May 31, 2020

Pentecost Sunday – A Deeper Experience of God

Preacher:
Passage: Numbers 11:24-30 and Acts 2:1-21

Bible Text: Numbers 11:24-30 and Acts 2:1-21 | Preacher: Rev. Bruce W. Kemp | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3VkiJJzpoA

The rights to music under licence: CCLI: 1963748

Call to Worship

One: Breathe upon us, Holy Spirit,
All: and inspire our thoughts and actions.

One: Stir in our hearts, Holy Spirit,
All: and fill us with energy to spread joy in the world.

One: Strengthen us, Holy Spirit,
All: and move us to bring hope to those in despair.

One: Breathe in us, Holy Spirit,
All: as we worship and witness to God’s coming reign.

Hymn: Come, Creator, Spirit

COME, CREATOR SPIRIT, COME INTO OUR HEARTS
COME AND UNITE ALL CREATION WITH THE FIRE OF YOUR LOVE
COME, O SPIRIT OF JOY, COME INTO OUR HEARTS
COME, O SPIRIT OF LOVE, COME INTO OUR HEARTS

COME, CREATOR SPIRIT, COME INTO OUR HEARTS
COME AND UNITE ALL CREATION WITH THE FIRE OF YOUR LOVE
COME, O SPIRIT OF PEACE, COME INTO OUR HEARTS
COME, O SPIRIT OF PATIENCE, COME INTO OUR HEARTS

COME, CREATOR SPIRIT, COME INTO OUR HEARTS
COME AND UNITE ALL CREATION WITH THE FIRE OF YOUR LOVE
COME, O SPIRIT OF KINDNESS, COME INTO OUR HEARTS
COME, O SPIRIT OF GOODNESS, COME INTO OUR HEARTS

COME, CREATOR SPIRIT, COME INTO OUR HEARTS
COME AND UNITE ALL CREATION WITH THE FIRE OF YOUR LOVE
COME, O SPIRIT OF TRUTH, COME INTO OUR HEARTS
COME, O SPIRIT OF JUSTICE, COME INTO OUR HEARTS

COME, CREATOR SPIRIT, COME INTO OUR HEARTS
COME AND UNITE ALL CREATION
WITH THE FIRE OF YOUR LOVE (3X)

CCLI: 1963748

Prayer of Adoration and Confession

Assurance of Pardon

Family Hymn #398: When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul

When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul, like David the shepherd, I sing
When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul, like David the shepherd, I sing
I sing, I sing, like David the shepherd, I sing.
I sing, I sing, like David the shepherd, I sing.

When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul, like David the sinner, I pray.
When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul, like David the sinner, I pray.
I pray, I pray, like David the sinner, I pray
I pray, I pray, like David the sinner, I pray
When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul, like David the victor, I dance
When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul, like David the victor, I dance
I dance, I dance, like David the victor, I dance.
I dance, I dance, like David the victor, I dance.

When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul, like David the poet, I praise
When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul, like David the poet, I praise
I praise, I praise, like David the poet, I praise.
I praise, I praise, like David the poet, I praise.

CCLI license: 1963748

Time with our Children

Prayer for Understanding

Scripture: Numbers 11:24-30

24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent.
25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.
26 Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp.
27 And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”
28 And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, “My lord Moses, stop them!”
29 But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!”
30 And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

Scripture: Acts 2:1-21

1 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.”
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.

HYMN: Spirit, Spirit of gentleness (#399)

Spirit, Spirit of gentleness, blow through the wilderness, calling and free
Spirit, Spirit of restlessness, stir me from placidness, Wind, Wind on the sea.
You moved on the waters; you called to the deep;
Then you coaxed up the mountains from the valleys of sleep
And over the aeons you called to each thing:
Wake from your slumbers and rise on your wings.

