Tagged: Pentecost

Basking in the sunshine of God


Acts 2.1-21

This is the day – Pentecost – when the Holy Spirit takes centre stage. This great feast in the Christian Year, when we celebrate the Holy Spirit coming upon the disciples on the Jewish Festival of Pentecost, which came seven weeks after Passover and celebrated both the wheat harvest and the giving of the Torah, the Law, on Mount Sinai. It was one of three pilgrimage festivals when Jews came to the Temple in Jerusalem – Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles – in Hebrew Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot. Pentecost is the Greek word for this feast and is derived from the Greek word for 50 – the feast of 50 days – seven weeks after Passover, and for us 50 days after Easter. For me using my seven times table it comes to 49, but if we count Easter Sunday as Day 1 then you will find that this is Day 50 after Easter! I know some of you like to know this sort of thing.

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Put Jesus at the centre


person using macbook pro on brown wooden desk

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Acts 2.1-21; John 15.26-27, 16.4b-15

Anyone who uses computers knows the feeling.

You press the on button and wait – and nothing happens. Or it starts up but never finishes – it just switches on and never quite finishes loading everything.

And you start to get that awful sinking feeling deep down inside. Everything is on the computer – all your email, thousands of family photos, the book you’ve been writing, twenty years’ worth of sermons! Particularly the one you need to print because you’re preaching it in half-an-hour. And you start to say to yourself:

  • I knew I should have paid for another year of that anti-virus software!
  • Why on earth didn’t I install the firewall?
  • I know I said that backing everything up could wait until tomorrow – what on earth was I thinking?

The computer is dead. And everything on it is gone. And because you didn’t look after it properly there’s no recovery, or if you’re lucky and can afford it an expert might – just might – be able to dismantle it and get your stuff off the hard disk. But there’s that lingering feeling – if only I’d done what I knew I should, everything would all be safe. If only … Continue reading

Get off the mobile and enjoy the view!


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John 14.8-17

There are apparently, and according to the UN, more mobile phones in the world than there are people! If you want a symbol of the modern world and what is at the centre of people’s lives, look no further than the mobile phone! For so many, daily life is ruled by their mobile.

One of the most popular programmes on the TV at the moment is Channel 4’s Gogglebox. Just to explain, for those of you who don’t watch it, the idea behind the programme is that families and friends are filmed watching television, and we see their reactions. Each week a variety of different programmes are watched, and cameras inside people’s houses record their reactions to what they watch.

On Friday, just back from holiday, we sat down and watched the previous week’s episode, and one of the programmes people sat back to enjoy was a programme about railway journeys made by Paul Merton. As we were treated to an aerial view of a train travelling through some of Britain’s wonderful countryside, we then saw the reaction of two of Gogglebox’s regular participants – two sisters from Leeds.

One said: I like train journeys like that where you go on really beautiful, scenic routes.

To which the other replied: Continue reading

Wave of Prayer


Wave of prayer for Evangelism 8th to 15th May
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have asked for a great wave of prayer in the lead up to Pentecost. We have been asked to pray that the life transforming love of Jesus Christ will overflow from our churches into our communities so that more people will be drawn to faith in him.

Prayer booklets are available in church to guide you for nine days of prayer (a Novena). These are free but you can give an offering towards their cost for yourself and someone else if you wish. They cost £1 each, part of which goes to the Archbishops’ Refugee fund.

On Saturday 14th May after Mass at 9.30, there will be silent prayer in our church before the blessed sacrament from 10-11 a.m. Come and go as you please. You do not have to stay for the whole hour.

Additionally if you want somewhere different to pray, St Peter and St Paul Chaldon will be open daily from 10-4 as usual or you could go and walk the prayer labyrinth in the grounds of St Lawrence Church.

And finally a lot more information and ideas for prayer can be found on the website http://www.thykingdom.co.uk, and do catch up with Archbishop Justin’s message about the wave of prayer on his FaceBook page or YouTube.

Pentecost Sunday – The promised Holy Spirit


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Acts 2.1-21; John 15.26-27; 16.4b-15

Anyone who uses computers knows the feeling.

You press the on button and wait – and nothing happens. Or it starts up but never finishes – it just switches on and never quite finishes loading everything. And you start to get that awful sinking feeling deep down inside. Everything is on the computer – all your email, thousands of family photos, the book you’ve been writing, twenty years’ worth of sermons! And you start to say to yourself:

  • I knew I should have paid for another year of that anti-virus software
  • Why on earth didn’t I install the firewall
  • I know I said that backing everything up could wait until tomorrow – what on earth was I thinking

The computer is dead. And everything on it is gone. And because you didn’t look after it properly there’s no recovery, or if you’re lucky and can afford it an expert might – just might – be able to dismantle it and get your stuff off the hard disk. But there’s that lingering feeling – if only I’d done what I knew I should, everything would all be safe. If only … Continue reading

In the world but not of the world


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Mother Anne-Marie was preaching this week on Acts 1.15-17, 21-end and John 17.6-19.

A week last Thursday we had a general election and through the night a surprise result emerged. A result none of the polls, until the exit poll at 10 p.m., had come near to predicting. The next day leaders toppled as those parties who had had disastrous, or just not too good results, expected their leaders to fall on their swords and take full responsibility for the failure. We are now into a period of uncertainty in most of the opposition parties as Labour, Lib Dems and UKIP struggle to rebuild and find new leadership. And we have a government with an overall majority they didn’t expect, so there is perhaps more change ahead than was anticipated. We are in a time of uncertainty and change. Continue reading

What I said last Sunday for the Feast of Pentecost


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Last Sunday was, of course, the Feast of Pentecost. Here’s what I said in my sermon.

Acts 1.1-13; John 20.19-23

There’s not much that’s more annoying than a flat car battery.

You know what it’s like! The last time you used the car there was nothing wrong. Then you go out to go somewhere – and it’s always when you’re going somewhere important and are in a hurry – and the car won’t start. These days, with electronic central locking, you are forewarned because the remote control key won’t unlock the car. And you get that sinking feeling. And yet, having had to use the key the old-fashioned way and actually put it in the lock, you get in and even though you now know you have a flat battery you still try and start the car. You know it’s not going to work but you try anyway. No power! And you’re not going anywhere. And the worst thing is you know that it’s almost certainly your fault. Either you’ve left headlights on though that’s increasingly difficult these days. Or you’ve left the interior light on. Or – as I managed to do recently – you’ve left the boot slightly ajar so that the boot light had not gone out! Continue reading