Pentecost and National Reconciliation Week

31 May 2020 by Kathy S (Service (Loraine H (Sermon), Jasmin Roberts (Artwork at https://www.commongrace.org.au/church_resources_for_reconciliation_week) in: Online Services

 

 

Acknowledgement of Country

This land is God’s land and God’s Spirit dwells here. We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands where we are worshipping today and how they have blessed this place through their care and concern. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge the stories, traditions and living culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We commit ourselves to working for reconciliation in this land and to building a better future together. May we continue to think of, pray for and connect with our First Nations people.

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

The world belongs to God,

the earth and all its people

Love and Peace come together,

Justice and reconciliation join hands

How good and how lovely it is,

to live together in unity

 

We are connected by God's Spirit, hoping for a glimpse of the holy:

the One who brooded over Creation

who engulfed a bush in flame

who made a path through the waters

who rolled away the tombstone

 

We are connected by God's Spirit, hoping for a whisper of the truth:

the Word who first spoke in the silence

the voice who raged with prophet’s zeal

the host who sang of peace on earth

the teacher who blessed humble and poor

 

We are connected by God's Spirit, hoping for a touch of compassion:

the tenderness that shaped the human body

the caress that opened eyes of the blind

the soothing hand that brought healing calm

the warmth that embraced lonely and lost

 

Breathe into us hope, faith and joy

Breathe into us compassion, truth and holiness

Breathe into us reconciliation, justice and peace

Breathe newness of life as we worship today

in many places

joined by your Spirit of comfort and hope

 Amen

 

Acts 2 v 1-4

“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”

 

Today we are not together in one place. Today we come from different places. We may speak with different accents or in different languages.  Today we are united together in our love for Jesus and in our love for each other. Let us prepare for worship as we listen and sing to this beautiful world worship song As the deer pants for the water brought to us by The Asian Ecumenical Youth Assembly. Please click on the link:

 

As the Deer - World Version

As the deer pants for the water so my soul longs after you.
You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship you.
You alone are my strength my shield.
To you alone may my spirit yield.
You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship thee.
You're my friend and you are my brother even though you are a king.
I love you more than any other so much more than anything.
You alone are my strength my shield.
To you alone may my spirit yield.
You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship you.
As the deer pants for the water so my soul longs after you.
You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship thee.
You alone are my strength my shield.
To you alone may my spirit yield.
You alone are my heats desire and I long to worship thee.
You alone are my strength my shield.
To you alone may my spirit yield.
You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship thee.

 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

 

Holy God, we are both grateful and pained when you confront us and bring us to sincere confession.

We have believed in new beginnings, talked about change, yet have allowed things within and around us to remain as they have always been.

You give us community, and we weave walls of exclusion and isolation

We believe that love is a greater power, yet we have participated in a state of affairs where many people are treated far less justly in health, employment, education and accommodation.

You give us the gift of a new day, and we spend more time unravelling justice than sowing seeds of peace and unity.

You give us the gift of holy surprises and unimaginable beauty, and we shut off our hearts and blindfolded eyes.

Holy Spirit, we thank you for discomforting us right now, and lifting our confession from mere words into sincere prayer. Forgive us for our self-centred hearts. Unravel the sin in us and replace it with love. Amen

 

Friends hear once again the promise of God: The gift of life is to be embraced and not feared. In the love of Christ we have our peace, and we have our healing. Thanks be to God. Amen!

 

NATIONAL RECONCILIATION WEEK

Today, through the support of Common Grace, our church is participating in National Reconciliation Week.  National Reconciliation Week is a national annual celebration that is held from 27 May to 3 June each year and encourages us to continue to build relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples of all cultures in these lands now called Australia.  During National Reconciliation Week all Australians are invited to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories, to share that knowledge and help us grow as a nation.  National Reconciliation Week sits between other significant dates such as Aboriginal Sunday the Sunday before January 26, January 26 a day of mourning, invasion, and survival, and NAIDOC Week a week of celebrating the world’s oldest living continuing cultures from the first to the second Sunday of July.

