Sunday Guided Tour -  Day of  Pentecost / Environment Sunday  -  May 31, 20120

Here is the link to the worship service 

Read the text below at your leisure or follow along with Rev. Jim McKnight and and Rick Young, Music Director.

                                https://youtu.be/CMFHrOSTwW4

 

You can also access this at Facebook : Friends of TrinityUnitedChurchThorold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to our Sunday Guided Tour for this Sunday  -  the Sunday of Pentecost.  In the Christian tradition, the Day of Pentecost is recognized and honoured as the birth-date of the Church.  Before Pentecost, the disciples of the Risen Christ were languishing; they were disempowered and directionless and fearful  -  sharing much of the experience we know today in COVID-19 isolation.  And then, at Pentecost, it was as though their prayers were answered, and their living purpose was made clear.  They were restored, inspirited, enlivened.  They were brought to life again; and not only could they breathe, but they could declare aloud the cause of life  -  the wonder and the cause of life for all, in Jesus’ name.  It was their promise and commitment to the world, for their day, and for all the days to come.

 

Please join me as we begin our service for today with prayer:

(after Cheryl Hutchcroft, Oakridge United, Vancouver)

Loving God, we thank you for your gift of the Holy Spirit, and for the Spirit’s empowerment and light.  We pray the Spirit enlighten us again, regardless of our gender or our status, our context or our culture or our age.  We sometimes look up to the heavens for your signs, but in our hearts we know that we can look to one another, and rejoice and breathe again the breath you give.  With hope and joy we live the days of our confusion and our turmoil, knowing you are with us, guiding us to life with one another and the common good.  Help us know you close to us, we pray, today and every day, and by the Holy Spirit, take us with you into days we live for Jesus’ sake.  We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 

All Creatures of Our God and King.   Hymn #217 

1        All creatures of our God and King,

         lift up your voice and with us sing:

         hallelujah, hallelujah!

         Bright burning sun with golden beam,

          soft shining moon with silver gleam,

         sing praises, sing praises,

         hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!

 

3       Earth, ever fertile, day by day

         brings forth rich blessings on our way:

         sing praises, hallelujah!

         The flowers and fruits that verdant grow,

         let them God's glory also show:

         sing praises, hallelujah!

         hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!

 

4       And everyone of tender heart,

         forgiving others, take your part:

         sing praises, hallelujah!

          All who long pain and sorrow bear,

         praise God and yield up all your care:

         sing praises, hallelujah!

         hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!

 

5        Let all things their Creator bless,

         and worship God in humbleness:

         sing praises, hallelujah!

         Praise God eternal, praise the Son,

         and praise the Spirit, three in one:

         sing praises, hallelujah!

         hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!

 

And so, my friends, we’re here again together on this Sunday in our separate homes.  I know there is the thought out there that, on these days of separation, I am still offering a regular Sunday sermon.  In truth, though, that’s not really what I’m doing.  A sermon is a presentation based on the tenets and pronouncements of the faith, supported by selected verses from the Bible.  Our Sunday guided tours, on the other hand, focus primarily on the Bible readings for the day and discerning what the Bible has to tell us.  Our Sunday guided tours are reflections of the Bible interpreting us, rather than reflections of us interpreting the Bible.  The process can be a whole new life-giving endeavour.  So, on this Sunday of Pentecost, we consider what the Bible has to say to us, and tell us of ourselves.

 

And the first and foremost thing the Bible speaks about today is “Spirit”.  That, of course, is natural enough.  Today is Pentecost; and Pentecost, by definition, celebrates the coming of the Spirit; and more precisely, of the Holy Spirit.  The first of all our Bible readings for today is the story of the Day of Pentecost, that comes to us from the Book of Acts.  

 

As we prepare to hear the Bible readings for this morning, please join with me as I offer our Prayer for Illumination. 

