At the start of the passage from Acts, the disciples were all together in one place on the feast of
Pentecost. It was a public holiday, to commemorate the giving of the Law by Moses.
Come, Holy Spirit; fill us with your peace. Come, Holy Spirit; unite us in our worship. Come, Holy Spirit; raise us
by your power. Come now, Holy Spirit.
StF 8 God with us: creator, Father
Church’s Birthday. On this day, we celebrate the day when the Spirit came to the early church and
people from different countries were able to understand the message about Christ in their own languages.
(passage from Acts) In the passage from John, at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus spoke to
the people about the coming gift of the Spirit, which would flow out from those who believed in him.
Prayer: Loving God, we gather in the name of Jesus & in the power of the Spirit to worship you,
to bring you our love & to share the gifts you have given to us, of speaking, listening, knowledge,
wisdom & grace. Thank you that you poured out your Holy Spirit on all people at Pentecost, lighting the life
of your church with wind & fire. We come with our joys &; our sorrows, our hopes &; our fears, & with those
things which cling to us ; prevent us from being close to you, forgive us for our wrong thoughts & for those
times when we fail to live as Spirit-filled children of God. In Jesus, we have someone who has shared our
human nature & died on the cross for our sake, assuring us that our sins are forgiven. May we be filled a
fresh with your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Reading: Acts: 2: 1 – 8, then 12 – 16. Pentecost.The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?
12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”Peter Addresses the Crowd14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
Hymn: S.tF 388 Let every Christian pray
Reading: John: 7: 37 – 40 Jesus at Feast of Tabernacles
37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty
come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from
within them.”[a] 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that
time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. 40 On hearing his words, some
of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.”
At the start of the passage from Acts, the disciples were all together in one place on the feast of Pentecost.
It was a public holiday, to commemorate the giving of the Law by Moses. Every male Jew living within
20 miles of Jerusalem was legally bound to come. Luke, author of Acts, used different ways to describe how the Spirit of God took possession of this small, insignificant group of people, who were all gathered indoors.
There’s a lot of mystery & ambiguity in the account, sounds like a blowing wind, something like tongues of flame &; somehow, the Spirit of God used those ordinary people to communicate with lots of different nationalities – in a way which each person could understand. Everyone was amazed, but some people thought they were drunk,
&; others asked: ‘What does this mean?’
In v14 – Peter stood up & preached, quoting the prophet Joel. He went on to explain that God would pour
out his Spirit on all flesh. At the end of Peter’s speech, (beyond our passage) people were ‘cut to the heart’ and asked what they should do. Peter said: ‘Repent & be baptised, in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of
your sins’. Result? ‘You will receive the Holy Spirit’. 3.000 accepted his message &; became part of the young church.
The Holy Spirit still works through individual Christians &; in our prayers ,maybe sometimes in unexpected places.
John Sentamu, in his book: ‘Faith Stories’, tells the story of Mary Butterwick, who tragically lost her husband
suddenly in 1979, when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour & died 3 weeks later. In her frustration & grief,
she questioned God. She didn’t necessarily get all the answers, but she opened up a conversation with God,
became involved with a community group for people with disabilities &; continued to pray &; read her Bible.
Looking back, she could see that she was inviting the Holy Spirit to guide her. She also started writing about a
house where cancer patients &; their families could come &; talk through their anxieties &; fears. Initially, she only shared this idea with a couple of other people & asked them to pray. However, she also realised that she
would have to take some kind of action. She sold her house & found an ideal property for a day care centre.
It wasn’t easy to get her offer accepted, & when the sale was secured, there were lots of renovations
needed. It finally began to come together, &; Butterwick House was opened in 1984, the first day care centre in the North East for people with terminal illness & their families. After a few years, it became obvious that there was a need for a hospice for the people of Teesside. Today, Butterwick hospice helps many
patients &; their families every day. Money is raised through sponsorship & the support of local people.