The theme for 2020 is, In This Together.  In light of the current COVID-19 crisis, this theme is more relevant than ever. Last Thursday 28th of May 2020, marked the 20th Anniversary of the Reconciliation Walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the year 2000, where 250,000 people walked together in an act of unity, calling for true Reconciliation to be realised in this nation. This is still the largest public gathering in Australia's history.  All other States and Territories joined in similar walks throughout the year 2000.

Did you attend the reconciliation Walk – why did you go? How did it feel to be a part of the day? Perhaps you might like to comment on our Engadine Uniting Church Members only Facebook Page or share your thoughts via our blog page. It would be great to read your insights and memories of this day.

This year In This Together  there will be reflection on these significant events and a commitment to #StillWalkingForReconciliation. Some resources provided by Common Grace will be woven into our service today as individuals and churches to stand together to re-imagine our nation and continue to pray, act, and walk for Reconciliation.

Reconciliation Prayer – click on the link below to listen

Reconciliation Prayer read by Bianca Manning, a Gomeroi woman.

 

(Prayer from Wontulp Bi-Buya Indigenous Theology Working Group, 13 March 1997)

Holy Father, God of Love,

You are the Creator of all things.

We acknowledge the pain and shame of our history and the sufferings of Our peoples,

We ask for your forgiveness. We thank you for the survival of Indigenous cultures.

Our hope is in you because you gave your Son Jesus to reconcile the world to you.

We pray for your strength and grace to forgive, accept and love one another, as you love us and forgive and accept us in the sacrifice of your Son.

Give us the courage to accept the realities of our history so that we may build a better future for our Nation. Teach us to respect all cultures.

Teach us to care for our land and waters. 

Help us to share justly the resources of this land. 

Help us to bring about spiritual and social change to improve the quality of life for all groups in our communities,

Especially the disadvantaged.

Help young people to find true dignity and self-esteem by your Spirit.

May your power and love be the foundations on which we build 

our families, our communities,

and our Nation.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen. 

 

The following is a short reflection from Brooke Prentis The Good Samaritan - Brooke Prentis

 

When we love our Aboriginal Neighbour as Our self

Prayer by Penny Kleemann

Creator God, Jesus, Eternal Spirit,
as we pray some of your words back to you,
help us to get them right…

The Spirit of God is brooding over the waters
The salt waters
The saltwater tears of our God gush down
As He looks upon our nation.

For He wove a beautiful vision
But those of us who came later
Have ripped and torn the weave
And shredded holes in His design

God gave us instruction not to covet or kill or steal
To love our neighbour as our self
And not to take anything that belonged to our neighbour
Yet all this has been ignored.

“Justice is driven back
And right actions stand at a distance
Truth stumbles in the street
And honesty can’t enter”

Yet God in His incredible grace
Works with us
And we work with Him
To right what is wrong

We, the people of Jesus
Are the body of Jesus in this land
It is our eyes, that see the pain
It is our ears, that hear the cries
It is our voices, that speak up
It is our hands, that reach out in friendship
It is our feet that help defend sacred land
Australia, your progress has been small,
But our hopes and dreams are big
For we know God revels in the small
And we remember that through 12 people
Jesus changed the world
“From little things, big things grow”

When we love our Aboriginal neighbour as our self
Our brothers and sisters “have hope
And injustice shuts its mouth”

When we love our Aboriginal neighbour as our self
We too feel the pain and grief and the hurt of the 26th of January
And we know that this is not a day for a party

When we love our Aboriginal neighbour as our self
No longer do we call each other stranger
Now, we call each other friend

Creator God, may we pray and live and work for the day
When our Aboriginal brothers and sisters
Are looked up to, not down to
When they will have peace at sunrise
And joy at sunset

That time cannot come quick enough
That time is now

May it be so

 

Bible readings

Isaiah 11 v 1-5

11 A shoot will grow out of Jesse’s root stock,
a bud will sprout his roots.
The Lord’s Spirit will rest on him—
a Spirit that gives extraordinary wisdom
a Spirit that provides the ability to execute plans,
a Spirit that produces absolute loyalty to the Lord.
He will take delight in obeying the Lord.
He will not judge by mere appearances,
or make decisions on the basis of hearsay.
He will treat the poor fairly,
and make right decisions for the downtrodden of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and order the wicked to be executed.
Justice will be like a belt around his waist,
integrity will be like a belt around his hips.