Let us pray:

 

Gracious God, by your love and Son and Holy Spirit, provide for us an understanding of the words we hear, that we may take them up and hold them in our heart, and know the way they guide us in our lives and life for all.  We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen

 

Acts 2:1-21  (New International Version)

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

1.       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 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?

9        Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,

10      Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome

11.      (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own               tongues!”

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.”

14      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:

17      “‘In the last days, God says,
         I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
         Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
          your young men will see visions,
          your old men will dream dreams.
18      Even on my servants, both men and women,
          I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
          and they will prophesy.
19      I will show wonders in the heavens above
         and signs on the earth below,
         blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20     The sun will be turned to darkness
          and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21      And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

 

The story of Pentecost  -  a story of dramatic, universal transformation in the Spirit, and the birth of a new age and era.

 

One of the things in the story I think is important to note is that the statement “began to speak in other tongues” can also be as accurately translated as “began to speak in other languages”.  The message is that every one from every place could hear the Pentecost pronouncement in their own language, and understand.  The phrase “in other tongues” is a loaded statement.  In the Pentecostal tradition, it is a phrase that is often used to differentiate the saved from those who aren’t saved.  In the Pentecostal tradition, to “speak in tongues” is a differentiating experience.  But that’s not the intention of the Book of Acts.  It’s not the concept that’s intended in our Christian faith.  For the sojourners to Jerusalem, the presence of the Holy Spirit confers upon them a renewal, a revival, a recognition of the reality and presence of the Living God.  The different hearers understand and hear, in their own language  -  heart and soul  -  the coming of the Holy Spirit, who will strengthen them and guide them into life in all the days to come.  They experience, in heart and soul, the reality and presence of the Holy Spirit, promised in the absence and Ascension of the Living Christ; and they know their lives made whole.  This is the promise and the message that is Pentecost.  It is the Gospel; and inclusive and accessible to all.  The Christian message cannot ever be one of preference or exclusion.  Understood correctly, Pentecost proclaims the love of God in a language all can hear.  If the tongues we hear can’t be understood, they cannot be of God.  

 

  As Comes the Breath of Spring        Hymn #373

1        As comes the breath of spring

         with light and mirth and song,

         so does your Spirit bring

         new days brave, free, and strong.

         You come with thrill of life

         to chase hence winter's breath,

         to hush to peace the strife

         of sin that ends in death.

 

2       You come like dawning day

         with flaming truth and love,

         to chase all glooms away,

         to brace our wills to prove

         how wise, how good to choose

         the truth and its brave fight,

         to prize it, win or lose,

         and live on your delight.

 

3       You come like songs at morn

         that fill the earth with joy,

         till we, in Christ newborn,

         new strength in praise employ.

         You come to rouse the heart

         from drifting to despair,

         through high hopes to impart

         life with an ampler air.

 

4       You breathe and there is health;

          you move and there is power;

          you whisper, there is wealth

          of love, your richest dower.

          Your presence is to us

          like summer in the soul;

          your joy shines forth and then

          life blossoms to its goal.

[Rick:]

The other Bible readings that we hear today all also speak of “Spirit”.

Numbers 11:24-30  (New International Version)

24      So Moses went out and told the people what the Lord had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had           them stand around the tent.

25      Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took some of the power of the Spirit that was on           him and put it on the seventy elders.  When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied—but did not do so again.

26      However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp.  They were listed among the             elders, but did not go out to the tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp.

27      A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”

28      Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth, spoke up and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!”

29      But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake?  I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord             would put his Spirit on them!”

30     Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

 

[Rick:]

And then from Psalm 104:24-34:

27      All creatures look to you [LORD GOD]
          to give them their food at the proper time.
28      When you give it to them,
          they gather it up;
          when you open your hand,
          they are satisfied with good things.
29      When you hide your face,
         they are terrified;
         when you take away their breath,
         they die and return to the dust.
30.    When you send your Spirit,
         they are created,
         and you renew the face of the ground.

 

The reading from 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13  (New International Version) also speaks to us of Spirit:

 

3b     No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” [says the Apostle Paul] except by the Holy Spirit.