Spirit, Spirit of gentleness, blow through the wilderness, calling and free
Spirit, Spirit of restlessness, stir me from placidness, Wind, Wind on the sea.
You swept through the desert, you stung with the sand,
And you goaded your people with a law and a land,
And when they were blinded with their idols and lies,
Then you spoke through your prophets to open their eyes.

Spirit, Spirit of gentleness, blow through the wilderness, calling and free
Spirit, Spirit of restlessness, stir me from placidness, Wind, Wind on the sea.
You sang in a stable; you cried from a hill
Then you whispered in silence when the whole world was still
And down in the city you called once again
When you blew through your people on the rush of the wind.

Spirit, Spirit of gentleness, blow through the wilderness, calling and free
Spirit, Spirit of restlessness, stir me from placidness, Wind, Wind on the sea.
You call from tomorrow; you break ancient schemes
From the bondage of sorrow, the captives dream dreams
Our women see visions, our men clear their eyes
With bold new decisions, your people arise.

Spirit, Spirit of gentleness, blow through the wilderness, calling and free
Spirit, Spirit of restlessness, stir me from placidness, Wind, Wind on the sea.
CCLI license: 1963748

The Message: A Deeper Experience of God
Today marks the celebration of Pentecost for Christian congregations. While it is very much a celebration of the coming of the Spirit of God to the disciples, Pentecost did not first appear as an event recorded in the New Testament. Pentecost is an ancient Jewish festival. Its roots go back to the time of Moses and commemorates the giving of the Law which included the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai.

So often when we view any one event in isolation, we lose the thread of history that connects events of the past with those of the present. And so, it is with Pentecost. Yes, God was doing a new thing at Pentecost, but it was a new thing intimately connected with an old thing. Remember that there is no randomness when it comes to God. There is a pattern and a plan and while chaos can break through, the pattern continues, and the plan unfolds. The Old Testament is a record of God’s action and interaction with a people whom he had called to be a light to the nations.

There is also a connection between Pentecost and Passover. Passover marked the deliverance of the people from slavery in Egypt. As the people rescued by God, they were given a code to guide them in their daily life and that happened fifty days after they started their journey through the wilderness – Pentecost.

Now God was doing something new through Jesus and so it was only natural that the people receive a new way of looking at both Passover and Pentecost. Passover was chosen as the time to put God’s plan of ultimate salvation into motion for now the angel of death would not just pass over once but the angel would never again touch God’s people. The sacrifice of Jesus, God incarnate, would come to represent the blood of the lamb. Through His blood all who believed in Him would not perish but be raised to eternal life just as He was raised to life. To the eyes of the world, we perish; but we remain alive to God. We pass into His care and await the fulfilment of all things with the coming of a new heaven and a new earth.

And just as God gave Passover a new significance through the death and resurrection of Jesus, so He imparts to Pentecost a new significance. The festival that marked the granting of the law of God to the people now would also mark a new experience of the Spirit of God – the Spirit sent to be the guide and sustainer of those who would follow the teachings of God as revealed through Jesus. But while the Spirit of God appears to the disciples in a special way and comes with special gifts, it was not a new phenomenon. In fact, the spirit of God appears at the very beginning of Scripture in Genesis and there is a rich tradition of that Spirit throughout the writings. Wisdom, knowledge, and ethics are all attributed to the work of the Spirit. The Spirit is personified as the female element of God – something which I am sure all the ladies would attest to. Throughout the Old Testament, the Spirit of God descends upon those called to leadership and is seen as the guide to all of them as they prophesied, taught, and ruled the people.

So once again we have nothing new under the sun. This is simply God taking what already had been a vital part of the people’s spiritual life and giving it a deeper significance and place. It had always been the hope of the prophets that the law of God would come to be written on the hearts of the people – that the external code of the law would become an internal code that would guide and direct all their actions and thoughts. The hope was that the Spirit of God would dwell within and be the constant companion of the people.

