An act of worship at home for Pentecost
Call to Worship
John says, ‘He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit …”‘
Here is our God in flame and rushing wind. Here is our God in the quiet breath of Jesus.
Here is our God in the unexpected. Here is our God in the everyday. Here is our God.
Loving God, whether you come to us in the unexpected or the familiar, we are glad of your presence.
We want to live well in the life you have given to us. We long to experience the fullness of your love.
Loving God, whether you come to us with a challenge to take risks or the offer of comfort, we welcome you into our lives. We want to understand more about you. We long to experience the fullness of your grace.
Loving God, whether you come to us like a rushing wind or on a quiet breath, we reach out to you.
We want to enjoy the gift of your Spirit. We long to experience the fullness of your power. Amen.
John 7 v 39
‘On the last day of the great feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, “If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.’
Acts 2 vv 1-4
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 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. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
This is going to be a short reflection because today of all days I’d like to invite us to open ourselves to the power and presence of God’s Spirit in a more direct way than reading or listening to my words. But before getting to that there are two aspects to God’s gift of the Holy Spirit that I would like to bring to the front of our minds.
The first is that it is a gift just for us, for each one of us. It is a gift tailored for us. When the disciples received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost it was to receive a gift that was fitted to each one of them. The Holy Spirit enabled them to do all sorts of things. Some were to become preachers, some teachers and some prophets.
Not all would be preachers, teachers and prophets. St Paul, in his logical, structured way, was to list other gifts too; the utterance of wisdom and of knowledge, faith, healing, and the working of miracles. Each would be given gifts suited to them. Each of us has been given a gift by the power of God’s Holy Spirit that enables us to do things others would find difficult or impossible. We may know and use those gifts already, we may know and not use them, or we may have no idea that we have been given any gifts at all, but we have, every single one of us. The Holy Spirit and her power and her gifting lives within each one of us.
The second aspect of God’s gift of the Holy Spirit that I would like to bring to mind is that the Holy Spirit enables and inspires us for the benefit of others, for the benefit of the Church and for the benefit of the community. Although it’s presence within us is intimate in the extreme it is not for our own benefit. It is a gift and a power to be used to help the Church community and the wider community in the world.
The power of the Holy Spirit is that its living presence within us draws us into an ever deeper relationship with God and with each other.
And it is to that relationship I’d encourage us to turn now as we drawer closer to God in prayer.
God of love, as we turn to you once more in song and prayer we ask you to help rest in your presence and allow ourselves to know the presence of your Holy Spirit within us.
Help us to trust, to let go more and more and trust your guidance in our lives – help us to trust your perfect love for us. Have your way among us.
So, gracious God, as we come to this time of stillness and prayer we open our hearts and minds to your guiding Spirit.
Hymn StF 370 – Breathe on me, Breath of God
Breathe on me, breath of God:
fill me with life anew,
that as you love, so I may love
and do what you would do.
Breathe on me, breath of God,
until my heart is pure,
until my will is one with yours
to do and to endure.
Breathe on me, breath of God;
‘til I am wholly thine
until this earthly part of me
glows with your heavenly fire.
Breathe on me, breath of God;
so shall I never die,
but live with you the perfect life
of your eternity.
Loving God, in hearing about the first Pentecost day we can see what a generous God you are.
There are no limits to those upon whom you pour out your Spirit. We thank and praise you for your abundance, your desire to give more than needed or expected, your refusal to be skimpy or mean with your love, your gifts, your grace and especially your Spirit.
We thank, praise and worship you.
Lord of our lives, You give us your spirit so that we can serve the good of all creation, channelling your transforming love as we use the different skills and opportunities you create for us, in the different places in which you call us to serve.
You make your spirit flow from us like streams of living water, a gushing power that nourishes those parched by life’s burdens.
May your Spirit breathe through these gifts we offer today.
May they enrich the lives of others in the name of your son,
and may they be signs of your presence with us,
that presence which marks us as children of your promise.
For Jesus’ sake, Amen.
May the God whose Spirit comes in wind and fire, charge us up for the coming week.
May the God whose Spirit comes in quiet breath, inspire and lead us in the coming week.
May the God whose Spirit blows where it will, be our comforter, healer and loving presence
during the coming week. Amen.