Pentecost – May 31st

Poster by Shena Wright

Our preacher is the Rev Lindsay Dew

Welcome from our celebrant, Rev Elizabrth Bunker

Opening Hymn Come down O Love divine,

 Come down, O Love divine,
Seek thou this soul of mine,
And visit it with thine own ardour glowing
O comforter, draw near,
Within my heart appear,
And kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

2 O let it freely burn,
Till earthly passions turn
To dust and ashes, in its heat consuming;
And let thy glorious light
Shine ever on my sight,
And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

3 Let holy charity
Mine outward vesture be,
And lowliness become mine inner clothing;
True lowliness of heart,
Which takes the humbler part,
And o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

4 And so the yearning strong,
With which the soul will long,
Shall far outpass the power of human telling;
For none can guess its grace,
Till he become the place
Wherein the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.

Discendi, amor santo Bianco da Siena (died 1434) translated Richard Frederick Littledale (1833-1890)

 Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
And also with you.

sentence of scripture
As the Father sent me, so I send you

 

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Prayers of Penitence

The Summary of the Law     (sit)
Minister                       Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
The first commandment is this:
‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,    with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
The second is this:
‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
There is no other commandment greater than these. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour in thought and word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past, and grant that we may serve you in newness of life to the glory of your name. Amen.

The Absolution

The Gloria

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the most high, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Collect

God, who as at this time

taught the hearts of your faithful people

by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit:

grant us by the same Spirit

to have a right judgement in all things

and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;

through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.  AMEN

 

Acts 2.1-21

6 1 When the day of Pentecost had come,
they were all together in one place. 2 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.

3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.

4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem.

6 And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7 Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs – in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’

12 All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ 13 But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’

14 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. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning.

16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 17 “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. 18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. 19 And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist.

20 The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. 21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”’

This is the word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

 

Psalm 104.25–35, 37

R Send forth your Spirit, O Lord,
and renew the face of the earth.

25 O Lord, how manifold are your works! in wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. R

26 Yonder is the great and wide sea with its living things too many to number, creatures both small and great. 27 There move the ships, and there is that Leviathan, which you have made for the sport of it. R

28 All of them look to you to give them their food in due season. 29 You give it to them, they gather it; you open your hand and they are filled with good things.  30 You hide your face and they are terrified; you take away their breath and they die and return to their dust. R

31 You send forth your Spirit and they are created; and so you renew the face of the earth. 32 May the glory of the Lord endure for ever; may the Lord rejoice in all his works. 33 He looks at the earth and it trembles; he touches the mountains and they smoke. R

34 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will praise my God while I have my being. 35 May these words of mine please him; I will rejoice in the Lord. 37 Bless the Lord, O my soul. Alleluia! R

Glory to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
As it was in the beginning, ia now, and ever shall be Amen

 

SECOND READING 1 Corinthians 12.3b–13

A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians.

3 No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

13 For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 

This is the word of the Lord 

Thanks be to God

Gospel Hymn;

Be still, for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One is here;
come bow before Him now with reverence and fear.
in Him no sin is found, we stand on holy ground;
be still, for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One is here.

Be still, for the glory of the Lord is shining all around;
He burns with holy fire, with splendour He is crowned.
How awesome is the sight, our radiant King of light!
Be still, for the glory of the Lord is shining all around.

Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place;
He comes to cleanse and heal, to minister His grace.
No work too hard for Him, in faith receive from Him;
be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place.

David J Evans (born 1957)
© 1986 Thankyou Music/Adm. by worshiptogether.com songs excl UK & Europe, adm. by kingswaysongs.com. http://www.kingswaysongs.com.

 

Hear the GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to John 20.19–23

 

Glory to you, O Lord

19 It was evening on the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews
Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’
20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
21 Jesus said to them again, Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’
22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, O Christ

 

Sermon – Revd Canon Lindsay Dew

Read by Peter Willcox

 

Early one bright Sunday morning like today, Charles’s wife Jane, hurries into their bedroom and wakes him up. “Charles, it’s Sunday. Time to get up! Time to get up and go to church! Get up!” Charles mumbles from under the covers, “I don’t want to go.” “What do you mean you don’t want to go?” she asks, giving him a big shove. “That’s silly. Now get up and get dressed and go to church!” “No, I don’t want to go,’ Charles replies, ‘and I’ll give you two reasons why I don’t want to go.” He sits up on the bed and continues, “First, I don’t like them and second, they don’t like me.” “Now, that’s just plain nonsense,’ says Jane, ‘You’ve got to go to church and I’ll give you two reasons why you must. First, you’re nearly 64 years old and, second, you’re the priest!”