 

ACTS 2 v 1-21

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 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.”

Peter Addresses the Crowd

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.’


1 Corinthians 12 v 3 - 13

I want you to know that no one who is led by God's Spirit can say “A curse on Jesus!” and no one can confess “Jesus is Lord,” without being guided by the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them. There are different ways of serving, but the same Lord is served. There are different abilities to perform service, but the same God gives ability to all for their particular service. The Spirit's presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all. The Spirit gives one person a message full of wisdom, while to another person the same Spirit gives a message full of knowledge. One and the same Spirit gives faith to one person, while to another person he gives the power to heal. 10 The Spirit gives one person the power to work miracles; to another, the gift of speaking God's message; and to yet another, the ability to tell the difference between gifts that come from the Spirit and those that do not. To one person he gives the ability to speak in strange tongues, and to another he gives the ability to explain what is said. 11 But it is one and the same Spirit who does all this; as he wishes, he gives a different gift to each person.

One Body with Many Parts

12 Christ is like a single body, which has many parts; it is still one body, even though it is made up of different parts. 13 In the same way, all of us, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether slaves or free, have been baptized into the one body by the same Spirit, and we have all been given the one Spirit to drink.

 

SERMON MESSAGE – Loraine

On the first Pentecost (‘fiftieth’ (day)) of the Church, Jerusalem was bursting with devout Jews from all over the Roman Empire celebrating Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks (the first fruits of the wheat harvest) and the receipt of the Torah, the Law, at Mt Sinai. (Exodus 34:22). We can just imagine the pride in the Jewish people and the festive air with large gatherings of people at the temple in Jerusalem.

The followers of Jesus were also in Jerusalem at the behest of Jesus (Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4). They had been very busy with remarkable and live changing events and activities while at Jerusalem. They had witnessed the ascension of Jesus at the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:12), as a group, they were constantly praying (Acts 1:14) and praising God in the temple in Jerusalem (Luke 24:52-53), they had selected a 12th person to replace Judas (Acts 1: 15 – 26), and they were together at about 9am, in one place, on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1). And they were still waiting for the Holy Spirit to come upon them as promised by Jesus (Luke 24: 49, Acts 1:8). Altogether, a heady mix.

But what event were they expecting? How would they know they had received the Holy Spirit? And what would they do once they received the Holy Spirit? Certainly, the time the followers (120 of them) had spent in prayer and attending the temple would lead them to be receptive to the Holy Spirit. These believers would also have been familiar with their scriptures and the many occasions where the Holy Spirit was given by God.

To get some inkling of what they might be expecting, let’s go back briefly to the Old Testament and explore the sign and expression of the Spirit. In Numbers 11 we read about Moses. He was overwhelmed by the complaints of the people about the lack of dietary meat. Seventy (70) leaders and officials are selected to help him with administrative duties and with the burden of dealing with these complaints. The Spirit ‘rests’ on the 70 and they prophesy (speak). I would assume they would not be foretelling the future but rather had been given the ability to speak wisely in order to deal with the complaints of the people and to carry out the administrative duties they are responsible for.

Joshua, in Numbers 27, also received God’s Spirit. Moses asked God for someone to lead the Israelites so they could have a leader whom the people would follow. The Lord selected Joshua and the Holy Spirit came when the priest Eleazar laid hands on Joshua.  Joshua was able to motivate and lead the people through many skirmishes and wars to the promised land.

Another example is Gideon (Judges 6:34). The Israelites are under the thumb of the Midianites. The Lord selects Gideon to defeat the Midianites and the Spirit ‘came’ upon Gideon. In spite of being an insecure person and from the weakest Israelite clan, Gideon send communiques to all the other clans of Israel to come and help fight. From a timid person and from the weakest clan, Gideon became a commanding Israelite leader.

