Hello everyone, hope this finds you all well. We are celebrating Pentecost today, the coming of the Holy Spirit, we then from next week move out of Eastertide and into Trinity. Trinity Sunday is usually the Sunday we admit our younger people to Holy Communion but we have been unable to do the classes, so we are aiming to start those in September to be admitted in October, so watch this space.
Ken Holt spoke to us last week about the team Christian Aid walk, he has produced a beautiful painting and a map of the team geographical area and of all the churches and wildlife around it in smaller pictures. We are hoping to raise a lot of money for Christian Aid. If you don’t want to walk or are unable to do so we still need your help either helping with refreshments at the churches or giving people a lift to their starting places and of course by donations. The walk is on the 10th July it really is something to look forward to, as we try to put our lives and those of others back together after the pandemic.
Our reflection today is by Rev Robin Usher and the intercessions by myself.
PRAYER OF PREPARATION
O Lord open our lips and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Give us the joy of your saving help and sustain us with your life giving spirit
PRAYER OF PENITENCE
The spirit of the Lord fills the world and knows our every word and deed. Let us then open ourselves to the Lord and confess our sins in penitence and faith.
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 to the joy of your salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord . Amen
Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly king, almighty God and Father. We worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ only son of the Father Lord God Lamb of God , you take away the sins of the world: have mercy upon us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father : receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One , you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
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.
THE NEW TESTAMENT 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 the 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.’
This is the word of the Lord – Thanks be to God
THE GOSPEL – JOHN 15, 26-27;16,4-15
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John- Glory to you O Lord
“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.
“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
This is the Gospel of our Lord- Praise to you O Christ
Many of you may not be familiar with the name of Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhoff. He was a Polish Jew, born in 1859, a doctor specializing in eye problems; and he lived in a part of Europe where four different languages were commonly spoken.
You may not know his name, but you might well know the name of his invention. Translated into English the name of his invention is ‘the hopeful one’. We know it better as ‘esperanto’ – an artificial universal language, first published in 1887.
Zamenhoff knew the power of language: the power of a common language to unite, and the power of different languages to divide. Language, if you don’t understand it, becomes a barrier, a barrier that can divide people from each other. Zamenhoff was a dreamer, a man of hope and vision, and he wanted to change the world by united everyone with one single language.
On the day of Pentecost, the disciples “…were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” – and each one of the many nationalities in Jerusalem at the time “heard them speaking in their native language.”
The events of Pentecost were a demonstration of the power of God’s Spirit to cut through all the barriers that humanity had built for itself.
The experience of that first group of disciples on the day of Pentecost worked at two levels: on the surface there was the thing with the languages, but at a deeper level the diversity of languages was a symbol of that fundamental isolation and separation that lies at the heart of the fallen human condition — separation from one another, and from God.
The phenomenon of the languages was not, as far as we know, ever repeated [it was not the same as ‘speaking in tongues’!], but the deeper work of the Spirit, which that outward phenomenon pointed to, does continue, drawing us ever closer to Jesus, breaking down the barriers of race and nationality, of language and culture – making us one in Christ.
The Gospel writer John’s choice of a word for the Spirit: Advocate or Paraclete, is unique to him, but is very significant: it means ‘someone who speaks on behalf of another’.
Left to our own devices, we still all speak with many tongues, to God, as much as to one another – a babble of hopes and fears, of wants and needs, of pains and joys. But we have in Jesus’ promise of the Spirit of truth, an advocate who speaks on our behalf, cutting through our babble and clamour, our misunderstanding and mistakes, and speaking with a single clear voice to our hearts — and all we have to do is listen!
Only that Spirit can fulfil Zamenhoff’s dream of a united world.
Only the Spirit can make us one in Christ.
Only through that Spirit can we all speak with one tongue.
Rev Robin Usher.
Let us declare our faith in God
We believe in God the father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.
We believe in God the Son, who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.
We believe in the Holy Spirit who strengthens us with power on high.
We believe in Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
During the intercessions, we pray for the church, our country, our government, people in difficulty and those who have died. You can use your own prayers or if you prefer here are some on today’s theme.
Blessed are you, Lord our God. Your Spirit comes to our weakness with his power. In the strength of your Spirit you enable us to live and work to your praise and glory. May we who have received the gifts of the Spirit use them for the benefit of your creation and to reveal your love in the world. Blessed are you, Lord God, Father Son and Holy Spirit.
Lord as we rejoice in the coming of your Spirit we give thanks for all who proclaim your presence and power. We remember all preachers and evangelists, all who celebrate the sacraments and minister to us in Turton Team ministry. May all your people share fully in forwarding the Gospel and revealing your love.
Lord in your mercy – Hear our prayer
Lord you give great gifts and talents to your people. We ask you to bless and guide all leaders of nations and peoples, all who make decisions that will affect our lives and the future of the world especially those in the troubled countries of Syria. Israel, Gazza, Palestine and Yemen . We pray for scientists and research workers, for all who work in providing us with news or influence us through the press and television.
Lord in your mercy – Hear our prayer
We give thanks that your Holy Spirit came upon the disciples in an ordinary home. Bless our homes with your presence and grant that there we may grow in the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Let us know you are with our loved ones and us. Protect us from all evil and guide us by your Spirit in the ways of peace and love.
Lord in your mercy –Hear our prayer
Lord of life, we remember all who are distressed, depressed or despairing, all who have lost hope or joy in their lives. We pray for all who fear the future, all who have lost sight of you and your love. We remember also all who are struggling with poverty or hunger, the homeless and the refugee. We pray for all who are ill.
Lord in your mercy – Hear our prayer
We give you praise, Lord, giver of life and life eternal. We rejoice that you renew, refresh and restore us. We remember in your presence your blessed saints, St. Maxentius, St Anne, St. Peter, St. Andrew and St. James and our loved ones departed especially from our book of remembrance David Sutcliffe, Adeline Jones, Harold Walton, John J Garland, James John Carr and Rosetta Greenhalgh. May light perpetual shine upon them as they share in the glory of your kingdom.
Merciful Father Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever.
May the spirit, who hovered over the waters when the world was created, breathe into us the life he gives. Amen.
May the Spirit who overshadowed the Virgin when the eternal Son came among us, make us joyful in the service of the Lord. Amen.
May the Spirit who set the church on fire upon the day of Pentecost, bring the world alive with the love of the risen Christ. Amen.
And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be among us and remain with us always. Amen