Pentecost, like Passover, was a special time and one which would have been marked by a pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem as people came to celebrate the giving of the Law. On that day, there were Jews and gentile converts from all over the known world. This became the perfect opportunity for God to let loose the Holy Spirit in a deeper and more powerful way. The message of what God had done and was continuing to do in Christ could be proclaimed to the nations. The message could be heard by a variety of people from a multitude of nations and that message carried back with them to the far corners of the known world.

It is recorded that the disciples began to speak in different tongues the message about Jesus Christ, His life, His death, and His resurrection. It is obvious from the text that the crowd knew that these disciples of Jesus were Galileans and not the kind of people who could have traveled to foreign places or been highly educated. But here they were speaking to them in their language. Naturally, there were those who rejected this as simply the babbling of drunkards, but Peter knew the truth and he boldly stepped forward and delivered the first sermon of the fledgling church. Drawing on the prophecies of Joel and the Psalms, the Spirit of God led him to reveal to the people that this was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God promised so long ago. It had come now because God had revealed His ultimate plan for the salvation of mankind and the Spirit of God was now to rest in the hearts and minds of the people to guide them into all truth and life. He then went on to bring all the threads of the faith together and help them to see that God had sent the Messiah who had brought the ultimate salvation to the people – not just a salvation of the body such as happened at the exodus but a salvation of the body and soul.

The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is for us a deeper experience of God in our lives. The Spirit is now more a part of our life with God and draws us closer to understanding that our life is intimately connected with God. Yes, we still think for ourselves and act as people with free will, but we have the Spirit of God to rely on to guide us, to encourage us and to give us wisdom beyond what we might ever imagine.

Remember this day that God has had a plan for this world and its people from the very beginning. In the beginning He created the world and all that is in it and one day He will redeem this world and all that is in it. Let us celebrate that we have been granted the gift of faith and the promise of new and eternal life through Christ and let the Holy Spirit guide us and strengthen us every day. AMEN

Invitation to the Offering

Prayer of Dedication

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

Wind of the Spirit, blow through us on this day of Pentecost and renew our faith.
Re-awaken our love for God, let your flames warm our hearts with trust in Jesus Christ and dare us to do great things in his name.

Leader: Spirit of Power and Promise,

All: Blow through us and renew our faith.

Wind of the Spirit, blow through us and give us energy to serve you in Christ’s church.
Open our eyes to recognize needs for ministry and mission, and to learn from this time when we have had to do things differently in worship and pastoral care.
Open our hearts to connect with those for whom the time of social distancing has been very difficult.
Open our hands to share in the tasks that need doing,
and open our lips in prayer and praise.

Leader: Spirit of Power and Promise,

All: Blow through us and renew our faith.

Wind of the Spirit, blow through us and give us understanding:
For those whose lives seem so different from ours
and those facing situations because of the pandemic that we didn’t encounter;
Understanding for those with whom we’ve disagreed;
and for problems and challenges we will now face at home, at work, and in your world as we try to recover from the effects of coronavirus.

Leader: Spirit of Power and Promise,

All: Blow through us and renew our faith.

Wind of the Spirit, blow through us and bring healing
for all who face pain or illness, discouragement or disappointment,
made so much keener because of isolation;
healing for all who know sorrow, sadness or grief,
and for those who face stress and pressure as they try to rebuild their lives.
Bring healing to the earth, to places of upheaval and to ecosystems at risk.

Leader: Spirit of Power and Promise,

All: Blow through us and renew our faith.

Wind of the Spirit,blow through us and bring us the compassion we see in Christ Jesus.
Blow through us and refresh us as your faithful followers,
equipped to serve the world you love in his name,
as together we say the words he taught us.

The Lord’s Prayer

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 debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Forever and ever. AMEN

HYMN #590: I, the Lord of sea and sky

I, the Lord of sea and sky, I have heard my people cry
All who dwell in dark and sin, my hand will save
I who made the stars of night, I will make their darkness bright
I will speak my word to them, whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night
I will go, Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain, I have borne my people’s pain
I have wept for love of them, they turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone, give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them. Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night
I will go, Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of wind and flame, I will tend the poor and lame
I will set a feast for them, my hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide till their hearts be satisfied
I will give my life to them. Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night
I will go, Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.

