Pentecost

Weekly Online Service
31 May 2020 Pentecost

Please find below our service for this week. You can also click on the PDF button to open and download a copy of the printed generic Service booklet.

You will find an opening hymn played on the organ by Keith Beniston - words are included. This is followed by the service. Finally there is a closing hymn. Please feel free to follow along in whichever way you feel most comfortable. Words in bold are for everyone to join in.

Introit for Pentecost: Come Holy Ghost

Hymn

O Thou who camest from above

O Thou who camest from above,
The pure celestial fire to impart,
Kindle a flame of sacred love
Upon the mean altar of my heart.

There let it for Thy glory burn
With inextinguishable blaze,
And trembling to its source return,
In humble prayer and fervent praise.

Jesus, confirm my heart’s desire
To work and speak and think for Thee;
Still let me guard the holy fire,
And still stir up Thy gift in me.

Ready for all Thy perfect will,
My acts of faith and love repeat,
Till death Thy endless mercies seal,
And make my sacrifice complete.

Service Audio

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

All say Amen.

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open, all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Prayers of Penitence

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven, and to bring us to eternal life.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us, forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name.  Amen.

Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon you,
pardon and deliver you from all your sins,
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,
and keep you in life eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria in Excelcis

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest.

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest.

Lord Jesus Christ,
only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand
of the Father:
receive our prayer.

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest.

The Collect of the Day is said or sung.

God, who as 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.

The Old and New Testament Readings

Acts 2.1-21 - Read by Aniru Ashyllon

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6 And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7 Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ 12 All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ 13 But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
17 “In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
   and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
   and your old men shall dream dreams.
18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
   in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
     and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show portents in the heaven above
   and signs on the earth below,
     blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
20 The sun shall be turned to darkness
   and the moon to blood,
     before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

1 Corinthians 12.3b-13 - Read by Adeola Ashyllon

Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Let Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Gospel

John 20.19-23 - Read by Elizabeth Ranson

All sing: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

The Gospel reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John

All say: Glory to you, O Lord.

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

This is the gospel of the Lord.

All say: Praise to you, O Christ.

All sing: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Sermon

Pentecost 2020

What is the Holy Spirit doing today?
I mean, today, now?

If we take the doctrine of the Holy Trinity seriously, and the story of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit cannot simply be treated as some kind of icing on the Easter Cake, a sweet purveyor of eternal hope, goodness and truth. Over the years, some traditions in the church have virtually ignored the Holy Spirit, while others have, in some people’s opinion, elevated the Spirit to pole position. The way we see, appreciate or react to the Holy Spirit, undoubtedly says more about us, corporately and individually, that it does about the being and work of the Holy Spirit. People who are naturally reserved are not likely to warm to a perspective that is gushing, just as those who wear their emotions on their shoulders, are not often inspired by an understanding that is cool, calm and collected. No, they say, the Spirit is a rushing wind, loosening tongues, inspiring actions that are confident, daring and excited. The art, music and poetry of the Holy Spirit reflects this wide range of reaction.

What we may say, perhaps, is that none of it is false, the reactions are genuine, and the Spirit is far broader, deeper and wider than the measure of the human mind. The key thing about the gift of the Holy Spirit, is that while it can be located in an event, which some even call the birthday of the Church, it is not itself an event. The Creation of the World; the birth of Jesus, the crucifixion, even the resurrection, are events, dateable, even if we do not know their precise dates. Pentecost itself has a date – it was a Jewish festival that occurred 50 days after Passover, which, to us therefore means it is 50 days after Easter Day, resurrection-day. But these other events, Christmas, Good Friday, Ascension Day, Easter, these are events that happened once. Pentecost was a date, for sure, but Pentecost hasn’t finished. Pentecost was there and then in the Upper Room fifty days after Easter, and it is today, 31st May 2020. And this is not simply an anniversary of a great day on which something supernatural happened two millennia ago. It is that, of course, but what we must not ever forget is that every day in between is also Pentecost. Every day is Pentecost, on which the Holy Spirit visits us, dwells in us, inspires us, helps us. So the question, what is the Holy Spirit doing today, is a daily question. But on this, birthday of the Church, when we commemorate the breathing of the Holy Spirit into the disciples in that Upper Room in Jerusalem, today is a very good day indeed to ask the question.

And this time is also a very good time to be asking it. We are living in strange times, times of confusion, fear, impotence, grief, uncertainty, anger and frustration. Not unlike First Century Roman-occupied Jerusalem in fact. The time around Jesus’ crucifixion was a period of history in which we might say that at least some local residents would have seen the Roman occupying army as a virus the getting rid of which they not only looked forward to, but to which they would have been prepared to contribute effort, time and money. Part of the political background to Jesus’ message and ministry is the desire to expunge an enemy within. It wasn’t his literal message – he was more interested in evicting evil spirits, disease, ill-feeling and sin, than Roman soldiers, but he was misunderstood on that and his message upset a lot of people, albeit in different ways. Issues of corruption, integrity, cronyism, and a legal system that applied in different ways depending on who you are, were live then as they are now. Wherever there is power there is susceptibility to corruption, and wherever there is information there is susceptibility to misunderstanding and interpretation. Wherever there is truth, lies become possible.

This is where the Holy Spirit comes in, on an hourly basis. How can we interpret anything? How can we choose or decide how to act with integrity, honesty or conviction? What is the main influencer of our lives and words and deeds? Is it our upbringing, our circumstances, our bruisings and battles that have damaged us, the kind words of others, the guilt we bear within, unseen? Or is it the perceptions we have of ourselves, which can range from arrogant, self-assuredness to soul-destroying lack of self-esteem. We do not need deep psychological analysis to know that we may be wonderfully made, but we carry in ourselves every success and failure, the opinions of others, and the mental and emotional scars that we might just as well simply call ‘life’.