David declared on his deathbed ‘the Spirit of the Lord speaks through me, and his word is upon my tongue”. 2 Sam 23:2.

We also see the Spirit coming to the Prophets:

Ezekiel reports that ‘the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me” (Ezekiel 2:2).

In Jeremiah, we see the ‘word of the Lord coming’ to him a number of times to warn the Israelites

Zechariah 7:12 says ‘ ..they would not listen to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets’.

Nehemiah 9:30 also writes “For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you admonished them through the prophets”.

 Micah 3:8 “But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin”.

And in relation to the prophesy of the Messiah, Isaiah 11:1-2 declares:

 

There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,

The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.

 

I see a striking pattern in these and other occasions where the Spirit is given in the Old Testament and wonder if in Jerusalem, the followers of Jesus, knowing they would be receiving the Holy Spirit, were expecting this same pattern:

  1. A particular and important job needs to be carried out.
  2. The Spirit comes as a ‘resting’, ‘receiving’, ‘laying on of hands’, ‘entering’ with little to no fanfare.
  3. The recipient is given help, power and the ‘tools’ to do the required job.
  4. Receipt of the Spirit usually results in speeches, declarations or inspired messages in order to lead, manage or admonish Israel, sometimes to encourage obedience or as a warning to prepare and continued obedience. It is communication in a very practical way.

So on the morning of Pentecost, at 9am in the morning in a room somewhere in Jerusalem,  Luke reports a number of very strange and unprecedented events. To do this he uses rhetorical devices and metaphorical language to help the readers with a mental picture of what happened. As an example of what I mean, the following is taken from one of many news reports the Australian summer of 2019/20.

‘It sounds like a freight train and as it spurts fireballs ahead of it across the tops of the trees, it is approaching us like a raging beast. This is what it's like being inside a bushfire ...’ (1)

The eyewitness’s ‘freight train’, ‘spurting fireballs’ and ‘raging beast’  vividly convey the noise, speed, horror and terror of the bush fire, but we know there is no train or beast.

Luke reports, in Acts 2, there was a very loud sound like a rushing or violent wind. The use of simile here makes it clear there was no wind, just sound, ‘like’ a wind. So what made the loud sound? And what about the tongues and fire in verse 3? When I checked out different translations, I was less sure of what happened. Here are five different Bible translations:

  • And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. (King James Version Authorised)
  • And there appeared to them tongues, as of fire, which separated and came to rest upon each of them. (Revised King James)
  • They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. (New International Version)
  • And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. (English Standard Version)
  • And tongues spreading out like a fire appeared to them and came to rest on each one of them. (New English Translation)

Are flickering flames on top of each person? Are tongues, looking like flames, wiggling on each person? Are there flames flying around the room? When did the flames suddenly disappear? How do flames and tongues link in with the loud sound? Are there any tongues of fire at all? If there were flames what was their purpose?

The word for tongue in the Greek (glossa) not only means the physical tongue, it also means language as in ‘mother tongue’ or ‘native tongue’. So could the eyewitnesses of this event, be using rhetorical devices to explain to Luke what happened? Could it be that as the Spirit came to (rested on) a believer, that person started speaking in a new language (tongue).  Then the Spirit rested on another person who started speaking in a new language, then another and another so ‘languages’ (tongues) gradually spread throughout the room like a spreading, dividing fire, or spot fires. As each person became more comfortable with their new language, were they became louder and louder? If anyone has been in a crowd where lots of people are talking, the volume can get very loud and overwhelming. Just as we know the bush fires are not a freight train or a raging beast, is Luke’s language rhetorical and the spreading languages (tongues) were like a dividing, spreading fire? And as we saw before, is the ‘resting on each person’, typical Old Testament language to explain receipt of the Holy Spirit rather than a physical resting?

Whatever physical manifestation the Holy Spirit used; we can be sure that the 120 believers could speak different languages. The very loud noise in the room attracts the attention of the crowd. The crowd is made up of Jews from 15 different places across the Roman Empire and they latch onto the sound of their own language being spoken by the believers. If the aim of the Church is to spread the message of Jesus to all nations, then being able to speak in the native tongue of the hearer is the first and most fundamental requirement of communication. The Spirit certainly knows how to target!!!

