Morning Worship - 31st May 2020

Pentecost Sunday

'every nation under heaven'

Everlasting Father, hear our prayer

as we open our hearts to you

and ask you - Lord, draw near.

May a quietness fill us now.

O Lord, be near; may your Spirit  rest upon us.

 

May there be a gratitude within us

on this beautiful May morning.

May the sun that shines upon us

be as a heavenly light shining with in us.

May all troubles and worries fall off

to burden us no more.

 

How we thank you for the Lord Jesus;

he called us to follow him; to trust him; and to believe in him.

And when we called upon his name he answered.

Whatever it is we are in our days upon this earth

we are disciples of Jesus.

We walk with him and talk with him day by day.

Lord, we ask for your loving forgiveness

to lift us up and set us upon our feet.

You gave your life upon the Cross

so that through you we might be set free.

And so, Lord Jesus,

as you have forgiven us

so we now forgive those we name in quietness.

 

On this Pentecost Sunday speak to us through your Spirit.

Teach us what it is that we need to know.

Remind us, Lord, of what we may have forgotten.

Give to us the words that we need to share.

The words that tell of your love and your grace.

Father, we pray this in Jesus' name

and in his name, Lord, hear his 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.

Amen.

Our reading from Acts tells of the disciples in Jerusalem on the morning the Spirit came down upon them.

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When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.  And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.  And they were amazed and wondered, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? "                                                                                      Acts 2 : 1 - 7

All Together in One Place

 

Did you know Galileans had an accent? Aberdonians do as do many Glaswegians. Peter, James, John and Andrew along with members of Jesus' family and other followers were all from Galilee and had a distinctive accent hence the pilgrims in Jerusalem could tell where they were from. Most Galileans lived in rural villages and lived off the land; Peter and the others were fishermen; in other words, they were peasants hence the surprise.

 

Both Luke and Acts were written by Luke, a travelling companion of Paul. He wrote them in the 70's some 40 - 50 years after the festival of Pentecost mentioned in our reading. By this time the Jesus movement had spread into towns and cities throughout the Roman Empire. It was still small in size - most communities of Christians met in each others homes and were probably a few dozen in number at most. Yet like the seeds of the dandelion these little communities grew and spread from heart to heart and house to house - little churches without walls.

 

Jesus had told his disciples that they would be witnesses for him 'to the ends of the earth' and that the words they would need for this mission would be given to them by God's Spirit. And so from hiding behind locked doors in fear for their lives they ended up in Jerusalem speaking in public about Jesus with boldness and confidence - they who were peasants from Galilee.

 

The Way of the Lord Jesus has always spread from heart to heart and the words spoken have mostly come from ordinary folk many of whom have worked with their hands. It is the Spirit of God that gives our actions and speech a graciousness that can touch listening hearts. 

Again and again Jesus taught that it is those who ask, wait and believe that receive. May you have that deep desire in yourself for the Spirit to bless you - for he will if you but ask - in Jesus' name.

Loving Father,

on this Pentecost Sunday we remember the day

Jesus' disciples come out of hiding

to proclaim that he is Lord and risen from the dead.

 

As your Spirit came upon them and bound them together

in worship and praise

so may your Spirit bind us together in peace and love.

We pray for all the churches in Kirkcudbright -

three houses of worship;

may we be three cords woven together,

a song sung in harmony,

a sweet sound pleasing to your ear.

In these days of uncertainty

when many of us are worried

about tomorrow and our loved ones

may we look to you -  for you alone, O Lord, 

are our place of safety and refuge.

We pray for the children who don't understand

what is happening but hear fear;

we pray for the young worried about their future;

we pray for our friends who are far from their family;

and we pray for those who have fallen ill

and may now be in hospital.

But above all we remember those who are worried or grieving.

Lord, help us to know what we are to do and what we are to be.

Help us keep in touch and share and care in Jesus' name.

Amen.

Come down, O Love divine,
seek thou this soul of mine,
and visit it with thine own ardor glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

 

The Grace of the Lord Jesus,

the love of God the Father,

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

be with us all.

Amen.