CCLI license: 1963748

Benediction

The rights to music under licence: CCLI: 1963748

Call to Worship

One: Breathe upon us, Holy Spirit,
All: and inspire our thoughts and actions.

One: Stir in our hearts, Holy Spirit,
All: and fill us with energy to spread joy in the world.

One: Strengthen us, Holy Spirit,
All: and move us to bring hope to those in despair.

One: Breathe in us, Holy Spirit,
All: as we worship and witness to God’s coming reign.

Hymn: Come, Creator, Spirit

COME, CREATOR SPIRIT, COME INTO OUR HEARTS
COME AND UNITE ALL CREATION WITH THE FIRE OF YOUR LOVE
COME, O SPIRIT OF JOY, COME INTO OUR HEARTS
COME, O SPIRIT OF LOVE, COME INTO OUR HEARTS

COME, CREATOR SPIRIT, COME INTO OUR HEARTS
COME AND UNITE ALL CREATION WITH THE FIRE OF YOUR LOVE
COME, O SPIRIT OF PEACE, COME INTO OUR HEARTS
COME, O SPIRIT OF PATIENCE, COME INTO OUR HEARTS

COME, CREATOR SPIRIT, COME INTO OUR HEARTS
COME AND UNITE ALL CREATION WITH THE FIRE OF YOUR LOVE
COME, O SPIRIT OF KINDNESS, COME INTO OUR HEARTS
COME, O SPIRIT OF GOODNESS, COME INTO OUR HEARTS

COME, CREATOR SPIRIT, COME INTO OUR HEARTS
COME AND UNITE ALL CREATION WITH THE FIRE OF YOUR LOVE
COME, O SPIRIT OF TRUTH, COME INTO OUR HEARTS
COME, O SPIRIT OF JUSTICE, COME INTO OUR HEARTS

COME, CREATOR SPIRIT, COME INTO OUR HEARTS
COME AND UNITE ALL CREATION
WITH THE FIRE OF YOUR LOVE (3X)

CCLI: 1963748

Prayer of Adoration and Confession

Assurance of Pardon

Family Hymn #398: When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul

When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul, like David the shepherd, I sing
When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul, like David the shepherd, I sing
I sing, I sing, like David the shepherd, I sing.
I sing, I sing, like David the shepherd, I sing.

When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul, like David the sinner, I pray.
When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul, like David the sinner, I pray.
I pray, I pray, like David the sinner, I pray
I pray, I pray, like David the sinner, I pray
When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul, like David the victor, I dance
When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul, like David the victor, I dance
I dance, I dance, like David the victor, I dance.
I dance, I dance, like David the victor, I dance.

When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul, like David the poet, I praise
When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my soul, like David the poet, I praise
I praise, I praise, like David the poet, I praise.
I praise, I praise, like David the poet, I praise.

CCLI license: 1963748

Time with our Children

Prayer for Understanding

Scripture: Numbers 11:24-30

24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent.
25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.
26 Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp.
27 And a young man ran and told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp."
28 And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, "My lord Moses, stop them!"
29 But Moses said to him, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!"
30 And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

Scripture: Acts 2:1-21

1 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."
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.

HYMN: Spirit, Spirit of gentleness (#399)

Spirit, Spirit of gentleness, blow through the wilderness, calling and free
Spirit, Spirit of restlessness, stir me from placidness, Wind, Wind on the sea.
You moved on the waters; you called to the deep;
Then you coaxed up the mountains from the valleys of sleep
And over the aeons you called to each thing:
Wake from your slumbers and rise on your wings.

Spirit, Spirit of gentleness, blow through the wilderness, calling and free
Spirit, Spirit of restlessness, stir me from placidness, Wind, Wind on the sea.
You swept through the desert, you stung with the sand,
And you goaded your people with a law and a land,
And when they were blinded with their idols and lies,
Then you spoke through your prophets to open their eyes.