But the crowd are astonished.  They recognise that the group in the room are from Galilee and wonder why these backwater group can be so fluent in so many different languages? Some even suggest they are drunk.

Then Peter, with the other 11 disciples backing him, stood up and spoke to the crowd to give his first sermon. In his opening sentence, Peter, respecting the crowd’s question on the fluency of so many languages and knowing they were devout Jews, brilliantly opens his sermon by cementing his credentials as a reputable Jew by quoting the Old Testament prophesy of Joel. He explains the prophesy was being fulfilled thus defending the believers’ ability to speak in many languages. Peter was transformed from the furtive, uncertain and denying disciple we previously encountered, into a gifted leader and orator. I wonder if Peter was speaking in Koine Greek (the Galilean’s native language) with the other 108 believers translating his words into the languages they had been given?

Luke’s account of the coming of the Holy Spirit on the 120 believers, has the same pattern as the Old Testament’s accounts. Namely, (a) there was a specific job to be done: spread the message of Jesus, (b) the Spirit rested ‘language’ on each person, (c) the believers had an ability to speak in the different languages that were present in Jerusalem at that time  and (d) the resulting expression of the Holy Spirit was oration, speech and language for the purpose of communicating the good news to ‘all nations’.

Pentecost is a miracle of communication, of adults being able to speak in another language within a short time so people of other nations could hear about the wonderous works of God and the reconciliation of God with all nations through Jesus. The Spirit at Pentecost was not given for an individual’s personal experience. It was to be used for the mission of God. Instead of the Jews from different nationalities struggling to understand Peter’s message in an unfamiliar language, the Spirit, through the giving of language to the believers, cleared the way for clear dialogue, communication and receptive ears. As a result, Luke reports 3000 people were added to their number that day.

On this day of Pentecost, can we see the Spirit working today in our Church?

  1. What is our important ‘job’ that we, as a church following Jesus, in our time, place and generation, are working on? We know the big issues: Reconciliation with aboriginal peoples; Climate change; Bush fire reconstruction; Environmental degradation; Homelessness; Truth in media; Social Inequity, New society after Covid-19? and many others. But what sliver is our job?
  2. Do we have God’s Spirit? In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Paul states “ ….your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God.” From Isaiah11-2 we are told the Spirit is of ‘wisdom, knowledge, counsel, justice and humility’.
  3. What ‘tools’ do we already have? We have so much knowledge, skills and talent individually and as a 21st century affluent society: personal, scientific, technological, environmental, sociological, economic to name a few. We just have to use what we have and are capable of.
  4. The Spirit’s influence throughout the Bible is very much based on language and communication.


How can we use the gifts, tools and talents we have for communication, encouraging, persuading, consoling, building up, reconciliation? For God’s kingdom, here on earth?

 

You might like to check out the following organisations we have been privileged to be associated with:

National Reconciliation Week (this week)

Uniting World. Timor-Leste (Child Protection) Project

Uniting Earth

Common Grace

Uniting Church Fair Treatment Campaign  

Sydney Alliance

 

And lastly

Our new church blog. This is a space for you to contribute and there are already some thoughtful posts and comments.

 

I leave you with this little Poem from Leunig.

What's the Use

What’s the use of this little hand;
What’s the use of this little eye;
What’s the use of this little mouth
When all the world is broken?
Make a cake with this little hand;
Make a tear with this little eye;
Make a word with this little mouth
When all the world is broken.

In response to Loraine’s words let us listen and reflect on the music and words of Helen Wright. Please click on the link below:

Incarnate One - by Pastor Helen Wright

 

Offering Prayer

God of all times and places,

We bring to you our lives, our hands, our feet and our mouths
May our offerings reflect confidence and inclusiveness.