4       There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.

5        There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.

6        There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

7        Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

8       To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the              same Spirit,

9       to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,

10     to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking          in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.

11      All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and the Spirit distributes them to each one, just as the Spirit                    determines.

12      Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.

13      For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were           all given the one Spirit to drink. 

 

And finally there are the passages from John:

 

John 20:19-23  (New International Version):

19      On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the             religious leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

20     After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21      Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

22     And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

23      If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

 

And from John 7:37-39  (New International Version):

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.”

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.

 

Ministry of Music  -  Because He Lives

God sent His son, they called Him Jesus

He came to love, heal, and forgive.

He lived and died to buy my pardon,

An empty grave is there to prove my Saviour lives.

 

Refrain:

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.

Because He lives, All fear is gone.

Because I know He holds the future,

And life is worth the living just because He lives.

 

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,

And feel the pride and joy he gives.

But greater still the calm assurance,

This child can face uncertain days because He lives.    R

 

And then one day I'll cross that river,

I'll fight life's final war with pain.

And then as death gives way to victory,

I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He reigns.    R

 

The passages we hear today tell us much about the Spirit.   And our very being longs to know the Spirit in our lives.

 

When I was in chaplaincy at Toronto General Hospital, I asked my supervisor why the chaplains were included in the daily rounds of the medical professionals.   In response, my supervisor told me that the hospital embraced the concept of TOTAL HEALTH:  physical, emotional, psychological, relational, institutional, and spiritual.  SPIRITUAL.  As soon as my supervisor said it, the age-old concept of body, mind and spirit came into focus.  I was utterly reminded.  The Spirit is a part of who we are; a part of who we are in wholeness and in health and in our relationships with each other.  And our faith tradition tells us much of what that means.

Peter, in the Book of Acts, quotes the prophet Joel, who speaks about God’s Spirit being poured out at the end of time; being poured out in the last days.

The understanding of the first Christians was that the end of time was near them and upon them.  For them, the return of Christ was imminent, and they had to make their living right with God.  For Christians who came after those first Christians, the understanding has become that Pentecost defines the point of departure from the old times to the new:  the age that has arrived; an age defined by the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church as Christ’s Body in the world.

 

The reading from Numbers tells us that the Spirit [that is God’s] animated and enlivened all the faithful long before the advent of the Christ of God  -  Christ Jesus.  The Bible tells us, “The Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with Moses, and the Lord took some of the power of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders.  When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied.”  The reading gives us pause, to think; and we realize the Spirit as described in Numbers is source and soul of prophecy; the source and soul of God’s direction for the faithful.

 

The psalmist tells us, “When you, [Lord,] send your Spirit, your creatures are created, and you renew the face of the ground.”  For the psalmist, the Spirit is the breath and life of God: the breath described in Genesis, where we read:  “The Lord God formed Adam from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and Adam became a living being.”

 

The Spirit, then, is breath, and breath is life.  And the breath that gives us life is God’s.

 

The Apostle Paul also speaks of Spirit.  In his first letter to the Church in Corinth, Paul speaks of the Spirit as the living force that causes recognition of Jesus as Lord, and as the source and soul of all those gifts that that give to life its purpose and its meaning.  And more than this, he speaks of Spirit as the presence who unites us  -  Jews or Gentiles, slave or free  -  parts that form one body.  In the Spirit is the hope for who we all might be as a global family of God’s children. 

 

Like the Murmur of the Dove’s Song       Hymn #205 

1       Like the murmur of the dove's song,

         like the challenge of her flight,

         like the vigour of the wind's rush,

         like the new flame's eager might:

         come, Holy Spirit, come.

 

2       To the members of Christ's body,

         to the branches of the Vine,

         to the church in faith assembled,

         to our midst as gift and sign:

         come, Holy Spirit, come.

