Pente-what? (Brad Childs)

Worship on the Lord’s Day
Day of Pentecost
10:00 am June 05, 2022
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence)
Gathering as a Worshipping Community
Led by the Rev. Bradley Childs
Music director: Binu Kapadia     Vocalist: Kara Little
Elder: Darlene Eerkes

We gather to worship God

Music prelude

Greeting
L: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you
P: and also with you

Lighting of the Christ candle
Welcome and announcements
Silent preparation for worship

Opening words
L: Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth
P: God’s steadfast love endures forever
L:  Lift up your hearts!
P: We lift them up to the Lord!

Opening praise: Holy Spirit, you are welcome here

Call to worship
L: The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
P: Praise and glory to you, Spirit of God, our comfort and strength.
L: Let us sing praises to God as long as we live;
P: Praise and glory to you, Spirit of God, our comfort and strength.
L: May our worship be pleasing to God, ever Three and ever One.
P: Let us praise the LORD!

Prayers of approach and lament

Loving God, Compassionate Son,  Healing Holy Spirit,

You approach us with such kindness and tenderness, and your touch transforms and converts our lives and your world.

Your care for your creation and for us is greater than we could know or imagine:

You come to us and You can turn weeping into laughter.You can turn sorrow into joy. You do turn death into life. You redeem all that appears lost. You heal what is broken and reconcile what is divided.

And so in adoration, we come and we pause, we rest from our work and responsibilities, and we rest from our play and from our fantasies.

As it says in our catechism Our chief end to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. God that is our goal. Help us to fulfil it.

Holy and gracious God –  In order to do that, we know that we need to admit our faults.

We confess that we have not always listened for the still small voice of your Spirit calling us to seek you and follow your way.

Too often we claim the name of Christ but act by the standards of this world.

Too often we try to make the bible teach what we already believe rather than subject our lives to its teaching.

To often we don’t even know we are doing it

And far to often we only notice when we think someone else is doing it.

Lord, You created us to love and serve you but we ignore your claim on our life. Our hearts stir for themselves. Cleanse us and remake us this week. Show us our errors and lead us to make the changes we need to make to follow your will. Transform us God as we come to ask your forgiveness. Amen.

Response: Lord Jesus Christ, son of God

Assurance of God’s forgiveness

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Jesus Christ came to save and redeem us. In him we find the peace of forgiveness, for in Christ our sins are forgiven. Amen.

We listen for the voice of God

Song: Breathe on me breath of God

Today’s Message

Scripture readings: Romans 8:14-17 ;  Acts 2:1-21; John 14:8-17

Response: Behold the Lamb of God

Homily: “Pente-what?”

Three times a year the Hebrews were supposed to take a pilgrimage up to Jerusalem. Shavu’ot is one of the three. It comes from Ex. 34:22 which says, that God’s people were to have a festival on the Sabbath following seven weeks after the Passover. In Leviticus 23:16 it says, “You shall number the festival after 50 days”.

By the New Testament times, the Hebrew Bibles were nearly out of use and most people; even Jewish Rabbi’s read their own Hebrew scriptures only from a Konie Greek translation called the Septuagint. The Septuagint translation of the above texts just reads “You shall have a festival at ‘pentekostes’” the Greek word for 50 (“You shall have a festival at 50”) hence the name “Pentecost”.

While the Passover was about celebrating the exodus from Egypt, the pentekostes was generally a celebration about the giving of the Ten Commandments. But that was about to change.

Shavu’ot… Pentekostes… That is what is going on in our story. The disciples are gathered together in that large room 50 days after Jesus had celebrated the Passover with them. The ascension had recently taken place and for lack of a better term, there is a party going on… it’s the 50th day. The streets filled with travelers. It’s pentecostes. And then things got weird.

According to the Jewish Physician and Historian Luke, the Ruach HaKodesh (the very Breath of God) came into that place. The place shook and something Luke could not describe took place. He says, “something like” a great wind and later “what seemed like tongues of flames” came down to rest on the people. He never says exactly what happened. Just “something like” it.

Now because of the festival the streets were crawling with people. Most were Jews gathering from all over the known world but in Acts it also says there were gentiles and God fearers (people that respected Judaism but were not converts – these had to gather at the edge of the building rather than go in). Inside the place was packed. And at this point all of the people in the meeting place start preaching the gospel. Yet as they do, all of the people outside the meeting (those God fearers, gentiles and travelers from all over) all hear the gospel preached in the different languages that they speak from around the known world.

