Pentecost Sunday 28th May

Hymn This Is the Day

Preparation

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us; let us pray with one heart and mind.

Grace mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

All: And also with you.

This is the day that the Lord has made.

All:  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

We have come together in the name of Christ to offer our praise and thanksgiving  to hear and receive God’s holy word, to pray for the needs of the world, and to seek the forgiveness of our sins, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, we may give ourselves to the service of God.

All: We say Sorry

Jesus says, ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.’

So let us turn away from our sins and turn to Christ, confessing our sins in penitence and faith.

All: Lord God, we have sinned against you;

We have done evil in your sight.

We are sorry and repent.

Have mercy on us according to your love.

Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin.

Renew a right spirit within us and restore to us the joy of your salvation;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

May the Father of all mercies cleanse us from our sins, and restore us in His image to the praise and glory of His name through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

All: Amen.

Blessed is the Lord,

All: For He has heard the voice of our prayer;

Therefore shall our hearts dance for joy

All: And in our song will we praise our God. 

Blessed are you, Lord our God, creator and redeemer of all;

to you be glory and praise for ever.

From the waters of chaos you drew forth the world, and in your great love fashioned us in your image. Now, through the deep waters of death, you have brought your people to new birth by raising your Son to life in triumph.

May Christ your light ever dawn in our hearts as we offer you our sacrifice of thanks and praise.

Blessed be God, Father Son and Holy Spirit.

All: Blessed be God for ever. 

Hymn – Come Down, O Love Devine 

  1. Come down, O Love divine!
    seek out this soul of mine
    and visit it with your own ardour glowing;
    O Comforter, draw near,
    within my heart appear,
    and kindle it, your holy flame bestowing.
     
  1. There let it freely burn
    till earthly passions turn
    to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
    and let your glorious light
    shine ever on my sight,
    and make my pathway clear, by your illuming.
     
  1. Let holy charity
    my outward vesture be,
    and lowliness become my inner clothing;
    true lowliness of heart
    which takes the humbler part,
    and for its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.
     
  1. And so the yearning strong
    with which the soul will long
    shall far surpass the power of human telling;
    for none can guess its grace
    till we become the place
    in which the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling
    .(by Richard F Littledale – 1833 to 1890)

Collect for the Pentecost Sunday

God, who as at this time

taught the hearts of your faithful people

by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit:

grant us by the same Spirit

to have a right judgement in all things

and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;

through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. 

All: Amen 

.Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead.

All: And Christ shall give you light.

You have died and your life is hid with Christ in God.

All: Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead.

Set your minds on things that are above,

not on things that are on the earth.

All: And Christ shall give you light.

When Christ our life appears

you will appear with him in glory.

All: Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light. 

Hymn – O Thou Who Camest From Above

  1. O thou who camest from above
    The fire celestial to impart,
    Kindle a flame of sacred love
    On the mean altar of my heart!
     
  1. There let it for thy glory burn
    With inextinguishable blaze,
    And trembling to its source return
    In humble prayer and fervent praise.
     
  1. Jesus, confirm my heart’s desire
    To work, and speak, and think for thee;
    Still let me guard the holy fire,
    And still stir up the gift in me.
     
  1. Ready for all thy perfect will,
    My acts of faith and love repeat;
    Till death thy endless mercies seal,
    And make the sacrifice complete
    . (by Charles Wesley, 1762) 

Our First Reading is taken from Acts Chap: 2

1 When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place.

2 Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

3 Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there.

4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.

5 There were Jews living in Jerusalem, religious people who had come from every country in the world.

6 When they heard this noise, a large crowd gathered. They were all excited, because all of them heard the believers talking in their own languages.

7 In amazement and wonder they exclaimed, “These people who are talking like this are Galileans!

8 How is it, then, that all of us hear them speaking in our own native languages?

9 We are from Parthia, Media, and Elam; from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia; from Pontus and Asia,

10 from Phrygia and Pamphylia, from Egypt and the regions of Libya near Cyrene. Some of us are from Rome,

11 both Jews and Gentiles converted to Judaism, and some of us are from Crete and Arabia – yet all of us hear them speaking in our own languages about the great things that God has done!”

12 Amazed and confused, they kept asking each other, “What does this mean?”

13 But others made fun of the believers, saying, “These people are drunk!”

14 Then Peter stood up with the other eleven apostles and in a loud voice began to speak to the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, listen to me and let me tell you what this means.

15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose; it is only nine o’clock in the morning.