The sleepy Charles could as well be any of the apostles whom Jesus had commissioned to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth. But as soon as Jesus leaves them, what do they do? They retire to their upper rooms and hide themselves. They were afraid. Like Charles they knew that the people did not like them, they knew that their message was different from the popular message of the time, and they just felt like wrapping themselves up in bed and not having to get up and face the hostile society. All of us are often like that, going to church quietly, receiving Jesus in our hearts quietly, and going home again quietly to say our morning and evening prayers quietly.

But what about the charge that Jesus left for you and me to be his witnesses and to share the Good News of God’s love with everyone? No. People do not like to be reminded of God. We’re afraid they are going to tell us off if we speak to them about God. We’re afraid they will not listen to me. We’re afraid they will call us freaks and fools out of touch with reality. They don’t like us and we don’t like them. And so, like Charles, we give up on our God-given duty and go on enjoying our comfortable silence, our comfortable sleep.

Fortunately, Charles has a guide, his wife – the lovely Jane, who will wake him and disturb him, persuading him to go out and preach. This is the kind of work that the Holy Spirit does in the hearts of believers. When fear of trouble tends to freeze our faith into silent submission to despair, the Holy Spirit warms us up and empowers us to go out there and make a difference. The Holy Spirit reminds us, as Jane reminded Charles, that we have a mission. Our mission is to tell everybody the Good News that God is their Father. That God is the Father of us all, that in spite of all the visible difference of language and culture and social status, we are all one family and should therefore live as brothers and sisters. Our mission is to break the barriers between “us” and “them,” between male and female, between Jew and Gentile, between rich and poor, between Black and White, between First World and Third World, and to bring everyone to speak and understand the one language love. This is possible only through the working of the Holy Spirit.

One reason Jane gave about why Charles should wake up from his sleep is that he is now 64 years old. Christianity is now 2000 years old in the world and whatever age you are God calls you to be his witness – a witness to his love, power, and his presence. “What can I do?” you may say, “I am only a single individual. What difference can I make?”

Maybe we can learn something from the story of the black squirrel and the owl. A black squirrel once asked a wise old owl what was the weight of a single snowflake. “Why, nothing more than nothing,” the owl answered. The squirrel then went on to tell the owl about a time when he was resting on a branch of a maple tree, counting each snowflake that came to rest on the branch until he reached the number 1,973,864. Then with the settling of the very next flake — crack! The branch suddenly snapped, throwing the squirrel and the snow to the ground. “That was surely a whole lot of nothing,” said the squirrel.

Your daily personal efforts to spread the reign of love and forgiveness may be as lightweight as snowflakes. But by heaping our snowflakes together we shall eventually be able to break the heavy branch of sin, evil and injustice growing in our world today. Snow of course is cold and the picture we’re given in the readings todays speak of wind and fire – this is about the warmth of God’s love, about coming home to him and his love, and of taking that love with us out into the world and changing it by our words and deeds, And so what if they call us freaks or fools, many have been called that before – and because they were willing to go out to proclaim the good news we ourselves entered into that story of God, the story of his love and power, the story that changed our lives for ever because we have been touched and inspired to know the living God. So WAKE UP! 

Amen

 15       The Nicene Creed (stand)

We believe in one God, the Father, the almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father: through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, he became incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will  have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.  Amen.

The Prayers by Peter Willcox

Holy Spirit, we implore you to cause us to Wake Up!

