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Pentecost Sunday : 28th May 2023

What follows is a worship service which, I pray, you can participate in at a time(s) that are convenient to you. This 'service' will take about forty five (45) minutes.

I pray that you will feel called to ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE in this service.

The text that is in regular typeface (that is what you are reading at the moment) is to be read quietly, while the text that is in
bold face (like you are reading right now) is meant to be read aloud.

Opening Hymn:

Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we commence our praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

A Call To Worship:

We meet in the name of God,

Creator of the universe,

source of true humanity,

mother and father of all. Amen.

An Assurance of Forgiveness:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

The Absolution
00:00 / 00:18

The Sentence For Today (let us say aloud):

The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

The Special Prayer For Today (let us pray aloud):

Father, you have filled your people with the Spirit who rested first on your Son and united us in Your Church; open the channels for Your Spirit that we may freely work together, and Your kingdom and Your rule increase; for the glory of Your holy name. Amen.

Our first reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

Numbers 11:24-30
00:00 / 01:38

Our second reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

Acts 2:1-21
00:00 / 04:12

Gradual Hymn:

Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we raise out voices in praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

A reading from the holy gospel according to Saint John
(click the 'play' button below to listen)

John 20:19-23
00:00 / 00:55

Listen to David speak to this gospel
(click the 'play' button below to listen)

The Holy Spirit?
00:00 / 09:03

or, if you prefer, you can read the sermon, below:

Sermon Pentecost, 21st May 2023

MAY the words of my mouth and the meditations in our hearts be acceptable in your sight O Lord, our strength and our Redeemer. <Amen>

A blessed Pentecost Sunday to you all on this great celebration of the Holy Spirit.

The celebration of the Church’s birthday, the day that the Christian Church was actually brought into existence – and what does a preacher have to say on this day?  I COULD tell you the story of Pentecost and how a ragtag group who had, more or less faithfully followed Jesus during His earthly ministry, gathered together and were imbued with the Holy Spirit and empowered for their ministry – but that would merely repeat what Saint John in his gospel and Saint Luke Luke just told us in the Acts of the Apostles.  So what do I have to add? Hmmmmmm ….

Well, how about a quick question “What is the Holy Spirit?”. <PAUSE>

Great question and there have been countless discourses, books, sermons, commentaries, theses on this over the years … and, no doubt, there will continue to be so!

However, how about this for my answer today? The Holy Spirit is the unending love that connects the Father and the Son.

God in three persons, blessed Trinity - - - lover, beloved, and shared love. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit that is the expression of this three in one-ness.

I know that I’ve started with something that is a wee bit abstract so I'll try to make it really clearer, really fast!

From our reading today, Acts chapter 2 - The tongues of fire descend, the great wind comes, and the disciples receive the Holy Spirit. At this sound, the crowd gathered, and each one heard them strangely speaking in his own language.

Did you notice how Luke goes to great lengths to describe all these different people and different places? (Parthians, Medes, Elamites, folks from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, Libya, Rome, Cretans, Arabs)

All these different people are from different backgrounds, different cultures, different countries, different languages. Here's the interesting point … all of these different people come together as one through the power of the Holy Spirit that has come down.

Mind you, the Spirit doesn't take away their “many-ness”. The Spirit doesn't say, "Oh, you know you Mesopotamians, Judeans, the Parthians, Medes, Elamites - all of you have to give up your national identities."

No, No, NO! They're confirmed as different but yet, they form this harmonious pattern around The Father, through The Son. That's the pouring out of the uniting love from The Holy Spirit actually at work.

It's the love that brings the one (the individual) and the many together to unite.
In the Latin this uniting of the ones into the many is termed “in communio” or, if you prefer the English, it’s the coming together of us individual “in the communion”. Perhaps we now get an insight into why we call our church service today “Holy Communion”.

One of the great blessings of coming to a church in the Wakatipu is that members of the extended family meet from all over the world, they bring their different languages, their different customs, their different looks. Yet no one's imposing a monolithic unity on them.

The many are coming together around Christ to serve Him and His purposes.

We find “communio”. We become one with “Unity in diversity” thanks to the love that pours out from The Holy Spirit that joins us together with The Father and The Son and each other.

That's the mark of The Spirit.

It’s that Spirit that came to the disciples on the first Pentecost Sunday. It’s the fire, the wind, the breath of God, the love from The Holy Spirit that descends upon each and every one of us today … and everyday.