16 Instead, this is what the prophet Joel spoke about:

17 “This is what I will do in the last days, God says: I will pour out my Spirit on everyone. Your sons and daughters will proclaim my message; your young men will see visions, and your old men will have dreams.

18 Yes, even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will proclaim my message.

19 I will perform miracles in the sky above and wonders on the earth below. There will be blood, fire, and thick smoke;

20 the sun will be darkened, and the moon will turn red as blood, before the great and glorious Day of the Lord comes.

21 And then, whoever calls out to the Lord for help will be saved.’ 

This is the Word of the Lord

All: Thanks be to God

Here the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to – John Chap: 20

19 It was late that Sunday evening, and the disciples were gathered together behind locked doors, because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities. Then Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said.

20 After saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord.

21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you.”

22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

23 If you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” 

This is the Word of the Lord

All: Thanks be to God 

Benedicitus

Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel,

All: who has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour,

All: born of the house of his servant David.

 Through his holy prophets God promised of old  

All: to save us from our enemies, from the hands of all that hate us,

 To show mercy to our ancestors,

All: and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham:

All: to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

Free to worship him without fear,

All: holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

 And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,

All: for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

To give his people knowledge of salvation

All: by the forgiveness of all their sins.

 In the tender compassion of our God

All: the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,

All: and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

All: Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever.

Amen. 

Sermon for the Pentecost Sunday

Acts 2: 1 to 21                                                                                                                      It’s something of a coincidence that I preached here at Pentecost last year.

My reflection for that sermon was largely a big moan that the church of England does not seem to give this celebration the importance that it has in our Christian lives. We have a whole season of Christmas. We have a whole season at Easter but Pentecost?

One day, today, just today, no season to enjoy and consider. for the Birthday, the beginning of the worldwide Christian Church through the empowerment of Jesus’ disciples by the gift of the powers of the Holy Spirit, the powers and impetus that enabled them to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and Salvation.

Well, even though I know someone who knows the Archbishop of Canterbury despite my pleas that we make a bit more than this one day of celebration, higher authorities in the church have not seen fit to make any changes so we are stuck with what we have

Just this one recognised day to  celebrate this shattering event in the formation of the Church of Christ, the day when our Father God made the Holy Spirit available to fill the life of anyone, anyone willing to welcome that Spirit.

The Church’s Birthday.

OK, if that’s the way it is, I’ll have to stop moaning and just accept that we have to make the best of this one day Birthday celebration. This of course, is just me sending you up.

Of course we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit, every single day,  the Spirit working within us that moves us to try to lives our lives the way Jesus taught.

The way of his cross, to eternal life.

We heard the story of this gift and inspiration descending upon the Apostles in a quite spectacular way and so the gifts were given so that they had the knowledge and the power and ability to do the most amazing things.

The Day of Pentecost is always a great celebration for the church.

We gather together each year on this day of Pentecost, to hear the story of the birth of the Church, told in Acts Chap: 2, when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles like the rush of a violent wind, with tongues as of fire dancing on their heads; people from all nations hearing the apostles speaking in their own language, and more than 3,000 responding by being baptized into Christ.

It is an amazing story to hear again, isn’t it?

The miracle of Pentecost.

But don’t you wonder a little, when you hear this story, whether we are missing something today?

After all, I doubt that our celebration this morning will include a violent wind, or fire, or miraculous speech.

So are we missing something?

Where is the wind and the fire today?

Where is the excitement of that first Pentecost?

Where Is the Holy Spirit Today?

Perhaps the better question to ask is: where is the Holy Spirit today?

After all, isn’t that the point of Pentecost?

To give to us or renew us in the Holy Spirit?

So the question to ask today is not, where is the wind and the fire, but where is the Holy Spirit?

If we ask the question in that way, then we do, indeed, have a pretty exciting answer, if you ask me.

Because the Holy Spirit is, without a doubt here with us today, in some very amazing and powerful ways. Let me share three of those ways.

The Word of God

First, the Holy Spirit is here, and comes to us today, through the Holy Word, the divinely-inspired, faith-producing, life-changing Word of God,  which connects us to all Christians going all the way back to that first Pentecost, and connects us to the God who inspired and guided its every word.

The same Holy Spirit who inspired Peter to preach on that first Pentecost, is here with us today as we hear again his ancient words. Those who heard Peter that day heard him speak in their own language.

So do we!

Just as many Christians around the world today are hearing this in their own language. It may not seem as miraculous, but I think it is pretty incredible to think of Christians around the world today hearing these words in their own language.

Let me tell you about Linnea, who spent forty years bringing the gospel to people on the west coast of Africa. The particular community she was serving speaks Nyarafolo, a language which was not a written language and so did not have a written Bible.

