THE CHURCH'S BIRTHDAY
“To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good”
14th century missal
Breathe on me, Breath of God
fill me with life anew,
that I may love what thou dost love,
and do what thou wouldst do.
Breathe on me, Breath of God,
until my heart is pure;
until with thee I will one will,
to do and to endure.
Breathe on me, Breath of God,
till I am wholly thine;
until this earthly part of me
glows with thy fire divine
Breathe on me, Breath of God:
so shall I never die,
but live with thee the perfect life
of thine eternity. Edwin Hatch
The collect for PENTECOST
Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Jesus promised his followers that, although they would no longer see him after his Ascension, the Holy Spirit would come upon them to guide and inspire them. On the Day of Pentecost, fifty days since Easter Day, we recall the dramatic way in which God’s Holy Spirit descended on the disciples like tongues of fire, enabling them to communicate with peoples of many different nationalities and languages. That same Spirit is with us now, knowing no boundary of time or place. Spirit-filled, we too can speak words that encourage and reassure. Spirit-filled, we too can pass on the love of God to the people living around us by simple acts of kindness and good neighbourliness – much as we see going on at the moment. Come, Holy Spirit!
A reading from Acts 2:1-21
When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples 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.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs-- in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power." All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine."
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. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
`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.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day.
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' "
A reading from 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
No one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free-- and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
The Gospel: John 20: 19-23
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Come Holy Spirit
Make our ears to hear
Make our eyes to see
Make our mouths to speak
Make our hearts to seek
Make our hands to reach out
And touch the world
with your love. AMEN.” John Henry Newman
We pray for the Church that it may be reinvigorated by the Holy Spirit and speak words of encouragement and hope to the many who are seeking new ways of understanding the world.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you”. We pray for all peacemakers, especially those working to bring harmony to war torn countries and communities.
We pray for scientists and policy makers throughout the world that they may work together with compassion to defeat the pandemic.
We continue to pray for all NHS and key workers as well as those seeking to ensure the future safety of us all.
We pray for those in need, asking you to heal the sick, comfort the bereaved, strengthen the fearful, befriend the lonely and guide the perplexed. We pray in particular at this time for Father John, Roger, Keith, Ruth, George, Eileen, Joyce and Nancy
Through the Holy Spirit we are each given particular gifts and qualities. We pray that during the week ahead we may use them for the benefit of all and to the glory of God.
Holy Spirit of God, fill and enflame us, then send us out ablaze with your love. Amen