Now it must be said that for the first 1,900 years or so of the Christian tradition this story was read to mean that God empowered the disciples to preach in human languages they had possibly never known or studied and that this gift while miraculous was essentially a one-time deal.

A few others interpreted the story to have been written in a particular style of literature whereby then-common figures-of-speech were later confused and that the story never meant to teach a literal miracle at all, but rather a great devotion amongst the apostles to share the good news with every nation and in every tongue.

Both are probably fair readings to a certain extent. But in the year 1900 things got a little confused when a man named Charles Parham started a small Bible School just outside Topeka, Kansas (Why is it always Topeka, Kansas?) and began to teach a new idea (no one had ever taught before).

This new idea: was that at Pentecost, God gave the apostles the language of the angels. And so the sign of real Christians, from that day on (including today) is that ALL REAL CHRISTIANS can speak a magical angelic language, but also one that sounds like nonsense to the hearers. There are varying degrees of understanding and this is an oversimplification but at that: Pentecostals, Apostolics and Charismatics were born.

In my youth I had never really encountered Pentecostals. Still, I recall being invited by a friend of mine to go to his church. I was in college at the time. They met in this warehouse. We sat down and the service began. And aside from a particularly talkative crowd, it seemed like a typical worship service. There was a worship leader who led praise music. The place was packed with hundreds of teens and young families. People were singing and clearly enjoying worship. And it was very friendly.

Then the preacher got up, and he was very engaging. In fact, I can still remember… he talked about The Armor of God (from Ephesians 6) and he carried a huge metal sword around as he spoke. Then he became even more exuberant and started to chant in some kind of different language I couldn’t recognize. Then the lady next to me started to do it. In fact, people all around me started to work themselves into a frenzy. Soon the whole row in front of me was on the floor shaking and writhing. I knew (to them) this must have been normal but my heart was pounding.

I looked at my friend Jean and he said, “It’s okay, they’ve been slain in the Spirit!” I’d never heard that term before and so I said, “Slain? in the what?” And he replied, “The Spirit. They have the Holy Spirit.” “Oh” I said, but what I really thought was “Well, I’ve got the Holy Spirit too, but as far as I know, the Sprit’s never wanted throw me down on the ground ot get my pants dirty.”

Jean and I had a good talk later that day and I’ve since come to disagree with (and yet very much respect) much of his interpretive view about what Luke and Paul rather rarely and vaguely refer to as glossolalia or “speaking in tongues.”

In the end I follow Presbyterian Church Father; John Calvin’s near cessationist[1] view which states that while God very much Did and still very much Can perform the miraculous, ultimately God’s intent is for US to be the miracles of God in and for this world as we make the miracles together.

Still there is little doubt. Pentecost is a strange story. Tongues of fire… people speaking strange languages? What does it all mean? Well first of all I think it means that we all need to be connected with God, not just as some disembodied Father figure we pray to somewhere out there. But instead, God is meant to be known and felt and experienced by the gift of His Spirit who is actually active in our daily lives so much that we can’t help but share God’s word and do God’s will.

Luke, when he reports on this day of pentekostes says not just the standard phrase that the Holy Spirit “came to rest for a time” as he did with Moses, Aaron and King David (as it happens every single time in the Old Testament). BUT Now Luke says people were “filled with the Holy Spirit” as if our bodies were cups and God had poured Himself into us until he touched every possible corner of our being. And that’s something we shouldn’t lose sight of.

Second, I think it means that the Spirit is there even when we can’t feel it. The story is told of a man called Yates who during the depression owned a sheep ranch in Texas. He didn’t have enough money to continue paying the mortgage – in fact he was forced like many others to live on government subsidies. For three years he went to bed each night just knowing that he had nothing to cover his loans and soon it would all be taken away from him. Each day as he tended his sheep he worried about how he was going to pay his bills.  Sometime later a seismographic crew arrived on his land and said that there might be oil and asked if they could test drill.  After a lease was signed they went ahead.

At 1,115 feet a huge oil reserve was struck – subsequent wells revealed even more oil than the first well revealed. Mr. Yates owned it all. He had been living on relief – yet he was a multi-millionaire. The thing is, the oil didn’t just appear. He had the land and the oil all along he just wasn’t using it. How often are we like this – poor and helpless feeling – unaware of the extraordinary power of God, just below the surface… just at our finger tips. But that’s the message of Pentecost. The reserve is full. In fact, it’s always full. Now I want to say something sort of rude. And I know I should be careful but I have two critiques.