 

3        With the healing of division,

          with the ceaseless voice of prayer,

          with the power to love and witness,

          with the peace beyond compare:

          come, Holy Spirit, come.

 

And finally, we have the readings from John’s gospel.

 

John 7:37-39  (New International Version):

37      On the last and greatest day of the festival [John tells us], 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.”

39      By this he meant [says John] 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.

 

And from John 20:19-23 (New International Version):

19      On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the            religious leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said “Peace be with you! 

20.    As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

22      And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

 

Today, we celebrate the presence of the Spirit.  Today, we celebrate the living  Spirit that is God’s: the Spirit that breathes life into our souls; the Spirit that is source and soul of prophecy; the source and soul of God’s direction for the faithful; the Spirit that is the breath and life of God, and that gives life to Christ’s Body in the world; the Spirit that is source and soul of all those gifts that give to life its purpose and its meaning;  the soul and presence who unites us  -  Jews or Gentiles, slave or free  -  parts needed and so necessary to form one body, the global family of God’s children; the breath of life in Christ, who lives with us and guides us  -  Third Person of the Trinity  -  full of grace and truth  -  the heart of love, who calls us and who carries us through all our days  -  of prayer and hardship and of promise.

 

Today we celebrate the presence and the coming of the Holy Spirit, one day then, and every day, and every day made new; and we say thank you; thanks be to God! 

 

Draw the Circle Wide.  Hymn MV#145 

Refrain:

Draw the circle wide.

Draw it wider still.

Let this be our song, no one stands alone,

standing side by side,

draw the circle wide.

 

God the still-point of the circle, 

‘round whom all Creation turns;

nothing lost, but held forever,

in God’s gracious arms.    R

 

Let our hearts touch far horizons,

so encompass great and small;

let our loving know no borders,

faithful to God’s call.    R

 

Let the dreams we dream be larger,

than we’ve ever dreamed before;

let the dream of Christ be in us,

open every door.        R

 

Commissioning and Benediction:

(after George Allan, Chatham, Ontario)

         Jesus said,

         “I am the way and the truth and the life.”

          Go forth to be life and truth.

          [In the love and power of the Holy Spirit]

          go forth to point to the Way

         for family, friend, and stranger;

         for all are neighbours and one body in Christ Jesus.

         And know that Christ goes with you.

         Amen.

 

Postlude    #207 Spirit of God, Unleashed on Earth

1        Spirit of God, unleashed on earth

          with rush of wind and roar of flame!

          With tongues of fire saints spread good news;

          earth, kindling, blazed its loud acclaim.

 

2        You came in power, the church was born;

         O Holy Spirit, come again!

          From living waters raise new saints,

          let new tongues hail the risen Lord.

 

3        With burning words of victory won

          inspire our hearts grown cold with fear,

          revive in us baptismal grace,

          and fan our smouldering lives to flame.

 

Bible Readings May 31, 2020

 

Acts 2:1-21 (New International Version)

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

1.       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?

9       Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b]

10      Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome

11       (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own               tongues!”

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.”

14      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:

17       “‘In the last days, God says,
          I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
          Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
          your young men will see visions,
          your old men will dream dreams.
18      Even on my servants, both men and women,
          I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
          and they will prophesy.
19      I will show wonders in the heavens above
         and signs on the earth below,
         blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20     The sun will be turned to darkness
         and the moon to blood
         before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21      And everyone who calls
         on the name of the Lord will be saved.’[c]

 

Footnotes

  1. Acts 2:4 Or languages; also in verse 11

  2. Acts 2:9 That is, the Roman province by that name

  3. Acts 2:21 Joel 2:28-32

 

 

Numbers 11:24-30 (New International Version)

24     So Moses went out and told the people what the Lord had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had            them stand around the tent.

25      Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took some of the power of the Spirit that was on           him and put it on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied—but did not do so again.

26      However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the               elders, but did not go out to the tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp.

27      A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”

28      Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth, spoke up and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!”