Spirit, Spirit of gentleness, blow through the wilderness, calling and free
Spirit, Spirit of restlessness, stir me from placidness, Wind, Wind on the sea.
You sang in a stable; you cried from a hill
Then you whispered in silence when the whole world was still
And down in the city you called once again
When you blew through your people on the rush of the wind.

Spirit, Spirit of gentleness, blow through the wilderness, calling and free
Spirit, Spirit of restlessness, stir me from placidness, Wind, Wind on the sea.
You call from tomorrow; you break ancient schemes
From the bondage of sorrow, the captives dream dreams
Our women see visions, our men clear their eyes
With bold new decisions, your people arise.

Spirit, Spirit of gentleness, blow through the wilderness, calling and free
Spirit, Spirit of restlessness, stir me from placidness, Wind, Wind on the sea.
CCLI license: 1963748

The Message: A Deeper Experience of God
Today marks the celebration of Pentecost for Christian congregations. While it is very much a celebration of the coming of the Spirit of God to the disciples, Pentecost did not first appear as an event recorded in the New Testament. Pentecost is an ancient Jewish festival. Its roots go back to the time of Moses and commemorates the giving of the Law which included the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai.

So often when we view any one event in isolation, we lose the thread of history that connects events of the past with those of the present. And so, it is with Pentecost. Yes, God was doing a new thing at Pentecost, but it was a new thing intimately connected with an old thing. Remember that there is no randomness when it comes to God. There is a pattern and a plan and while chaos can break through, the pattern continues, and the plan unfolds. The Old Testament is a record of God’s action and interaction with a people whom he had called to be a light to the nations.

There is also a connection between Pentecost and Passover. Passover marked the deliverance of the people from slavery in Egypt. As the people rescued by God, they were given a code to guide them in their daily life and that happened fifty days after they started their journey through the wilderness – Pentecost.

Now God was doing something new through Jesus and so it was only natural that the people receive a new way of looking at both Passover and Pentecost. Passover was chosen as the time to put God’s plan of ultimate salvation into motion for now the angel of death would not just pass over once but the angel would never again touch God’s people. The sacrifice of Jesus, God incarnate, would come to represent the blood of the lamb. Through His blood all who believed in Him would not perish but be raised to eternal life just as He was raised to life. To the eyes of the world, we perish; but we remain alive to God. We pass into His care and await the fulfilment of all things with the coming of a new heaven and a new earth.

And just as God gave Passover a new significance through the death and resurrection of Jesus, so He imparts to Pentecost a new significance. The festival that marked the granting of the law of God to the people now would also mark a new experience of the Spirit of God – the Spirit sent to be the guide and sustainer of those who would follow the teachings of God as revealed through Jesus. But while the Spirit of God appears to the disciples in a special way and comes with special gifts, it was not a new phenomenon. In fact, the spirit of God appears at the very beginning of Scripture in Genesis and there is a rich tradition of that Spirit throughout the writings. Wisdom, knowledge, and ethics are all attributed to the work of the Spirit. The Spirit is personified as the female element of God – something which I am sure all the ladies would attest to. Throughout the Old Testament, the Spirit of God descends upon those called to leadership and is seen as the guide to all of them as they prophesied, taught, and ruled the people.

So once again we have nothing new under the sun. This is simply God taking what already had been a vital part of the people’s spiritual life and giving it a deeper significance and place. It had always been the hope of the prophets that the law of God would come to be written on the hearts of the people - that the external code of the law would become an internal code that would guide and direct all their actions and thoughts. The hope was that the Spirit of God would dwell within and be the constant companion of the people.

Pentecost, like Passover, was a special time and one which would have been marked by a pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem as people came to celebrate the giving of the Law. On that day, there were Jews and gentile converts from all over the known world. This became the perfect opportunity for God to let loose the Holy Spirit in a deeper and more powerful way. The message of what God had done and was continuing to do in Christ could be proclaimed to the nations. The message could be heard by a variety of people from a multitude of nations and that message carried back with them to the far corners of the known world.