Linnea worked with a team to develop a written language, and just this year they have been able to publish the New Testament, Pentateuch and Psalms in Nyarafolo.

Isn’t that amazing?

The Pentecost miracle continues, and through the Word of God proclaimed here and around the world, the Holy Spirit continues to be poured into the hearts of listeners, producing faith and trust in our God.

The Called and Gathered Church

Where is the Holy Spirit today?

The second way that the Holy Spirit come is real and with us to us today is through the gathered congregation. As Martin Luther put it in his Small Catechism:

“The Holy Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens, and makes holy the whole Christian church on earth and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one common, true faith”.

The Holy Spirit is the reason we are here today. The Holy Spirit called and gathered us here, just as it has done for centuries all around the world. The Holy Spirit brings us together and gives us a variety of gifts, all for the common good.

Now there are varieties of gifts,”

Paul reminds us, “

but the same Spirit” (1 Corinthians Chap:12 Vers: 4).

The Spirit has been poured out upon all flesh, as Peter reminds us in his famous sermon, young and old, men and women, all have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit, and we come together to share our gifts and insights, and become more than we can possibly be, on our own.

The Pentecost miracle happened when the apostles were all together in one place. The Holy Spirit likes us to be together. Something important happens when we are together.

Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus is present when we gather in his name, which we do whenever we worship together. The Holy Spirit can come to us when we are alone, of course, but scripture teaches us that coming together in Jesus’ name is the best way to discover the Holy Spirit among us.

The Sacraments

And we come together in Jesus’ name; there is another way in which the Holy Spirit comes to us. That is through the Holy Sacraments.

When Peter finished his sermon on that first Pentecost, those who heard it asked him,

what should we do?

And Peter responded,

Repent, and be baptized … and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts Chap: 2 Vers: 37 and 38).

They will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit not through wind and fire, but through holy baptism. It is in baptism and confirmation that we, too, first can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Right after those who heard Peter’s sermon were baptized, what did they do?

The very next verse says,

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts Chap: 2 Vers: 42).

In other words, they gathered together as a community, to hear the Word and celebrate Holy Communion.

That is where the miracle of Pentecost continued to be enjoyed and realized in the Church. Then, and now we gather to worship, pray, share the Lord’s Supper together.

We may not have wind and fire today, but we are here, gathered in the name of Jesus.

Doing those very things that the Church has done since that first Pentecost, and that means that the Holy Spirit is present among us now, just as it was then.

It’s always tempting to think that we need more, we need more excitement, more enthusiasm, more emotion; we need more wind and fire on Sunday mornings.

The point of Pentecost is not the wind and the fire,  it never was.

The point of Pentecost is the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit, who brings to the church all the gifts of God, all that we need, for life and salvation.

Our Mission

But if the point of Pentecost is the gift of the Holy Spirit, then the result of Pentecost has to be sharing the good news of the gospel with all nations. Do you remember what Jesus said right before the Pentecost miracle?

He said,

You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts Chap: 1 Vers: 8).

We have everything you need to go and share our faith. Everything we need to be the church, the body of Christ, in the world. We have power through the Holy Spirit to do and be things and people we could never have imagined working in our own power.

We can share the good news of Jesus.

You know where they can go to fill that God-shaped hole that is in each of our souls. We can tell others where they can find true joy, true meaning, and true blessedness. It is the place whose birth we celebrate today.  It is the church, the body of Christ formed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Church is the place where, miraculously, each and every Sunday the Holy Spirit comes again to those gathered in Jesus’ name, through the great and awesome miracles of hearing God’s Holy Word.

Closing

So there won’t be any violent wind or fire today. At least, I hope not. But we’re not here for the wind and the fire. We are here to worship the God behind that wind and fire, to give thanks for the gift of God’s only Son, who died to save us and forgive us, and we are here to receive again the promised Holy Spirit, who unites us to our God in ways beyond what we can even imagine.

Nothing has changed, in all these many years. We are here for the same reason the church has always gathered together. May we continue to respond to the ever-present call of the Holy Spirit, who gathers, enlightens and makes holy the whole Christian church, now and forever!

Amen 

Hymn – Our Blest Redeemer Ere He Breathed

  1. Our blest Redeemer, ere He breathed
    His tender last farewell,
    A guide, a comforter, bequeathed
    With us to dwell.
     
  1. He came in semblance of a dove,
    With sheltering wings outspread,
    The holy balm of peace and love
    On earth to shed.
     