29      But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord               would put his Spirit on them!” 30 Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

 

 

Psalm 104:24-34   (New International Version)

24      How many are your works, Lord!
         In wisdom you made them all;
          the earth is full of your creatures.
25      There is the sea, vast and spacious,
          teeming with creatures beyond number—
          living things both large and small.
26      There the ships go to and fro,
          and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

27      All creatures look to you
          to give them their food at the proper time.
28      When you give it to them,
          they gather it up;
          when you open your hand,
          they are satisfied with good things.
29      When you hide your face,
          they are terrified;
          when you take away their breath,
          they die and return to the dust.
30      When you send your Spirit,
          they are created,
          and you renew the face of the ground.

31       May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
          may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32      he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
          who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

33      I will sing to the Lord all my life;
          I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34      May my meditation be pleasing to him,
          as I rejoice in the Lord.

35      But may sinners vanish from the earth
         and the wicked be no more.

          Praise the Lord, my soul.

          Praise the Lord.[a]

 

Footnotes

1.       Psalm 104:35 Hebrew Hallelu Yah

       

Corinthians 12:3b-13   (New International Version)

3b     No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

4       There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.

5       There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.

6       There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

7        Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

8        To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the             same Spirit,

9        to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,

10      to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking           in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b]

11       All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

12       Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.

13       For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we                were all given the one Spirit to drink.

 

Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 12:10 Or languages; also in verse 28

  2. 1 Corinthians 12:10 Or languages; also in verse 28

  3. 1 Corinthians 12:13 Or with; or in

 

 

John 20:19-23  (New International Version)

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19      On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the             Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

20     After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21      Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

22      And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  

23      If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

 

 

John 7:37-39 (New International Version)

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.

 

Footnotes

  1. John 7:38 Or me. And let anyone drink 38 who believes in me.” As Scripture has said, “Out of him (or them) will flow rivers of living water.”

Morning Prayer                           

God of life and love, and living Soul of all Creation: today we celebrate the gift and wonder of your Spirit, and the promise in your Spirit that the way things are is not the way things have to be.  By your Spirit, life was breathed into the First of Humankind, and Adam became a Living Being.  Knowing that your Spirit, indivisible and one, is the breath of life for every human being, irrespective of any nominal creed or race or clan or cultural beginning, we can see each other ‘round the world and down the street as all your children with us, and savour every life as sister and as brother  -  honoured and valued and respected. 

 

Good God, we pray the risings against the ignorance of racism and the ugliness of injustice and presumed entitlement and privilege might be exposed for what they are, and shattered by the loving and persistent truth your Spirit brings, and by which we are transformed.  God of life and love, and living Soul of all Creation: we thank you for the gift who comes to us the Holy Spirit, the Spirit the Apostle says affords us gifts in turn. 

 

In the light of that same Spirit, we hear the words of the Very Reverend Doctor Angus Morrison (Church of Scotland) who prays:

Gifted?  Me?  God’s gift to humanity?  Ha!  That will be the day.  Usually a snigger accompanies talk of my gifts.  My dancing, my piano playing, my singing, each legendary, for all the wrong reasons.  But this is different, isn’t it?  Different kinds of gifts, but sourced in the Spirit of God; different kinds of ways to serve, but serving the same Lord.  God working in me and in you, in different ways, but the same God.  And all this so that we can serve each other better.  No matter who we are. 

 

The greatest gift is the bridge within our hearts and minds, built by the Spirit of God, that connects our diversity, Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, straight or gay, black or white, extrovert or introvert, young or old, impaired or able-bodied, fit or fat, short or tall, clever with words or clever with hands, fast or slow, whoever we are, no matter, we are connected by the Spirit of God, in one body, the body of Christ.  That is a gift we all can share.

Gracious Holy Spirit, full of strength and love and heartache, help us know you well, within us and among us and before us, so we can fully live the Gospel Truth, for Jesus’ sake. 

We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Trinity United Church Thorold 

905-227-4644  /  tuc@vaxxine.ca