Of course, as a church we still have some waiting to do – waiting for our new Vicar, for whom we pray. But, as individual Christians, please inspire us to love better. Make our love for you, and the Father and the Son, stronger, richer, more passionate. Make our love of neighbour more imaginative, more sensitive, more adventurous, more focussed on their needs.
Lord, in your mercy Hear our prayer

As lockdown is tentatively released, may we be sensible as we gradually extend our activities. Grant wisdom and tact to contact tracers, as they advise people who have had contact with someone infected to self-isolate. May those of us at particular risk continue to be protected. We pray especially for the Bedford Road PreSchool, which re-opens tomorrow. They have an extensive Risk Assessment. May their adherence to it provide sufficient safety to children, parents and staff
Lord, in your mercy Hear our prayer

We pray for the people of the United States of America, who seem to be so divided. We pray especially for Minneapolis, where a black man was killed while in custody, resulting in riots, arson and looting.
Lord, in your mercy Hear our prayer

May the crisis, which has shown that society and governments can behave in previously unimaginable ways to protect themselves and their neighbours, lead to an understanding that we can change behaviour, and government policy in respect of the Climate Emergency
Lord, in your mercy Hear our prayer

We pray for those who grieve, and the souls of those who have died. May we, with them, share in your eternal kingdom
Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

 

The Peace

We are the body of Christ. In the one Spirit we were all baptised into one body.
Let us then pursue all that makes for peace and builds up our common life.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
and also with you.
Let us offer one another a sign of Christ’s peace.

Offertory hymn, A mighty wind invades the world

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1 A mighty wind invades the world,
so strong and free on beating wing:
it is the Spirit of the Lord
from whom all truth and freedom spring.

2 The Spirit is a fountain clear
for ever leaping to the sky,
whose waters give unending life,
whose timeless source is never dry.

3 The Spirit comes in tongues of flame,
with love and wisdom burning bright:
the wind, the fountain and the fire
combine in this great feast of light.

4 O tranquil Spirit, bring us peace,
with God the Father and the Son.
we praise you, blessèd Trinity,
unchanging, and for ever One.

Stanbrook Abbey
© 1974 Stanbrook Abbey

 

Eucharistic prayer

Yours, Lord, is the greatness,
the power, the glory,
the splendour, and the majesty;
for everything in heaven and on earth is yours.
All things come from you,
and of your own do we give you. 

The Lord be with you
and also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, it is our duty and our joy,
at all times and in all places
to give you thanks and praise,
holy Father, heavenly King,
almighty and eternal God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For he is your living Word;
through him you have created all things from the beginning,
and formed us in your own image.
To you be glory and praise for ever.

Through him you have freed us from the slavery of sin,
giving him to be born of a woman and to die upon the cross;
you raised him from the dead
and exalted him to your right hand on high.
To you be glory and praise for ever.

Through him you have sent upon us
your Holy and life-giving Spirit,
and made us a people for your own possession.
To you be glory and praise for ever.

And now we give you thanks that after he had ascended far above all heavens and was seated at the right hand of your majesty, he sent forth upon the universal Church your holy and life-giving Spirit, that through his glorious power the joy of the everlasting gospel might go forth into all the world.

Therefore, with angels and archangels,
and with all the company of heaven,
we proclaim your great and glorious name,
for ever praising you and saying:
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Accept our praises, heavenly Father,
through your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and as we follow his example and obey his command,
grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit
these gifts of bread and wine
may be to us his body and his blood;
who, in the same night that he was betrayed,
took bread and gave you thanks,
he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

Pause for the Sanctus Bell

 

To you be glory and praise for ever.

In the same way, after supper
he took the cup and gave you thanks;
he gave it to them, saying:
Drink this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me. 

Pause for the Sanctus Bell

 

To you be glory and praise for ever.

Therefore, heavenly Father,
we remember his offering of himself
made once for all upon the cross;
we proclaim his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension;
we look for the coming of your kingdom,
and with this bread and this cup
we make the memorial of Christ your Son our Lord.

Great is the mystery of faith.
Christ has died:
Christ is risen:
Christ will come again.

in the presence of your divine majesty,
renew us by your Spirit,
inspire us with your love,
and unite us in the body of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through him, and with him, and in him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
with all who stand before you in earth and heaven,
we worship you, Father almighty,
in songs of everlasting praise:

Blessing and honour and glory and power
be yours for ever and ever. Amen. 