How on earth can we handle it?
How on earth can God help us handle it?

Because our live are varied, differentiated and so easily harmed – and healed – by the experiences we have, we need something – or someone -  all-encompassing, flexible, forgiving, resilient and most of all, loving, to speak to us, in us and through us. We need look no further than the Holy Spirit.

First given to bereaved, terrified, emotionally wrecked, guilty, desperate men and women huddled in an upstairs hideout in a place that was already a warzone and has remained so ever since, the Holy Spirit has the Chemistry, Competence and Character to take on the job. And having been in post since the beginning of creation, we can say that the Holy Spirit knows what he, or she, is doing.

So, what is the Holy Spirit doing today?
You can answer that yourself, I hope.
Do ask yourself.

But what about in the world that we see on the news, and among our neighbours?

In the story of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost which forms our main reading today, it is cut short before we find this little passage about what the Holy Spirit inspired the followers of Jesus to do almost immediately:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Acts 2:42-47

This, actually, is what the Holy Spirit has been doing in and what the church of Christ has been doing for two thousand consecutive years since its birth on the first Christian Pentecost. This is what the Church is, and it is what the Church does. You don’t need a building to do it – but it helps, and it is not about the building, even if you have one. The building expresses the desire to do these things, to the glory of God, and provides a base, but it is the fellowship, the praying, the communion, and the helping of the poor that defines the church. We have our ASK force – action, supplication and kindness, and we are not alone. We can see the Holy Spirit at work in so much of what is happening in Enfield at this time. There is a Coronavirus WhatsApp group, with around 80 people on, all of whom are leading, facilitating and co-ordinating acts of generosity, care and kindness in our Borough. The preparation and distribution of food is the main task, and being so well connected, if someone has something to distribute, others will step up and collect, prepare, deliver and so forth. It cuts waste and gets food and clothes too, where they are most needed, often within hours. It is a joy and a privilege to simply see what is going on behind the scenes, and how there are no barriers to kindness, no restraints to effort and no law against generosity. When I see what is being achieved, I see the work of the Holy Spirit, inspiring, helping, encouraging, enabling such a range of sacrificial, merciful intervention. It all makes any of our efforts pale in comparison, but the whole point is that the sum is greater than the parts. Churches are like that. It’s not simply that many hands make light work, or that we are stronger together, or some such, but that underlying and weaving through it is an energising compassion that enables and inspires. Not everyone sees it in this way, but will perhaps speak in terms of human goodness instead. Yet I would say that we have no goodness of our own, and therefore where we see goodness and kindness (and that is not hard), we see the work of the Holy Spirit, quietly, and powerfully.

I’m reminded of the two verses of Wesley’s great Pentecost hymn:

Jesus, confirm my heart's desire
to work, and speak, and think for thee;
still let me guard the holy fire,
and still stir up the gift in me.

Ready for all thy perfect will,
my acts of faith and love repeat;
till death thy endless mercies seal,
and make the sacrifice complete.

The Holy Spirit is very much at work today, in and around us, and if we cannot see it, we are not looking in the right place or wearing the right lenses. Of course there is evil and nastiness, and selfishness and sadness, and certainly grief and sorrow at this time. Recent news bulletins have brought this into our living rooms this week. Yet that sadness and sorrow provokes kindness and action and prayer. And that is the work of the Holy Spirit.

To whom, with the Father and the Son be all praise, power, and gratitude, at this strange time, and always. Amen.

The Rev'd Dr Gordon Giles, St Mary Magdalene, Enfield, 31/05/2020

2020-05-31 Pentecost

Service Audio

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate from the Holy Spirit
and the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son
is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Intercessions 

The Intercessions list has been circulated with petitions for the Church, The World, The Community, Our Keyworkers, The Sick and the Deceased. The Diocesan Cycle of Prayer is found at:

London Anglican Cycle of Prayer

This or another response may be used:

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, you promised through your Son Jesus Christ to hear us when we pray in faith.

Strengthen N our bishop(s) and all your Church in the service of Christ, that those who confess your name may be united in your truth,
live together in your love, and reveal your glory in the world.

Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen; give wisdom to all in authority;
and direct this and every nation in the ways of justice and of peace;
that we may honour one another, and seek the common good.

Give grace to us, our families and friends, and to all our neighbours,
that we may serve Christ in one another, and love as he loves us.

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit …;
give them courage and hope in their troubles; and bring them the joy of your salvation.

Hear us as we remember those who have died in the faith of Christ …; according to your promises, grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of all your saints, we commend ourselves and the whole creation to your unfailing love.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

The Peace

We are the body of Christ.
In the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.
Let us then pursue all that makes for peace and builds up our common life.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

and also with you.

A sign of peace may be exchanged.

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.  Amen.

Collect

Eternal God, giver of love and power, your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world to preach the gospel of his kingdom: confirm us in this mission, and help us to live the good news we proclaim; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Blessing

The peace of God,
which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds
in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

The Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ.  Amen.

Recessional Hymn

Come, Thou Holy Spirit, come

Come, Thou Holy Spirit, come!
And from Thy celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!
Come, Thou Father of the poor!
Come, Thou Source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine!

Thou, of comforters the best;
Thou, the soul’s most welcome Guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;
In our labour, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessèd Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of Thine,
And our inmost being fill!
Where Thou art not, man hath naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour Thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away;
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful, who adore
And confess Thee, evermore
In Thy sev’nfold gift descend;
Give them virtue’s sure reward
Give them Thy salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end.

Material from Common Worship 2000 is included in this service and is copyright © The Central Board of Finance of the Church of England.