Hello everyone! Today the weather is beautiful, hot and sunny, although it is too hot to sit out at the moment. As my friend May, who I usually take to church, was unable to come because her hay fever was bad, I walked down to church this morning. I was leading worship this morning on Pentecost Sunday, when we celebrate the day when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, as Jesus had promised them, and the church was born. I love this Sunday, as I can so imagine the disciples still bewildered and feeling bereft after they saw Jesus disappear into the clouds a few days before, suddenly transformed when they received the power from above. No longer were they afraid, hiding behind locked doors, which they had continued to do, even after they had met the risen Lord. Whatever had happened to them was clearly visible to all the crowds there for the festival, in fact many thought they were drunk; but Peter felt suddenly full of courage and could not stop praising God, when he told them that they were not drunk but full of the Joy of the Lord, as the prophet Joel had foretold, they had been filled with God’s Holy Spirit, which was available for all who believed in Jesus. He did not hesitate to share joy with the crowd, telling them all about Jesus, who had been crucified but who God had raised from the dead. The disciples’ enthusiasm led 3000 to repent and commit themselves to Jesus.
For the children’s address, although there were no children present, I had candles of various shapes and sizes, which I tried to light. Most were lit and stayed burning but two squat candles kept going out! I reassured the congregation that all could receive the Holy Spirit, even if they felt unworthy, or that their faith was too small; all they had to do was to give themselves to Jesus. One elderly lady said that she felt inspired by my service, but regarded the candles that would not stay lit as elderly people, whose lights burned low; however I reminded her that it could be any age of person whose faith was burning low not just the elderly, but that the Holy Spirit did not give up trying to light all lives and re-ignite their faith. Jesus and the Holy Spirit do not ever leave us but are ready to come to us all with reassurance to refill us again and again. Come Holy Spirit fill us now and each day to help us pray and care for each other and our neighbours. This is the day that the Lord has made and I rejoice and am glad in it.