All are welcome in God’s Kingdom of Love

Hello everyone!  Last Sunday 27th May the service was led by our minister Tim Boocock.  He asked the children if we could work out what 3 anniversaries were being celebrated on that day. It was easy for most of us to say it was of course the church’s birthday which we celebrate on the Day of Pentecost and for that there was the day the church was born when the Holy Spirit was poured down on the disciples.  The second anniversary was the birth of the Methodist Church on Aldersgate day when John Wesley’s heart was strangely warmed on Thursday 24th May a few days earlier.  So far so good but no one could guess the 3rd anniversary which was celebrated that day as it was Tim’s birthday!!  In fact his birthday was not really until Wednesday but as he shared his birthday with his wife he was celebrating on Sunday!  The candles were lit and he blew them out to the words he should make a wish but he thought that inappropriate and thought saying a prayer was more fitting.  We then sang a favourite Pentecost hymn of mine ‘Come down, O love divine,’ by Bianco da Siena and ‘God of all power, and truth and grace’ by Charles Wesley.  We had the reading from Acts which I love which shows the transformation of the disciples from fearful men hiding away to men who were full of joy and confidence and sharing the good news about Jesus. 

 

People even accused them of being drunk, but Peter explained that they were not drunk, as it was only 9 in the morning.  He quoted from a noted apocalyptic prophet Joel who described the approach of the Day of the Lord, when the Holy Spirit would be poured on all people, which was what had happened!  Tim reminded us of the threat that the Day of Pentecost presented at that time, as God intervened in a powerful and provocative way with the Holy Spirit.  Luke who wrote Acts had also written Luke’s gospel where he described how Jesus had fled for his life after preaching on the prisoners being set free and telling his congregation that that day had come then.  The Day of Pentecost was contrasted with the Tower of Babel, when people attempted to build a tower to control God, which God destroyed mixing up their languages, as on the day of Pentecost everyone could understand Peter and the other disciples praising God.  God’s power was available to all who believed in Jesus without them having to conform to payment of temple tax and making the correct sacrifices; God’s power threatened the lucrative commerce of the temple and a full and overflowing city of Jerusalem, which occurred at such a festival time.  God could be worshipped anywhere by anyone, men and women, sons and daughters, even servants and slaves, when His Holy Spirit was poured out on them all.  God’s grace was offered to all so they could participate in God’s mission.  Tim asked that we all be given the grace to speak, the courage to act and the power to live as Jesus did.  Let us be open to all that God has to offer so we can serve him and others better through the strength and power of His Holy Spirit.

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