Sharing Our Faith Together

Worship for Pentecost, 5th June 2022

by Rev Jacky Quarmby 5 June 2022

Opening Words:  Joel 2: 28
God declares …
In those days
I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh
Your sons and daughters will prophesy
Your old men will dream dreams
Your young men will see visions …
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be save

This morning, Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the worldwide church at Pentecost nearly 2000 years ago.  
Song:  Come on and celebrate

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Prayer of invocation
On this day of Pentecost …
Come Holy Spirit  … Wake us up to your presence
Come Holy Spirit  …  Blow through this place
Come Holy Spirit  …  Enter our Worship 
Come Holy Spirit …  And rest on each one of us.
Come, Holy Spirit, Come Amen

Welcome and Introduction to Baptism
We’re delighted to welcome Samantha and Paul and their family this morning for the baptism of Joseph.  On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached an amazing sermon all about Jesus and those who heard the message said, “what must we do?”  And Peter told them:

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is for you, for your children and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls.”

So today, as Peter has told us, we bring Joseph to be baptized.  First we hear the baptism reading which reminds us how much Jesus loved little children.

Baptism Reading: Mark 10: 13 – 16  

The Baptism

Song:  Father God I wonder

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Let us hear now the reading from Acts which tells the story of Pentecost.
Reading:  Acts 2: 1- 7, 12 – 13 

Talk:  Getting Connected
Once upon a time there were two little streams who met at the edge of a vast desert.  The trees were dry and withered  - nothing grew  - everything was dry and barren.  The desert said to the streams – “Ha, ha, ha  - if you flow into my desert  - I will swallow you up.  For I love it when everything is dry and dead.”   The first stream, who was a little timid, said to her friend, “Oh no, what shall we do now?”  

Well, the second stream thought he was big and tough and could cope with anything.  “You don’t scare me, “ he said to the desert.  And so the second stream flowed on.

But the desert simply opened its mouth and swallowed the stream and everything stayed as dry and dead as before.

Well, the first stream was very scared  - she couldn’t flow into the desert, because she would be swallowed up  - she would have to go back the way she came.

So she turned right round and began to flow up and up and up  - until she found herself at the edge of an enormous lake that stretched on and on forever and ever.  Well the lake was strong and very kind  -  He looked at the little stream and said  - “Do not be afraid.  I will help you.  I have long been looking for a channel to pour down.”  And the little stream said, “Flow through me.”

So the lake poured through the stream and the stream flowed on and on and on till it came to the edge of the desert  - which was as dry and withered as ever.  And the desert said to the stream – “Ha, ha, ha  - if you flow into my desert  - I will swallow you up.  For I love it when everything is dry and dead.” 

But the little stream knew that she was not alone any more  - that the water from the lake was pouring through her.   So she was not afraid.  And she flowed on and on into the desert  - and soon plants began to grow on her banks  - and flowers began to bloom  - and birds began to nest in the trees  -  and after a while the little stream became a river  - and before too long the desert was swallowed up in vegetation, in fruit and flowers.  And the desert bloomed like a rose.

What made all the difference?  One stream “got connected” to an infinite source of water – the other stream tried to make it on its own.

The Bible says in the Book of Acts that before Jesus left the disciples and ascended into heaven – he gave his disciples this instruction, “Wait in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”  In other words, don’t do anything until you receive God’s power – don’t try to do anything on your own but wait until you “get connected”.

So the disciples waited – and ten days later – on the feast of Pentecost – the power Jesus spoke about was poured out on the disciples – the Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit arrived with a sound like a rushing wind – and with what looked like tongues of fire.  And in that moment, the disciples were connected to that infinite source of power.

And the result – Peter – the one who had stood by on the day Jesus was arrested and denied that he ever knew Jesus, because he was so afraid – stood up in front of thousands of people and preached the sermon of his life.  Peter’s words were so compelling that on that day 3000 people became Christian believers and were baptized.  The church was born.

On the day of Pentecost – the disciples discovered what it meant to “get connected” – to become channels for God’s love and power in the Holy Spirit.  That experience changed their lives forever.  And it can change ours too.  So why do we keep struggling on, trying to make it on our own – when God is just waiting and longing to fill our lives with his love and his power.  

Song:  Be bold, be strong

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Prayer:  Becoming Like Jesus
Not only is the Holy Spirit a source of power and strength – the Holy Spirit is also God’s gift to us, to help us to become more like Jesus.  If we spend a lot of time with someone then we can start to become like them – we can start to think like them, to speak like them, to reflect the same attitudes that they do.  And that’s why spending time with the Holy Spirit can help us to become more like Jesus.

Paul writes that the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – all qualities that we see in Jesus.  So if we spend time with the Holy Spirit, then these lovely qualities will grow in our lives too. In our next prayer, we pray for God’s Holy Spirit to come and live within us so that we may become more like Jesus.

Loving God,
Fill us with your Holy Spirit
So that we may know the fruit of your Spirit in our lives …
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness
gentleness and self-control.
And on this special day, the birthday of the church
Help us to be thankful for all that is past
To find joy in all that is happening now
And to look forward hopefully to all that is still to come.
In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Song:  Give me joy in my heart

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Prayers for Others 
Loving God,
In families where there is anger and bitterness - bring your love
Come Holy Spirit Come

In homes where there is sadness, because someone has died - bring your joy
Come Holy Spirit Come

In countries where there is war and violence - bring your peace
Come Holy Spirit Come

In the lives of those who are tired of waiting - bring your patience
Come Holy Spirit Come

In situations where people are in need of a friend - bring your kindness
Come Holy Spirit Come

At times when people are tempted to do the wrong thing - bring your goodness
Come Holy Spirit Come

In churches where believers are losing heart - bring your faithfulness
Come Holy Spirit Come

In workplaces where people always think the worst of others – bring your gentleness
Come Holy Spirit Come

Where people are struggling with addiction – bring self-control
Come Holy Spirit Come Amen

The Lord's Prayer

Song:  We are marching in the light of God

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The Blessing
Go in peace in the power of the Spirit 
To live and work to God’s praise and glory
And the blessing of God
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Be with you all evermore.  Amen