It is recorded that the disciples began to speak in different tongues the message about Jesus Christ, His life, His death, and His resurrection. It is obvious from the text that the crowd knew that these disciples of Jesus were Galileans and not the kind of people who could have traveled to foreign places or been highly educated. But here they were speaking to them in their language. Naturally, there were those who rejected this as simply the babbling of drunkards, but Peter knew the truth and he boldly stepped forward and delivered the first sermon of the fledgling church. Drawing on the prophecies of Joel and the Psalms, the Spirit of God led him to reveal to the people that this was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God promised so long ago. It had come now because God had revealed His ultimate plan for the salvation of mankind and the Spirit of God was now to rest in the hearts and minds of the people to guide them into all truth and life. He then went on to bring all the threads of the faith together and help them to see that God had sent the Messiah who had brought the ultimate salvation to the people – not just a salvation of the body such as happened at the exodus but a salvation of the body and soul.

The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is for us a deeper experience of God in our lives. The Spirit is now more a part of our life with God and draws us closer to understanding that our life is intimately connected with God. Yes, we still think for ourselves and act as people with free will, but we have the Spirit of God to rely on to guide us, to encourage us and to give us wisdom beyond what we might ever imagine.

Remember this day that God has had a plan for this world and its people from the very beginning. In the beginning He created the world and all that is in it and one day He will redeem this world and all that is in it. Let us celebrate that we have been granted the gift of faith and the promise of new and eternal life through Christ and let the Holy Spirit guide us and strengthen us every day. AMEN

Invitation to the Offering

Prayer of Dedication

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

Wind of the Spirit, blow through us on this day of Pentecost and renew our faith.
Re-awaken our love for God, let your flames warm our hearts with trust in Jesus Christ and dare us to do great things in his name.

Leader: Spirit of Power and Promise,

All: Blow through us and renew our faith.

Wind of the Spirit, blow through us and give us energy to serve you in Christ’s church.
Open our eyes to recognize needs for ministry and mission, and to learn from this time when we have had to do things differently in worship and pastoral care.
Open our hearts to connect with those for whom the time of social distancing has been very difficult.
Open our hands to share in the tasks that need doing,
and open our lips in prayer and praise.

Leader: Spirit of Power and Promise,

All: Blow through us and renew our faith.

Wind of the Spirit, blow through us and give us understanding:
For those whose lives seem so different from ours
and those facing situations because of the pandemic that we didn’t encounter;
Understanding for those with whom we’ve disagreed;
and for problems and challenges we will now face at home, at work, and in your world as we try to recover from the effects of coronavirus.

Leader: Spirit of Power and Promise,

All: Blow through us and renew our faith.

Wind of the Spirit, blow through us and bring healing
for all who face pain or illness, discouragement or disappointment,
made so much keener because of isolation;
healing for all who know sorrow, sadness or grief,
and for those who face stress and pressure as they try to rebuild their lives.
Bring healing to the earth, to places of upheaval and to ecosystems at risk.

Leader: Spirit of Power and Promise,

All: Blow through us and renew our faith.

Wind of the Spirit,blow through us and bring us the compassion we see in Christ Jesus.
Blow through us and refresh us as your faithful followers,
equipped to serve the world you love in his name,
as together we say the words he taught us.

The Lord’s Prayer

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 debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Forever and ever. AMEN

HYMN #590: I, the Lord of sea and sky

I, the Lord of sea and sky, I have heard my people cry
All who dwell in dark and sin, my hand will save
I who made the stars of night, I will make their darkness bright
I will speak my word to them, whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night
I will go, Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain, I have borne my people’s pain
I have wept for love of them, they turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone, give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them. Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night
I will go, Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of wind and flame, I will tend the poor and lame
I will set a feast for them, my hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide till their hearts be satisfied
I will give my life to them. Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night
I will go, Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.

CCLI license: 1963748

Benediction