Collect and Readings for Pentecost Sunday 23rd May 2021 Year B Ezekiel 37.1-14, Psalm 104.25-35 & 37, Romans 8.22-27, Acts 2.1 – 21, John 15.26-27; 16.4b-15
The Prayer for today
God, who at this time taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Today is sometimes referred to as the 'birthday of the Church'. So how would you celebrate a birthday? Maybe with a party and a cake. The cake may have flaming candles but what is all this about?
Well, normally as humans we are quite conservative, we like things that are familiar and since Easter when Jesus died and rose again the disciples have been learning to live without the familiar presence of their teacher or leader, Jesus. They have been frightened, overcome with grief, thoroughly miserable and felt threatened that they would also be persecuted and put to death just like Jesus.
Today however, we are celebrating, because we join with the disciples as they are overwhelmed with joy. Whatever they had imagined it would be like to receive God's Holy Spirit, had now far exceeded their expectations. The feeling of loss and destitution of not having Jesus with them was now gone and they can actually feel him with them all the time, and not only that but they felt his presence more deeply and closer than ever before.
Suddenly they now understand their role in proclaiming the 'Good News' of Jesus' unconditional love and forgiveness for everyone who accepts Jesus as their Saviour.
What do we know about the Holy Spirit? Well it is described as a rushing mighty wind, a flame that sets people's hearts on fire with love for God and other people and it is flooding all nations of the earth so it is inclusive. If you wish to join, all you have to do is say 'Come Holy Spirit, wash me, clothe me, refresh me' and God's love will flood into your heart.
This is an invitation, why don't you try it?
God bless and stay safe and well.
Rev'd Fiona Robinson