Accept through him, our great high priest,
this our sacrifice of thanks and praise,
and as we eat and drink these holy gifts,
in the presence of your divine majesty,
renew us by your Spirit,
inspire us with your love,
and unite us in the body of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through him, and with him, and in him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
with all who stand before you in earth and heaven,
we worship you, Father almighty,
in songs of everlasting praise:
Blessing and honour and glory and power
be yours for ever and ever. Amen.

Here follows a time for silent reflection

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:  (kneel or sit)

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory
are yours now and for ever. Amen.

 

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread.

Jesus, Lamb of God: have mercy on us.
Jesus, bearer of our sins: have mercy on us.
Jesus, redeemer of the world: give us your peace.

Seasonal Sentences

We do not presume
to come to this your table, merciful Lord,
trusting in our own righteousness,
but in your manifold and great mercies. 

We are not worthy so much
as to gather up the crumbs under your table.
But you are the same Lord
whose nature is always to have mercy.
Grant us, therefore, gracious Lord,
so to eat the flesh of your dear Son, Jesus Christ,
and to drink his blood,
that our sinful bodies
may be made clean through his body,
and our souls washed through his most precious blood,
and that we may evermore dwell in him,
and he in us. Amen
.

 

The body of Christ Amen
The blood of Christ Amen

Post Communion Prayer

Faithful God,
who fulfilled the promises of Easter
by sending us your Holy Spirit
and opening to every race and nation
the way of life eternal:
open our lips by your Spirit,
that every tongue may tell of your glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen

Almighty God
We thank you for feeding us with the body and blood of your Son, Jesus Christ
Through him we offer you our souls and bodies to be a livng sacrifice.
Send us out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory Amen

Final Hymn Holy Spirit, living breath of God

Holy Spirit, living breath of God,
breathe new life into my willing soul.
Bring the presence of the risen Lord
to renew my heart and make me whole.
Cause your word to come alive in me;
give me faith for what I cannot see,
give me passion for your purity;
Holy Spirit, breathe new life in me.

Holy Spirit, come abide within,
may your joy be seen in all I do.
Love enough to cover every sin
in each thought and deed and attitude:
kindness to the greatest and the least,
gentleness that sows the path of peace.
turn my strivings into works of grace;
Breath of God, show Christ in all I do.

Holy Spirit, from creation’s birth,
giving life to all that God has made,
show your power once again on earth,
Cause your church to hunger for your ways.
May the fragrance of our prayers arise;
lead us on the road of sacrifice,
that in unity the face of Christ
may be clear for all the world to see.

Keith Getty (born 1974) and Stuart Townend (born 1963)

© Thankyou Music/Adm. By Kingswaysongs, a division of David C Cook

Blessing and Dismissal

The blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with you now and always. Amen

Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord. In the name of Christ, Amen

Copyright:  Common worship Archbishop’s Council ©2000

 

Thought for the Week

“By heaping our snowflakes together we shall eventually be able to break the heavy branch of sin, evil and injustice growing in our world today. . . . .We have been touched and inspired to know the living God. So WAKE UP!”

Rev Canon Lindsay Dew – today’s sermon

Notices

FOR YOUR PRAYERS

———————————

 

Prayers for the week

The Birches
Cowslip Hill
Hawthorn Hill
Wheat Hill
Redhoods Way east
Rowan Crescent
Bedford Road
Corner Close
Icknield Green
Special topics
Local schools, pupils and staff
Young people and youth organisation
Users of our facilities

 

Bedford Road Preschool will reopen tomorrow, so you might see some activity around the Wilbury Hall. The Church remains closed

 PLANNED GIVING

Please keep up your planned giving because we need to maintain our cashflow. Offertory envelopes can be dropped in to Sylvia (35 Cowslip Hill), Shena (16 Bedford Road) or Peter (50 Bedford Road) but we are trying to avoid handling cash if possible. Could you consider giving by occasional cheque, or setting up a standing order or direct debit? The church and Wilbury Hall hires have ceased, so that income stream is gone! If you could spare a bit more, that would be great!

Donation online You can now give online from the website. Go to the new “Donate” menu item, and click the link there. Please encourage any you know who are worshipping with us online to support us financially at this difficult time

Letchworth Prays – join Churches Together in Letchworth. Go to Letchworth Prays on YouTube