It’s very good to be with you today to celebrate what’s often referred to as The Church’s Birthday – Pentecost; the day on which God poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit on the first followers of Jesus. We celebrate not only that day in Jerusalem almost two thousand years ago, but also the continuing presence and power of the Spirit in the world today, bringing in the Kingdom of God and transforming people’s lives, as they know the love of Jesus Christ in their lives.
This week’s virtual service is on our podcast page as usual; I hope very much that you enjoy participating in it.
I’m back to peaching this morning, after Alison’s and Annie’s great contributions over the past couple of weeks – thank you so much, both of you. Our reading is from Acts, Chapter 2, verses 1-21.
As usual, Deb and Deborah lead us in our worship – thank you so much to you two ladies, too, for your contributions every week.
Our worship today is:
Come Down O Love Divine
Come down, O Love divine!
Seek thou this soul of mine
And visit it with thine own ardour glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
Within my heart appear,
And kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.
O let it freely burn
Till earthly passions turn
To dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
And let your 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 we become the place
Wherein the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.
Bianco da Siena, trans. R.F. Littledale
O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing
Oh for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace!
Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’Tis life and health and peace.
He breaks the power of cancelled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean;
His blood availed for me.
He speaks: and listening to His voice,
New life the dead receive,
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice,
The humble poor believe.
Hear Him, ye deaf; His praise, ye dumb,
Your loosened tongues employ;
Ye blind, behold your Saviour come;
And leap, ye lame, for joy!
My gracious Master and my God
Assist me to proclaim
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honours of Thy name
I also strongly commend to you a very moving contemporary worship song, ‘Come Holy Spirit’, written by some South African Christians, which I came across during a diocesan curates’ mission trip in 2019, to our sister Diocese of Natal. This recording was made at LIV, an extraordinary village for South African orphans, founded by a Christian couple. I find it so beautiful to see God at work amongst his people in this way, with worship at the heart of this community. It’s mostly in English, but the chorus is in Zulu – ‘Uthando lwakho luyaphila’ (meaning ‘Your love is alive’), and ‘Umbuso wakho uyaphila’ (‘Your Kingdom is alive’): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKAlsYb2V6o Do watch it – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!
As usual, if you’d prefer to read rather than listen to the podcast, the sermon transcript, reading and prayers can be downloaded here:
New-Look Sundays: Zoom Catch-Ups!
Last week’s Zoom call worked really well, so do please join us for another this Sunday!
If you can, listen to the podcast at 9.30 (but don’t worry if you can’t, just join us for a natter anyway!); grab a quick coffee; and then join us on Zoom at 10.15 for a catch-up across the Benefice. Chat about the sermon, the weather, or anything you like, until 11.00 at latest.
Join the Zoom call here (Meeting ID: 864 0083 1074 ; Password: 549794) We look forward to seeing you all there!
Pentecost Prayer – This Sunday Evening, May 31st, 8PM-9PM!
Finally, do join us as we mark the culmination of these eleven days of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ prayer at Pentecost. We’ll gather on Zoom for an hour on Sunday evening to pray, “Lord, Thy Kingdom Come” – that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Kingdom of God will break into our world, our villages and our lives, and the lives of those who don’t yet know the love of Jesus Christ.
Join the Zoom call here (Meeting ID: 847 5217 7286; Password: 529541) We look forward to praying with you there!
Very best wishes, stay safe, and God bless,