  1. He came in tongues of living flame
    To teach, convince, subdue,
    All powerful as the wind He came
    As viewless too.
     
  1. He came sweet influence to impart,
    A gracious, willing guest,
    While He can find one humble heart
    Wherein to rest.
     
  1. And His that gentle voice we hear,
    Soft as the breath of even,
    That checks each fault, that calms each fear,
    And speaks of Heav’n.
     
  1. And every virtue we possess,
    And every conquest won,
    And every thought of holiness,
    Are His alone.
     
  1. Spirit of purity and grace,
    Our weakness, pitying, see:
    O make our hearts Thy dwelling place
    And worthier Thee.
    (by Henriette Auber – 1773–1862 

Time of Silence ….. 

We Say Together:

The Creed.

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting. 

All: Amen.

Prayers and Intercessions

Prayers for King Charles III

Through this tritium of prayer we ask God’s continuing blessing on our new King Charles 111

Prayer

O God, to whom every human power is subject,
grant to your servant our sovereign Charles 111
success in the exercise of his high office,
so that, always revering you and striving to please you,
he may constantly secure and preserve
for the people entrusted to his care
the freedom that comes from civil peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

All: Amen 

Prayer for the Royals

Almighty God, the fountain of all goodness,

we humbly beseech thee to bless

Queen Camilla, William Prince of Wales, the Princess of Wales, and all the

Royal Family:

Endue them with thy Holy Spirit; enrich them with thy heavenly

grace; prosper them with all happiness;

and bring them to thine everlasting

kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

We pray for God to fill us with his Spirit.

Generous God,

we thank you for the power of your Holy Spirit.

We ask that we may be strengthened to serve you better.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the wisdom of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to make us wise to understand your will.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the peace of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to keep us confident of your love wherever you call us.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the healing of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to bring reconciliation and wholeness

where there is division, sickness and sorrow.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the gifts of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to equip us for the work which you have given us.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the fruit of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to reveal in our lives the love of Jesus.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the breath of your Holy Spirit,

given us by the risen Lord.

We ask you to keep the whole Church, living and departed,

in the joy of eternal life.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit. 

All: Generous God,

hear our prayer,

and make us one in heart and mind

to serve you with joy for ever.

Amen.

We gather our thoughts and prayers in the words our Saviour gave us 

All: Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen. 

Hymn – Rejoice the Lord is King

  1. Rejoice, the Lord is King!

Your Lord and King adore;
Mortals give thanks and sing,

and triumph evermore;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

 Jesus, the Saviour, reigns,

the God of truth and love;
When He had purged our stains

He took His seat above;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!
 

  1. His kingdom cannot fail,

He rules o’er earth and heaven,
The keys of death and hell

are to our Jesus given;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!
 

  1. He sits at God’s right hand

till all His foes submit,
And bow to His command,

and fall beneath His feet:
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!
 

  1. Rejoice in glorious hope!

Jesus the Judge shall come,
And take His servants up

to their eternal home.
We soon shall hear the archangel’s voice;
The trump of God shall sound, rejoice!
(by Charles Wesley 1707 to 1788)

Closing Blessings

May God give to you and to all those you love

his comfort and his peace,

his light and his joy,

in this world and the next;

and the blessing of our Lord Jesus Christ

and the Love of God

and the fellowship  of the Holy Sprit

be with us all evermore. 

All: Amen.

Hymn – Crown Him with many crowns  

  1. Crown him with many crowns,
    the Lamb upon his throne.
    Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
    all music but its own.
    Awake, my soul, and sing
    of him who died for thee,
    and hail him as thy matchless king
    through all eternity.
     
  1. Crown him the Lord of life,
    who triumphed o’er the grave,
    and rose victorious in the strife
    for those he came to save;
    his glories now we sing
    who died and rose on high,
    who died eternal life to bring,
    and lives that death may die.
     
  1. Crown him the Lord of love;
    behold his hands and side,
    rich wounds, yet visible above,
    in beauty glorified;
    no angels in the sky
    can fully bear that sight,
    but downward bends their burning eye
    at mysteries so bright.
     
  1. Crown him the Lord of years,
    the potentate of time,
    creator of the rolling spheres,
    ineffably sublime.
    All hail, Redeemer, hail!
    for thou hast died for me;
    thy praise shall never, never fail
    throughout eternity.       
                  (by Matthew Bridges, 1851)

The Grace 

All: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

And the love of God,

And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

Be with us all evermore.

Amen

Go in joy and peace to love and serve the Lord

All: In the name of Christ Amen.

© 702211