We bring before you our direct giving, our time, our talents, our gifts of food for the Easy project

May the programs and concerns we undertake,
build up the Church among us and far beyond us and bring glory to You

Amen

PRAYERS FOR THE PEOPLE

Prayer for the Journey of Healing


Dear God
We who have come from every land give thanks for Australia;
this earth that feeds us; the shores that bind us;
the skies that envelop us in freedom.
We stand together, united as one people:
proud of our ability to work together;
grateful for our gifts;
nourished by our diversity and our harmony.
Yet we turn to the original people of this land
and see, too, what we have taken.
We weep for their loss of freedom, of country, of children –
even of their very lives
We stand in awe at their survival, and in debt for their land.
We have shadows in our history which, if not faced, diminish us.
We have taken without asking;
Our nation has taken without asking;
Lives are wounded.
We see the pain, feel the sorrow and seek forgiveness.
Let us look back with courage; see the truth and speak it.
Let us look around with compassion; see the cost and share it.
Let us look forward with hope; see what can be and create it.
Give us courage to face the truth;
compassion to share the burden,
strength to play our part in the healing,
and hope to walk forward to a place of justice.
With courage, compassion, strength and hope,
we will walk together on the journey of healing.
May it be so.

 

Let us pray for all God’s people.

For people who are blind and cannot see, and for those who can see but are blind to people around them,

For people who move slowly because of accident, illness, or disability, and for those who move too fast to be aware of the world in which they live,

For people who are deaf and cannot hear, and for those who can hear but who ignore the cries of others

For people who learn slowly, for people who learn in different ways, and for people who learn quickly and easily but chose not to listen and learn

For people who have chronic illnesses for which there is no known cure or relief, and for people who live in fear of developing illness.

For families, friends and caregivers who care for people with disabilities, and for those who feel awkward in their presence

For people who feel isolated by their disabilities, and for people who contribute to that sense of isolation.

For people who think they are worthless and beyond your love, and for people who think they do not need your love

God, in your mercy change our lives. For all the people in your creation, may we learn to respect each other and learn how to live together in your peace.  God, in your mercy bind us together with your love. AMEN.

Please say the Lord’s Prayer out loud knowing that other voices will be joining with you praying  the words Jesus taught us

 

Our father in Heaven, hallowed by your name

Your kingdom come. Your word be done

On Earth as it is in heaven

Give us today our daily bread, Forgive us our sins

As we forgive those who sin against us

Save us in the time of trial and deliver us from evil

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are your

Now and forever. AMEN

 

At Pentecost, God joins us in the midst of the messiness and the difficulties of speaking different languages, eating different foods and living in different cultures. That is good news indeed.

He wove diversity and inclusiveness into the very fabric of the Church. He calls us, the people of God, to be in authentic community where everyone is included and valuable in God’s Kingdom.

Let us listen and sing together as we reflect on Pentecost please click in this link :

Come Holy Spirit

 

Come Holy Spirit

Come holy spirit
Fall afresh on me
Feel me with your power
Satisfy my need
Only you can make me whole
Give me strength to make me grow
Come holy spirit
Fall afresh on me

 

Blessing 

by Uncle Vince Ross

 

May the God of creation warm your heart like the campfires of old

Bring wisdom and peace as shown to the first peoples of this land

Shake off the dust from the desert plains by the refreshing rains

Followed by the glow and warmth of the sun

Let the light of God show us the right path and stand tall like the big

River gums drawing life from the ever flowing waters.

 

Go with us God in all that builds community.

Go with us Christ in all that breaks down barriers.

God with us Spirit in all that reconciles. Amen!

 

Take this beautiful blessing song with you into your day and the week ahead. Please click on the link below

For You Deep Stillness

For you, deep stillness of the silent inland

For you, deep blue of the desert skies

For you, flame red of the rocks and stones

For you, sweet water from hidden springs.

From the edges seek the heartlands

and when you're burnt by the journey

may the cool winds of the hovering Spirit

soothe and replenish you.

In the name of Christ,

In the name of Christ.

 

Further suggested reading resources:

An Encounter by Rachael from Common Grace

Debie Tomas The One and The Many

What sustains us - a reflection from Uniting church Moderators

Interwoven - The power of We Brooke Prentis