Celebrating the Day of Pentecost!

Title:Celebrating the Day of Pentecost!

 Pentecost (full size gallery)

It was a warm Pentecost – maybe like a holy wind. 17 were present with another 9 online for a total of 26. There were differences in the past – “Hail Thee Festival Day” was done as a prelude and “O day of radiant gladness” became the opening hymn. The Holy Communion used Eucharistic Prayer D and not the special Prayer for Pentecost. Eucharistic Prayer D is the lengthiest and is generally associated with the holiest of our holidays or with occasions of Christian unity.

One thing that continued was the holy tongues of fire that appeared during the closing hymn, “There’s a sweet, sweet Spirit in this place”. Johnny and Edgar did the honors.

The sermon spoke less of the Pentecost event and more of practices. Pentecost is the beginning of the church’s mission as well the coming of the Holy Spirit. The mission can’t work unless the Holy Spirit can do its work. If people think they have all the answer than the Holy Spirit is blocked.

The sermon was clear. “These people, the ones who wonder and who are uncertain, are the ones for whom the Spirit can intercede, for their hearts are open in their uncertainty and they are able to hear what Peter has to say—that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, for God is in control, and the Spirit will enter into them too, when they hear Peter tell about Jesus and his death and resurrection.

“In these days of all sorts of certainties that divide this world so destructively—our mission as the Church is to hope in God, who is greater than any human certainty.

“Our mission as the Church is to be brave enough to admit our incompleteness, to pray deeply with groans and sighs, letting the Spirit pray through us, opening our communal heart to the searching of God. ”

There are many symbols connected with Pentecost – tongues of fire, the Holy Spirit, and the color red. It is also the day we extinguish the Pascal Candle. The flame of the Paschal Candle symbolizes the light of the Risen Christ. On Pentecost, the extinguishing of the Paschal Candle serves as a reminder Christ’s work on earth is now complete, and that our job as Christians is to carry the light of Christ out into the world through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Today we also received a bell from Brad that used to hang along the Rappahannock. It is one that can be heard from a long distance. We will be looking into the company that made the bell but on the outside it has an 1880’s date.

Lectionary – The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity with God the Father and Jesus the Son. The point is that Jesus is present through the Holy Spirit and represents the love poured out from the Father and Son .

Pentecost relates to both Old Testament and New Testament. In the Old Testament, Pentecost is the Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks, celebrated 50 days after Passover. The first fruits of the wheat harvest were presented, and the covenant with God was renewed. The promised outpouring of the Spirit and the beginning of the Church’s mission occurred during this feast.

In the New Testament, Pentecost on May 23 marks the fulfillment of Christ’s promised presence through the arrival of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit re-energized the Apostles who were lonely and afraid after Jesus left them. It was a reminder Jesus would always be with them and emboldened them with a strength beyond themselves.

The Holy Spirit provides the comfort, the inspiration and fire. It gave them courage and gifts they didn’t know they had. The gifts mentioned in Isaiah are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. Jesus was no longer just for Jerusalem but for the world. It was their job to do this – and ours.

Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:27- “You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it. 28 First, God has placed apostles in the church. Second, he has placed prophets in the church. Third, he has placed teachers in the church. Then he has given to the church miracles and gifts of healing. He also has given the gift of helping others and the gift of guiding the church.”

“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and enkindle in them the fire of your love.
V. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
R. And you shall renew the face of the earth.

In Acts, God’s Spirit, poured out on the disciples, astonishes and empowers the community. Paul explains that we come together to worship and serve in the Holy Spirit. Jesus comes to his friends and breathes on them the Spirit of peace and forgiveness.

The Holy Spirit is known in various aspects: Mighty wind and still, small voice; gentle warmth and consuming fire; Giver of Life who fills the whole world and hidden Presence within our heart