‘O breath of God, come sweeping through us” is sung at the EMW Conference, Aberystwyth, Wales. The hymn is by Elizabeth Ann Head.
Let us pray.
Holy Spirit, you poured yourself out on the people of the early church, pour yourself out on us now. Holy Spirit, you set their tongues on fire with languages so as to speak to one another in ways that could be understood. Set our tongues on fire to speak in ways so others may hear the good news about Jesus.
Jesus, you said you had to go away so that the Holy Spirit, the advocate, the counselor would come and it was so. Come once again Holy Spirit as the advocate that we all need, as the counselor we all need, and as the helper we all need. Come Holy Spirit, fan your flames of love and empowerment, set us on fire for you once again. Bring life to each of our dry bones. Amen.
From the Bible
The Bible reading for today is from Acts 2:1-21.
The coming of the Holy Spirit
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked,
“Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs–in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.”
Peter speaks to the crowd
All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”
But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them,
“Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel –
‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
The message is brought to you by Mark Faulkner of the Saltbush Community. Our reading is an ancient expression of the coming of the Holy Spirit in the early church. Today we consider the centrality of life beyond the physical and the ways we experience the Holy Spirit in our own lives and the world today.
What is the challenge from the Word today? Where do you see the coming of the Holy Spirit in your life or in our world today?
Before a time of prayer you may like to spend some time in silence sitting still. Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert. Simply be still and open to God. You may prefer to do this while listening to the ‘Optional reflective music’ below.
Optional reflective music
The reflective music is, ‘O breath of life’, courtesy of Emu Music. If you have problems connecting, also try this link at Vimeo:
Prayers for others
Go to the video below for the ‘Prayers of the people’, which are led by Cohen family, from Cootamundra Uniting Church. The video also include the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ & a closing blessing by Keith.
So now we leave this time of worship. And while so much of the road ahead is uncertain, the path constantly changing, we know the Holy Spirit is there, found in the space between all things, closer to us than our next breath, binding us to each other.
Go in peace, and until we meet we again, may the love of the Father enfold us, the wisdom of the Son enlighten us, and the fire of the Holy Spirit kindle us. Amen.
‘We are one’, courtesy of Emu Music. If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:
The sermon and prayers for others are based on content in the Saltbush service for this week, which can be found at: