31st May 2020
Margaret Liddy – The Holy Spirit
`When you send forth your spirit`
Rev Fiona Winn
Acknowledgement of Country
Welcome and Grace
`O Lord how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures…
When you send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the ground`
Ps. 104: 24, 30
Hymn 398 `Come down O love divine`
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.
O let it freely burn, til earthly passions turn
To dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
And let Thy glorious light shine ever on my sight,
And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.
Let holy charity mine outward vesture be,
And lowliness become mine inner clothing;
True lowliness of heart, which takes the humbler part,
And o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.
And so the yearning strong, with which the soul will long,
Shall far outpass the power of human telling;
For none can guess its grace, till he become the place
Wherein the Holy Spirit makes a dwelling.
Bianco da Siena
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Numbers 11: 24-30; Acts 2: 1-21; John 7: 37-39
Numbers 11:24-30 (NRSV)
24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.
26 Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28 And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, “My lord Moses, stop them!” 29 But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!” 30 And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.
Acts 2: 1-21 (NRSV)
2 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 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. 3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6 And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7 Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” 12 All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”
14 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. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
17 ‘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.
18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show portents in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
20 The sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
John 7: 37-39 (NRSV)
37 On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, 38 and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
`Veni Sancte Spiritus`
Come, Holy Spirit,
from heaven shine forth with your glorious light.
Veni Sancte Spiritus
`Holy Spirit living breath of God`
Holy Spirit living breath of God
Holy Spirit, living breath of God,
Breathe new life into my willing soul.
Let the presence of the risen Lord,
Come renew my heart and make me whole.
Cause Your Word to come alive in me;
Give me faith for what I cannot see,
Give me passion for Your purity;
Holy Spirit, breathe new life in me.
Holy Spirit, come abide within,
May Your joy be seen in all I do.
Love enough to cover every sin,
In each thought and deed and attitude.
Kindness to the greatest and the least,
Gentleness that sows the path of peace.
Turn my strivings into works of grace;
Breath of God show Christ in all I do.
Holy Spirit, from creation’s birth,
Giving life to all that God has made,
Show Your power once again on earth,
Cause Your church to hunger for your ways.
Let the fragrance of our prayers arise;
Lead us on the road of sacrifice,
That in unity the face of Christ
Will be clear for all the world to see.
Keith Getty & Stuart Townend Copyright © 2005 Thankyou Music
(Adm. by CapitolCMGPublishing.com excl. UK & Europe, adm. by Integrity Music, part of the David C Cook family, email@example.com)
Reflection and Q and A
Dadirri – Miriam Rose Ungunmerr Baumann
`There are deep springs within each of us.
Within this deep spring which is the very Spirit of God, is a sound.
The sound of Deep calling to Deep.
The sound is the word of God – Jesus`
One of the reasons I wanted us to hear from these three readings today is because it is important for us to realise that the Spirit is not some new phenomenon. The Spirit did not begin with nor has it only existed in the time of the Pentecostal movement – nor only in white Anglo-Celtic culture.
At the beginning of creation, in the opening verses of the book of Genesis to the final utterances of the Spirit to the churches in the book of the Apocalypse, the book of Revelation, God`s Spirit has always been creating, re-creating; forming and re-forming.
There has never been a time, nor will there ever be a time, when the Spirit is not at work in the world, in the Church. The Spirit is always speaking to the Church – not that the Church is always listening or able to listen. We are so busy, so rushed, so full of our own ideas, thoughts and theories.
Over these past cataclysmic weeks and months, we have had to slow down. We have had to wonder at a world view and way of life which we have held and which for so long has held us. We have come to accept this world view and way of life as `normal`, `usual`, `to be expected`. But this world view is now challenged as never before in most of our lifetimes.
We have to stop – and think again…That is what happens when the Spirit of God is abroad – we have to think again.
