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THE SHIRWELL MISSION COMMUNITY

A Mission Community in the Diocese of Exeter

Sunday Service at Home


Sunday 31 May 2020


Pentecost


Shirwell Mission Community

Morning Prayer for Sunday 31st May 2020 (Pentecost Sunday)

 


Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father 

and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you            

and also with you. 


 

Jesus said “ I will ask the Father and He will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever – the Spirit of truth”

We welcome the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father sends in Jesus’ name.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      

John 14 v 16, 26

 

Song              

Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place

            He comes to cleanse and heal, to minister His grace-

            No work too hard for Him, in faith receive from Him

             Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place

          

(Verse 3 of Be Still by David J Evans © 1983 Thankyou Music)


The prayers of penitence

 

Jesus said “When the Holy Spirit comes He will expose the guilt of the world…When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.” 

                                                                                                                                                                                                      

John 16 v 8, 13



“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness                                                                                                          


1 John 1 v 8-9


 

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 us to the joy of your salvation,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.                               Amen.

 


May almighty God, who sent His Son into the world to save sinners,

bring us his pardon and peace, now and for ever.                                    

Amen.


 

“We have not received a spirit that makes us slaves again to fear, 

but we received the Spirit of adoption as children of God. 

So we can cry Abba, Daddy, Father God.”  

                                                                                                                        

cf Romans 8 v 15


A Pentecost Prayer for renewal


Be with us, Spirit of God;             nothing can separate us from your love.

Breathe on us, Spirit of God;                  fill us with your saving power.

Speak in us, Spirit of God;                       bring strength, healing, and peace.


Holy Spirit, form in us the likeness of Christ, that we may be witnesses of your 

astonishing love, and fill us afresh with life in all its fullness. 

Blessed be God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.         

Blessed be God for ever.


Readings:                   Acts 2:1-21              (John 20:19-23)


Talk  written by Rosie, see the text below

 

The Apostles 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.        Amen.


Intercessions


Lord in your mercy; 

Hear our prayer.


 

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 today 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 for ever.              Amen.

 


Song               

           

Spirit of holiness, wisdom and faithfulness,

wind of the Lord, blowing strongly and free:

strength of our serving and joy of our worshipping

Spirit of God, bring your fulness to me

(Chorus from Spirit of Holiness : © Christopher Idle/ Jubilate Hymns)


Blessing and Dismissal


Jesus said “ I am going to send you what the Father has promised.. you will be clothed with power from on high…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes and you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.”  

Luke 24 v 49 & Acts 1 v 8 


May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace as we trust in Him, 

so that we may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.  

Romans 15 v 13 

 

This service is copyright (c)Common Worship and Times and Seasons. The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England,  

 

Acts 2:1-21 – Revd. Rosie Austin

 

My first conscious experience of the Holy Spirit was in my teens. I was a part of a large urban youth group, but large as it was, a few of us joined together monthly with an even larger crowd of people for a service held in a large school, with around 2000 people present. We sang worship songs led by Graham Kendrick, often with him trying out his new songs on us, and we listened to teaching from Richard Foster. (That’s called Christian name-dropping!)


In these services there was always an altar call, inviting those wanting prayer to come to the front. I was already a keen Christian but responded to the call to be ‘baptised in the Spirit’. God duly arrived, filling my tongue with strange sounds, my heart with laughter, and weakening my legs from under me. 


Perhaps I was swept up by the crowd, the singing and the euphoria. Perhaps as a teenager I did not have the cynicism or defensiveness which too often raises its head now I am older. But I have discovered through the years since many other ways of experiencing the Holy Spirit. In the silence and solitude of contemplative prayer, in the hands of dedicated people who serve, in the minds of those who study and teach and in the words of those who encourage. In cries for justice from protestors and in calls for peace. In the storm, and in the quiet breeze.


I find myself calling for the Holy Spirit and allowing him/her to pray through me on the way to and from a difficult meeting or a challenging pastoral situation. I meet Father, Son and Holy Spirit when I read the Bible, seeing scars on the hands of the Risen Christ.


However the Spirit comes, I see clearly that he/she comes to all and in different ways, as the prophet Joel speaks – on young and old, on men and women, rich and poor – transcending difference. 


In reading the passage from Acts, I am not sure exactly when the disciples emerged from the house they were meeting in to pray. We read that passers by heard the sound they were making and a bewildered crowd gathered, wanting to discover more. Amongst the crowd would have been the eager teenagers and the cynical adults – along perhaps with the cynical teenagers and eager adults? They had the same question in their minds, ‘what does this mean?’


It’s a very human question and desire, to seek meaning, and it’s a question that many of us are asking today within the context of this cruel pandemic. What does this mean?


In verse 14, Peter stands up to address the crowd. Has he come out of the house, or perhaps stands in a large courtyard. The doors, I imagine, are flung open, and from this point Peter – and with him the church – emerges. The expectant prayer of the gathered disciples, and the risen life of Jesus, can no longer stay quiet, and can only burst out into the world. 


After this, the disciples continue to gather for teaching, for fellowship, for the breaking of bread and for prayer (v.42) and they share their possessions and care for those in need. They continue as a gathered community... but the good news was out, and could not be put back into the box.

Or could it?


In what ways have we tried to put the good news of Jesus back into the box?


Do I explain away my early experience of the Holy Spirit as youthful exuberance or going along with the crowd? Perhaps that is a way of putting God away and denying that experience. Do I miss out on the ways God reaches out to me because my cynical hat comes out too often? In what ways do I deny the work of God in myself or in others?


Does our church life too often become about the buildings or the finances – and do we allow the key task of building relationships and serving one another take a back seat? How else do we put the good news of Jesus back into the box.. or try to keep it within the building?


In this strange and difficult time we have been forced out of our buildings and our fund raising activities have had to stop. We are being asked to respond to the question on so many lips... ‘what does this mean?’. A crowd has gathered to listen to what we have to say.


While we don’t have the clever answers – yet we have the gift and urging and the strength of the Holy Spirit enabling us to share the good news that God loves us. That he created the world in love and has never deserted us. That his love is unconditional. That the life and love we find in God never ends and can never be defeated, even by death itself. 


Here, I invite you to add your version of the good news that you would want to share about God. How do you put that into words? How do you put that into action?


                  (This is not a rhetorical question – it’s a real challenge for you!)


May you know the Father, Son and Holy Spirit today. In laughter, in quietness, in strength and in vulnerability, in service, and in stillness. However God comes – he comes to you, and to all people. 


Praise him.