It’s that love from The Holy Spirit that really allows us to celebrate our UNITY IN DIVERSITY and so:

Ma te Atua koutou katoa e manaaki

Dios los bendiga a todos

Que Dieu vous bénisse tous

Shàng dì bǎo yòu nǐ men

God bless you all.

I runga e te Ingoa o te Atua, te Matua, te Tama me te Wairua Tapu.
In the name of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit <AMEN>

Pause and Reflect

Just take a moment now to pause. Bow your head, close your eyes.
 

Allow these words of Holy Scripture and this interpretation of them today to speak to you.

An Affirmation of Our Faith

Let us affirm our faith by saying aloud, and together, "The Apostles Creed":

apostles_creed_pic02.jpg
Image by Allef Vinicius

... and now let us pray for the Church, the World, and Ourselves, giving thanks for God's goodness.An Affirmation of Our Faith

​Let us pray aloud, and together:

The Spirit of God unites us as a people and enables us to pray and intercede for the needs of others. As we gather  together in God’s love, we offer our prayers and thanksgiving to the Father for the sake of the Son and through the Holy Spirit. AMEN

(Longer Silence) : personal reflection.

In response to the call today “Lord, in Your Mercy” Our plea is, “Hear our prayer.”

(Short Silence) Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Mighty God breathe Your power into all of the activities of this Parish, to each of our individual churches and the churches across our Diocese and around the world. Unite us “in communio” so empowering Your people, through Your Holy Spirit, to do Your will.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer
 
Creator God help us to be constantly aware of the world’s needs and problems.  Send Your Holy Spirit to give the leaders of the world the courage to oppose sin, tyranny, and violence that there may be a greater unity among the nations of the earth.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer
 
Father God we thank you for the gift of hospitality and all of the opportunities that we have to share food and fellowship with our families, friends, neighbours, and visitors.  We also give thanks for the gift of languages which enable us to communicate, even in a very small way, with our friends and neighbours from oversees who live in, work in, or visit The Wakatipu.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer
 
Father God we pray for your world and its peoples with all their needs, questions and longings. So often we struggle to understand the reasons behind things like the invasion of Ukraine, gun violence, homelessness … and yet we know that in the midst of such events Your Holy Spirit is with us.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer
 
Loving God, we pray for all those who are sick; guide them and strengthen them through their illness. We pray also for those who care for the sick, those engaged in the caring professions and for family members who look after loved ones and especially for children who care for parents.

We now raise before you those who have asked for our prayers … Rose, Mark, Fiona (here in the Wakatipu), Deb, David, Barbara and Lynley (in Christchurch), Andrew, Fiona, Glenys in Dunedin, Sam (in Singapore) and others we now name aloud, or in the silence of our hearts, and those who are known only by you.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer
 
We pray for all those who have died: give them a place at your banquet in heaven. May the Holy Spirit, who purifies us of sin and raises the dead, bring all our departed loved ones into the fullness of Your presence.

We raise before you our brother Eric, laid to rest last Tuesday, may he and all Your other faithful saints rest in peace having risen in glory.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Heavenly Father, in a moment of silence we place before you our personal prayers for ourselves, our families, our friends, for all of those whom we love and, for our personal ministries.

(Longer Silence) Lord, in your mercy : Hear our prayer.
 
Everlasting God, on this Day of Pentecost, we rejoice in the wonderful gift of Your Holy Spirit. Send that same Holy Spirit again into our hearts, into our lives, and into our world.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy : Hear our prayer.

Merciful father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

lord's_prayer_pic01_edited.jpg

Remembering that we are confident to pray this day, and every day, because Jesus Christ continues to teach us:
 

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,

your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.   Amen.

Let us conclude our prayers by praying together and aloud:

 

God of mercy,
you have given us grace to pray with one heart and one voice,
and have promised to hear the prayers
of two or three who agree in your name,
fulfil now, we pray,
the prayers and longings of your people
as may be best for us and for your kingdom.
Grant us in this world to know your truth,
and in the world to come to see your glory. Amen.

The Blessing

May The Risen Lord Christ turn His face towards each and every one of you.

May He cause His light to shine upon you, and

may He grant you His peace, and

 

The blessing of Almighty God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

be with you and all of those whom you love,

on this day and forever more.

A Closing Hymn:

Let us conclude our worship today by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we unite in another hymn our praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

The Dismissal

Go now, go out into the world

to love and serve The Lord.

 

Go in peace.

AMEN, we go in the name of Christ.

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