finished yet - our story has not ended. We are not perfect, and we often wonder what we are meant to do, but we do know this. We are loved, and we can have faith that the Comforter, the glorious Holy Spirit, will continue to fill us with ‘living water.’ And we trust in Jesus Christ to lead us and show us through the gifts of those around us, how we might pour out our love into the world. Amen.

A Prayer asking for the blessing of the Holy Spirit you may wish to use.

As we wait in silence, fill us with your Spirit.

As we listen to your word, fill us with your Spirit.

As we worship you in majesty, fill us with your Spirit.

As we long for your refreshing, fill us with your Spirit.

As we long for your renewing, fill us with your Spirit.

As we long for your equipping, fill us with your Spirit.

As we long for your empowering, fill us with your Spirit.

 

Let us now rest in God’s love, staying silent for a while.

Hymn:

Come down, O Love divine,

seek Thou this soul of mine

and visit it with Thine own ardour glowing;

O Comforter, draw near,

within my heart appear,

and kindle it,

Thy holy flame bestowing.

Prayers of Intercession

Let us now take a short time to pray for the world and those we know to be suffering, and to also give thanks for those things dear to us.

Hymn:

Be still for the presence of the Lord,

the Holy One, is here;

come bow before Him now

with reverence and fear;

in Him no sin is found –

we stand on holy ground.

Be still, for the presence of the Lord,

The Holy One, is here.

 

A Concluding Prayer

Faithful God,

who fulfilled the promises of Easter

by sending us your Holy Spirit

and opening to every race and nation

the way of life eternal;

open our lips by your Spirit,

that every tongue may tell of your glory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Hymn

For I’m building a people of power

and I’m making a people of praise,

that will move through this land by My Spirit,

and will glorify My precious name.

Build Your Church, Lord,

make us strong, Lord,

join our hearts, Lord, through your Son;

make us one, Lord, in Your body,

in the kingdom of Your Son.

 

The Grace.

 

  © Church of England Common Worship Times and Seasons

Mission Praise.

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