In the time of Moses, the people are shocked that the Spirit of God has come upon those on whom they did not expect it to come. The people - even Joshua - are shocked and outraged. This is not how it is meant to be. Moses puts them right.
Those who witnessed the day of Pentecost are bewildered, amazed and astonished at what happens before them. Quickly they resort to disparaging and dismissive comments – `They`re drunk!` `No!` says Peter. Peter puts them right.
The new, the inexplicable, the unexpected, the surprising – we seldom know how to deal with and so, in our fear and anxiety, we find it impossible to stop - to consider and reflect. We rush into judgement and condemnation. We close things down. Shut things out. And miss an opportunity to wonder, to learn, to change, to grow.
In this day and age, on this day of Pentecost 2020, who will put us right? Donald Trump? Jeff Bezos? Clive Palmer?
We would do well to listen to people like Miriam Rose Ungunmerr Baumann, Warwick Thornton. They offer us, they offer the Church, they offer Australia, the opportunity to slow down, to reflect, to think again…
We may not like what we hear or what they have to say – but that is sometimes how the Spirit works – especially when things are not as they ought to be.
- The outrage in Minnesota is saying something…
- The groanings of creation are saying something.
- The statistics around Aboriginal deaths in custody are saying something.
Who is listening? Are we listening?
The energy, dynamism and strangeness of Pentecost offer an opportunity to think again – in unexpected and challenging ways. What does it mean to be the Church in Australia, to be, and claim to be, the Body of Christ in these days, in our Covid-19 affected world?
When God sends forth God`s Spirit – watch out! Things start to happen…and not always the way we want.
Prayer and the Lord`s Prayer
Lord God our Creator, giver of all good gifts, we are gathered again in this new way, to thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit, who encourages, comforts and corrects us.
In this time of world chaos and argument, we pray for leaders everywhere, and for those of this country. May your Spirit direct their decisions and bring peace and order to our lives.
May the Holy Spirit heal the nations - and in this week of Reconciliation, bring better understanding between the indigenous people of this land and those of us who are comparative newcomers. Help us not to be so proud that we sideline the wisdom of others.
In this week of Christian Unity we pray for the Church Universal. May your Spirit encourage its many various expressions to seek each other out in love, so that the world may be able to see that it One in Christ.
We pray for all in need, especially those whose lives have been made more painful and difficult because of the corona virus. Be with members of this congregation who are going through challenges of health and circumstances. May your Spirit comfort everywhere the sick, suffering, disabled, lonely, perplexed and down at heart.
Bless this congregation and our minister Fiona. Thank you for the varied gifts of the Spirit which we share among us. Help us to be an hospitable, generous, open-hearted, and listening community of faith.
Lord, we do not pray to become more religious, but that your Spirit will prompt us to become more like Jesus.
Lord, in your mercy hear our prayer
Gracious God, your Spirit is wind and fire and blows where it will. Pour it upon us, and through us, extend your kingdom. Accept our prayers for the sake of your Son who taught us to say: Our Father ….
Hymn 572 `O thou who camest from above`
O thou who camest from above
The fire celestial to impart,
Kindle a flame of sacred love
On the mean altar of my heart!
2 There let it for thy glory burn
With inextinguishable blaze,
And trembling to its source return
In humble prayer and fervent praise.
3 Jesus, confirm my heart's desire
To work, and speak, and think for thee;
Still let me guard the holy fire,
And still stir up the gift in me.
4 Ready for all thy perfect will,
My acts of faith and love repeat;
Till death thy endless mercies seal,
And make the sacrifice complete.
Samuel Sebastian Wesley
* * * * * *
Today is Pentecost Sunday, the day we remember the coming of the Spirit and the beginning of the Church.
And we are in the middle of
National Reconciliation Week
24th May - 3rd June
Here are some links that may be useful -
The Beach (SBS/NITV/SBS on demand) – a trailer for the documentary film about celebrated artist and film director Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah; Sweet Country) and his need to reconnect with the land.