Eryl intro video
slide Rev Eryl Parry
Bore da! Good morning! Croeso cynnes iawn, a very warm welcome this Pentecost Sunday. We may not be in church, but here we are ready to celebrate the gift of God’s Holy Spirit. So let us sing together first, ‘All creatures of our God and King, lift up your voice and with us sing. Alleluia!’
Hymn: powerpoint and audio recording
Eryl video 2
Thank you everyone for sending your pictures of the Holy Spirit at work in the world today. We’ll be using some for our daily reflections, but also this morning for our prayers.
So before we hear our Bible reading this morning from Helen and Peter Tattersall, here is a picture sent to us by Linda Mary Edwards of a tree that has such red leaves that reminds her of the flame of Pentecost.
Picture Prayer 1
So let us pray first in Welsh and then in English.
Rymus Dduw, cofion heddiw, gydag arswyd a rhyfeddod, ddigwyddiadau dydd y Pentecost cyntaf, a drawsnewidiodd fywydau’r apostolion. Boed i ni brofi cyffro tebyg.
Picture Prayer 2
Mighty God, we remember this day, with awe and wonder, the events of that day of Pentecost long ago which so transformed the lives of the apostles. Move in us, we pray.
Acts 2: 1-8, 14, 16-22
Reading video 1
When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place.
Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.
There were Jews living in Jerusalem, religious people who had come from every country in the world. When they heard this noise, a large crowd gathered. They were all excited, because all of them heard the believers talking in their own languages. In amazement and wonder they exclaimed, “These people who are talking like this are Galileans! How is it, then, that all of us hear them speaking in our own native languages?
Reading video 2
Then Peter stood up with the other eleven apostles and in a loud voice began to speak to the crowd: “This is what the prophet Joel spoke about: ‘In the last days, God says: I will pour out my Spirit on everyone. Your sons and daughters will proclaim my message; your young men will see visions, and your old men will have dreams. Yes, even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will proclaim my message.
I will perform miracles in the sky above and wonders on the earth below. There will be blood, fire, and thick smoke; the sun will be darkened, and the moon will turn red as blood, before the great and glorious Day of the Lord comes. And then, whoever calls out to the Lord for help will be saved.’
Listen to these words, fellow Israelites! Jesus of Nazareth was a man whose divine authority was clearly proven to you by all the miracles and wonders which God performed through him.
You yourselves know this, for it happened here among you.”
slide Rev David Parry
They call Pentecost the birthday of the Church so ‘Happy Birthday’. You might be thinking it’s a bit of a rubbish birthday to be honest. There’s a certain pain in reading about how the believers were all gathered together in one place when we, along with Christians all over the world, can’t gather in one place. Certainly, can’t gather in our buildings.
It’s helpful to remember that for those first Christians, tiny in number, they also felt that all the good things might be in the past. Their present was frightening and restricted: hiding in fear of being persecuted and murdered. And the future, well what future?
But for them, and for us, everything changes. With power and majesty, with a change in the very fabric of reality around them God breaks in, in a new way. Like a mighty wind, like tongues of flame, like languages they couldn’t speak but now can.
And it’s interesting that when this newly emboldened group of believers come to proclaim Jesus Christ they begin, Peter begins, by reminding his hearers of what they have already seen of the reality of Jesus Christ even though they then crucified him. “Deeds of power, wonders and signs that God did through him among you.”
Deeds of power, wonders and signs. I think God is already doing those things among us, in our newly dispersed form. In the strange restrictions of this time, in the online life we’re having to have and the phone calls and the many other ways we’re trying to keep in touch with each other and with our communities all over the world.
You see Pentecost, it could be said, was the last day that all the Christians in the world could meet in one place. How much the family has grown since then. There’s been exponential growth in those turning to Christ, finding Salvation, finding their calling, reaching others for Christ.
And I think the same thing is going to happen now. I believe we’re already seeing new voices, new ministries, new ways of expressing Christ, answered prayers, wonders, the power of God and his authority shown in ways that we had not anticipated. And most of all, most of all, those new languages. I love the excitement of those hearers who found the word of God in their own mother-tongue. Just as many who weren’t previously part of our journey together are discovering Jesus in the relevance, the reality, the truth that is reaching them in their own language.
Let’s look, let’s listen, let’s expect, let’s allow ourselves to be filled with new power from God and to speak the languages of the world as we proclaim Jesus Christ. Happy Birthday!
Many of the pictures that we’ve been sent are of the Holy Spirit as the giver of new life that we see in creation and in God’s people, in the wonder of the world but also in the everyday. So, in the power of that Holy Spirit, let us pray.
Picture of lamb
Eternal God, as we celebrate on this, the church’s birthday, the new life that your Holy Spirit breathed into your people, so may we recognise your beauty and power to create all things new. Help us to rejoice in the work of your creation, to be stewards of all you provide, and to see that every day lived in your presence is one in which to give thanks. Move in us we pray.
Picture of ship
Exhilarating, rushing wind of God, open our minds this morning to the new horizons you are opening up for us as your church. New ways of communicating and reaching out to one another, with words of faith and comfort. Direct us to live by your Spirit, wherever that may take us. Move in us, we pray.
Picture of people around table
Living God, we thank you for your companionship. Help us to listen to your voice, speaking directly to us of new faith and hope, and through those you bring around your shared table of generous hospitality. Help us to be the people who can bring others into that knowledge of your saving love. Move in us we pray.
Picture of washing line
Compassionate God, we bring to mind all those who are suffering at this time, and those who are caring for them. For those who are troubled and grieving. Through your Holy Spirit, give us a love for all and a desire to serve, humility of mind and gentleness of soul. Wash us clean, make us new and bring us at the last into your eternal kingdom. Amen.
Picture of Christ the Redeemer
And finally, Spirit of the living God. Fall afresh on me.
Audio recording and powerpoint slide
3 Final slides
‘All creatures of our God and King’
recorded before the COVID-19 crisis
St. Mary’s Conwy
‘Spirit of the living God’
soloist: Fu Lian Doble
Church in Wales, website, logo