A Sermon from our Ministry Team

The Feast of Pentecost

The disciples

This Sunday we celebrate the feast of Pentecost where the disciples are given the power of the Holy Spirit. In John (20:19-23) we have an account of the disciples huddled  together in a room after the death of Jesus . They were locked away together in fear of their lives. Imagine how they would have felt, confused, frightened as they have just awoken to fact that Jesus their friend and their teacher has been taken from them. But all is not what it appeared, unexpectedly Jesus stands among them and says “peace be with you “, then showing his hands and his side, the penny dropped. Immediately, he then tells them that he is sending them out. Imagine the shift of circumstances, with meant they cannot continue to stay behind locked doors, it was time to go out empowered with the spirit. He breathes on them, giving them the Holy Spirit. for these disciples a glimpse of the life, with power and energy; thus, empowering them to go out into the world and speak of the power and message of the risen Christ and God’s purpose for the world.

 

Another encounter

In this Sundays reading from Acts we get another encounter with the Holy Spirit, which gives us a parallel, even though this story is different. Here, the followers are gathered together after Jesus had ascended into heaven. The difference to John’s account is the spirit comes to them in the form of wind and fire. In this presence of the Spirit it fills them with immense power. They take on a new energy, vitality and a force of purpose. The immediacy overcomes them as they begin to join in the conversation concerning the Devine presence. From their account it spreads across the world; their message of telling of what God has done through the power of the risen Christ.

 

Our Baptism

We tell /witness the power of Christ when we say / renew our baptismal promises. Our promise is to claim the Christian faith alive. As adults, we gather to pray for daily growth in the power of the Holy Spirit, as we come to Christian maturity. Our prayers call on the Holy Spirit that it will touch our lives daily. We pray for the Spirit to be our source liveliness and influence underpinning all we undertake in our daily ventures, whether it be in conversation, in  action or both. The disciples in the locked room were given the Spirit in order to be sent out. The disciples were empowered with the Holy Spirit, energised and confident, so they could communicate God’s message of why Jesus comes and his purpose for the whole world. Likewise, God provides the power for us to tell of His divine purpose.

 

Our opportunity  

The baptised are given the same opportunity with a  divine purpose, gifted with the Spirit which empowers  to look outwards beyond the doors of the Church. If we are relying on our own energy and strength. We might choose, to be like those first disciples, to hide away, or stay close to only those who we are comfortable with in relative safety. But the season of Pentecost reminds us that Jesus calls us to go one step further, to share the Good News of the kingdom. It is God’s Spirit which gives us the energy and purpose and courage to communicate the Good News. During this season of Pentecost, we pray for the Holy Spirit to help us grow, opening God further in our lives and in the lives of others. The energy which God provides, gives us the power to, communicate with others to enter into the life of Christ.

 

We know communicating the Gospel face to face is difficult at present time, but as community let us ask the Holy Spirit to watch over us all with patience, as we continually pray for each other until will can gather again as a community of believers. May our prayers be spirit filled, fuelled, to energise our lives with hope, vitality, power and  forgiveness.

 

Have a blessed Pentecost

Fr Simon