Mary’s example is an inspiration & also a reminder that the Holy Spirit can use our small beginnings in ways which we would never have imagined possible. God’s love is revealed in the caring & volunteering of so many people.
In the passage from John’s gospel, Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles, which was another big festival, when adult males were expected to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Originally a harvest celebration
, by the time of Jesus it had taken on the significance of remembering God’s provision for the people of Israel
during the wilderness wanderings. Water ceremonies were an important part of the celebration. So, on the last day of this festival, Jesus spoke & invited anyone who was thirsty to come to him & drink, if they accepted the invitation, the result would be that the living water would flow out of them as a river or fountain.
At this point, before Jesus’ death, The Spirit had not yet been received in this way because he had not yet been glorified. The outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost brings to life the prophetic words of Joel: ‘I will pour out my spirit on all people.’ Disciples, past & present have shared their faith &; trust in Jesus, in life & also facing death. Until
Covid, I volunteered as a hospital chaplain at London Rd. Community hospital in Derby. I remember a Nurse on one of the wards, who was a Christian. She was a lovely person, who became ill &; was diagnosed with cancer. She carried on working for as long as she possibly could &; when she died, members of staff asked if there could be a memorial service for her at the hospital. The chapel was quite small, so we used the ward Day room & held a
simple service. Members of staff on the ward were there, some who were off duty, but had made the effort to
come in, others popped in, including doctors & volunteers, people of many different faiths or none. We allowed
time for staff members to speak & many gave tributes to her quiet, Christian faith. The Holy Spirit worked in that time, ministering to those who were grieving & working through what was said about Fiona &; her loving
& caring nature.
Just as Fiona was empowered by the Holy Spirit in her life, she knew the peace of God as she entered new life & proved the truth of Jesus’ words from John 7: 38: Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said: ‘Streams of
living water will flow from within him or her.’ That promise is offered to all who come to him.
A prayer for our world
As the renewal of Spring returns, we pray that
the nations of the world wil remember their stewardship of the planet,
and work to a more sustainable environment.
For nations suffering from natural disasters: Turkey/Syria, Pakistan,
For nations facing political decisions: Turkey, with the Presidential
election; USA, wher the parties are selecting candidates for the next
For our own nation: for a way to be found to prevent violence on our
streets, and remember thr loved ones of the victims, as at Cardiff
recently; for the government to find a way to deal in a prompt but
dignified manner with those coming to our shores illegally, and to
commend the aid given by Coastguards and RNLI volunteer crews to those
in distress on the Channel crossing.
For the churches here in Wollaton: we pray for continuing friendly
relationships between the congregations, as at the United Service this
evening at St. Leonard's, and with the return of a United Choir.
For our own church here: pray for an awareness of the needs of a
changing congregation, and for our new minister, Rev. Tony Andrew and
his family, who come in September.
For those we know who need our prayers: the lonely, the bereaved, those
who are ill, or depressed. In SILENCE we name them in our hearts.
For ourselves: help us to commit ouselves to our future journey,
through strength and resolution given by the Holy Spirit.
Holy Sprit of God, hear our prayers. Amen.
S.tF 28 Jesus calls us here to meet him
The Lords Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
StF. 394 Spirit of God, unseen as the wind
The Spirit of truth lead us into all truth, give us grace to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord &; to proclaim the
word &; works of God; & the Blessing of God, Spirit, Son & Father, remain with us always. Amen.
We go into the world in the power of the Spirit to fulfil our high calling as
servants of Christ. Thanks be to God. Amen
A prayer for our world. John Toon
Message by Melanie Stoodley
These are the Worship at Home versions of the In Person Services, led by our Minister :-
Each Service has the videos of the songs and a transcript of the Sermon or reflection.
The Song references (StF) are from the Singing the Faith song book.
The videos of the songs are linked to YouTube or vimeo which may have advertising which Kingswood Methodist Church does not endorse.