Instructions: The words and videos below are meant to be read and played in sequence, together forming one complete worship service. Begin by pressing play on the first video.
This morning we celebrate Pentecost, the day the Church was born.
The day that fire fell from heaven, to send a frightened group of people, men and women who had just witnessed their leader executed for blasphemy and treason, out into the very world which accused them.
The day that God’s Spirit turned this hiding congregation, into the Church.
The day that Peter, who only weeks earlier had denied that he knew Christ, fearing for his own life –
The day that this Peter, stood up in the midst of a confused and hostile crowd, and declared that the Christ had come, that a new age of prophecy had come, in which we are all asked to answer God’s call.
We are the Church.
The story of its birth is our story.
The same power that invaded the early congregation and drove the first disciples out of hiding should drive us as well. The mandate which consumed them, must likewise consume us.
But we all have our reasons not to move, not to follow, to put our faith and our calling off for just one more day.
And usually, they’re good reasons.
That’s the part no one tells you. Not that doing the right thing is hard, but that doing the right thing is hard because not doing it often makes so much good, common sense.
We all have our reasons, and usually, they’re good reasons.
But if we really do believe as the first Christians did, that God has walked among us, that God has a purpose for this world, that we are part of that purpose, then no good reason can possibly be good enough.
As we move into our time of prayer this morning, reflect on those things that are holding you back. For those men and women gathered that room on that Pentecost two thousand years ago, it was the fact that they had just seen their leader killed, and the fear that they would follow him – as many of them did.
But when the Spirit came, the reasons disappeared, made insignificant by the overshadowing fact of God’s presence always with us, always pushing us, always moving us, no matter what.
Certain spaces in the prayer are left open for you to add whatever is on your heart to add.
And Let Us Pray…
Lord God, Creator, Redeemer,
We lift before you the concerns that we share with our world…
… with our nation …
… with our communities …
… our families …
… our friends …
… our neighbors …
… and ourselves …
Watch over us, and guide us in these times of uncertainty and fear, into your promise and your future.
Forgive us for all the wrong that we have done,
Willingly and unwillingly,
Knowingly or unknowingly.
Give us your grace, to resist tomorrow whatever temptation we have given into today,
To persevere in challenges we have yet to face,
To live beyond fear.
In the name of Jesus Christ, and of the Spirit, God who come in fire to guide his Church, Amen.
Now, I’m pleased to introduce my father, Pastor Norman Bude, and his message for this Sunday.
The Spirit is here.
God has invaded this world, to change lives, shake worlds, make all things new, and push us out of our comfort zone.
Today we remember the day the Church was born with a mission to change the world.
So, like our ancestors in faith, let us take up that challenge, put aside what holds us back, dream dreams, share visions, and change the world.