The Bible says:
WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS,
THERE IS FREEDOM. (2 Corinthians 3: 17)
Welcome to our Pentecost web-worship!
May God bless us all!
THE SPIRIT OF GOD HAS MADE ME; THE BREATH OF THE ALMIGHTY GIVES ME LIFE. (Job 33: 4)
WHEN THE DAY OF PENTECOST CAME, THEY (THE DISCIPLES) WERE ALL TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE. SUDDENLY A SOUND LIKE THE BLOWING OF A VIOLENT WIND CAME FROM HEAVEN AND… ALL OF THEM WERE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT… AND THEY DEVOTED THEMSELVES TO THE APOSTLES’ TEACHING AND TO THE FELLOWSHIP, TO THE BREAKING OF BREAD AND TO PRAYER… (Book of Acts, Chapter 2).
We may never know precisely what happened on that first Day of Pentecost, but we do know that out of the “togetherness” of the disciples – required by Jesus at His Ascension – the Holy Spirit of God gave birth to the Christian Church in a very special way. As the power of the Spirit flooded their lives the disciples had such an extraordinary experience of godliness that, through their witnessing, the very first congregation (of three thousand people) came into being. They all devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer, and since, these four characteristics became the basic principles of what the Christian Church as the Body of Christ is all about.
The circumstances are significant and symbolic. Pentecost means “the Fiftieth”, and another name for it was “the Feast of the Weeks”. It was so called because it fell on the fiftieth day, a week of weeks (7) after Passover. At least as many came to the Feast of Pentecost as came to the Passover. That explains the list of countries mentioned in this chapter; never was there a more international crowd in Jerusalem than at the time of Pentecost. The feast itself was significant in two ways. It had a historical significance: it commemorated the Giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai. At the same time, it had an agricultural importance: at Passover, part of the first crop of barley was offered to God as a prescribed sacrifice, and at Pentecost two loaves were offered as a sacrificial gratitude for the safe gathering in of the harvest. Please keep these two things in mind when you search for an even deeper understanding of the work of the Spirit. The Old Testament Law also laid down that on the Day of Pentecost people should not do their everyday work, so the crowds on the streets would be greater than ever, clearly becoming exposed to the Power of the Spirit through the preaching of Peter. Later, in his Epistle to the Galatians, Paul says: You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love, – because, – the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law… Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5: 13; 22 – 23; 25). God’s real harvest is in practical Christlikeness…
It is unfortunate that we so often speak of the events at Pentecost as the Coming of the Holy Spirit. The danger is that we may think that the Holy Spirit came into existence at that time. That is not so; God is eternally Father/Creator, Son/Saviour and Holy Spirit/Power of God. One in three and three in One, Holy Trinity, One Eternal God. In that sense, the Spirit is God as He was hovering over the waters in the beginning of Creation (Genesis 1: 2) and when man appeared God breathed into us the spirit of life (Genesis 2: 7). The Holy Spirit is the Lord and Giver of Life. In our spiritual nature we are especially related to the Spirit of God. In Job 33: 4 we understand that the spiritual nature of man (Job) is a type of God, being made by Him and getting life from Him. All nature reveals God: sun and stars, trees and flowers, birds, beasts and fish. They do so through their material structures, but man reveals God in constitution of his spiritual nature. To us there can be no higher revelation of God than that which is made through a Perfect Man. Therefore, the incarnation of Christ is our most complete vision of the Father. God the Spirit invites the Church/ Bride of Christ, at the end of the Bible: Come! Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life (Revelation 22: 17), enabling those who believe in Him to not perish but have eternal life (John 3: 16).
Indeed, the Power of the Spirit of Pentecost simply takes us back to the heart of the Gospel, to God’s Good News for His children of every age. AMEN.
SPIRIT OF GOD, unseen as the wind, gentle as is the dove: teach us the truth and help us believe, show us the Saviour’s love. (=CHORUS)
You spoke to us, long, long ago, gave us the written Word: we read it still, needing its truth, through it God’s voice is heard. + CHORUS…
Without your help we fail our Lord, we cannot live His way: we need your power, we need your strength, following Christ each day. +
+CHORUS: – Spirit of God, unseen as the wind, gentle as is the dove: teach us the truth and help us believe, show us the Saviour’s love.
(Tune: The Skye Boat Song)
LET US PRAY:
Spirit of God, you swept into the lives of the Apostles and in a moment, everything became different, transformed for ever by your renewing power. You gave new vision to them, new hope and faith, so that the world was alive again with promise. Suddenly, you were there, deep within, cleansing, encouraging, empowering, inspiring, turning their lives inside-out, so that nothing would ever be the same again. Spirit of God move now in us cleansing our desperate thoughts and dark visions as the death toll of Covid-19 pandemic is still rising in hospitals and care homes in our country and worldwide. Give comfort to the bereft, widowed and the orphaned; speak to the uncertain and the anxious and bring peace into the depths of our incomprehension and fear. Be with all who sustain our common life at this time: carers and nurses, doctors and ambulance staff, cleaners and porters, presidents and prime-ministers of states, delivery drivers and post workers, children, parents, grand- and great-grand parents, lone couples and singles. Bless Your Church. Be with our loved-ones, and with all the contributors to our common life. All-knowing God, may your Holy Spirit rest on us: the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord, and help us to delight in Your salvation,- through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.
THE LORD’S PRAYER: – Our Father, who art in heaven…
JUST AS YOU RECEIVED CHRIST JESUS AS LORD, CONTINUE TO LIVE IN HIM, ROOTED AND BUILT UP IN HIM, STRENGTHENED IN THE FAITH AS YOU WERE TAUGHT, AND OVERFLOWING WITH THANKFULNESS. AMEN.
Sandor, your Minister.