The first is of the Pentecostals and the Second is a critique of Presbyterians. First the Pentecostals: My main problem with the Pentecostal church today (and I know that sounds judgmental) is that they tend to spend a lot of their time thinking about how they can get the Holy Spirit, and know the Holy Spirit and feel the Holy Spirit in their lives – and that’s great! It’s great for people to be focused on experiencing God. But it’s also a little shallow. I think Pentecostals too often forget that the point isn’t just getting the Spirit. Because that’s not enough.

The point is… you actually have to share the Spirit. In Acts chapter two, the very second the apostles become “filled with the Spirit” it overflows and burst out of its confines and affects the community all around them. And its effects are undeniable. The gospel is heard in every language, the people are shaken up. And it’s not just for a select group of people either, the good news comes to so many different groups and categories of people that the disciples are actually confused because they had thought that God’s Spirit was just for them and those like them. But it wasn’t. Pentecost means that we don’t control God’s Spirit where it goes or who it calls.

Now for the Presbyterians: When it comes to Pentecost my main problem with the Presbyterians is that we are notoriously heady. It’s true we have bright people: in the pulpits and in the pews. Throughout of foundational years it was often said that “Presbyterianism is the faith of the intelligencia”. As odd as it sounds today, we were in fact the first to demand “an educated clergy”. The counter reformation in the catholic church and the creation of the Jesuit priests, is because the Catholic church had to start training priests, smart enough to debate the Presbyterians. We have always been a slow moving, thinking people. And that’s great. But it also comes with problems.

For example Presbyterians love to debate things like Pentecost. We love to question. And we love to analyze. Perhaps more than anyone else we love the idea of the humanities. We love the idea that we need to read the source material in its original form. We love to debate what happened that first pentekostes. What exactly is “something like wind”? And What “looked like tongues of fire”? We love to look at the language used and the way the story is crafted and how other scriptures help inform these passages. We love the information and attempt to answer the question “What really, truly, literally, historically… happened?

The problem is… that’s not really the question Pentecost dares us to ask: “Even if we had photographs of the events in question, or a video clip, what would that really do for us?”

No, the question Pentecost dares us to ask is not “Did it happen?” … or even “How did it happen?” … The question it dares to ask us is “Could it happen?” “For us?”

Could be so overfilled with the Spirit that it spills over into other lives and other parts of the world?

It has.

Christianity is still the fastest growing religion in the world. Today more Anglicans worship in Nigeria than the whole rest of the Anglican Communion combined. There are more Baptists in the Congo than Britain and more Christians in illegal church services in communist China this very morning than every denomination of Christians throughout the entire United States and Canada combined. (35) The church is exploding with wind and fire and the Holy Spirit is moving at unbelievable speeds. The gospel is spoken and heard in every known langage.

I think what Christ said in Acts 1:8 came true where he said, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”

The Spirit is moving because people have come to know that it isn’t just about getting the Spirit – it is about sharing the Spirit.

The Spirit is moving because people have come to be filled and know that even when it isn’t right in their faces, ultimately the power of God is there just under the surface and waiting to be tapped into.

The Spirit is moving because people understood that Pentecost is far less about what did happen are far more about the possibilities of something new happening today.

For me the question of what happened is pretty clear. But ultimately the only question that truly matters is this – could it happen again… for us?

I think the answer is “yes” but then again – Just what can happen???? – Well I guess, if you are filled with the Holy Spirit – that’s really up to you.

Amen

Song: She comes sailing on the wind 

We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude

Living God, you are the Lord of all! Only you can send your Spirit to bring us new life. You graciously speak your word of hope in times of struggle and uncertainty and in times of joy and peace. We are grateful that you are continually at work in our lives and the world to fulfill your promises. May our giving today show our trust in you. May what is presented in your name be blessed and may the blessings overflow again upon the lives of the givers. Amen.

Response: Praise God from whom all blessings come

Reflection on giving: We have been giving faithfully since the beginning of the pandemic and we are committed to continuing the ministry and mission that define Dayspring – using the various ways described on the screen and in Dayspring Weekly News. Thank you all for your support of our shared vision and mission. For those in the sanctuary, if you have offering envelopes with you, simply put them in the offering plate at the back of the sanctuary as you leave the service today.

Transition Music

Prayer for others and ourselves

God of the Church, we thank you for those who have been nurtured by the Spirit and who influenced us and helped to guide us into a life of faith; we give you thanks for them and for their love and direction. Bless your church in our neighbourhood and around the world; reform it where it is error, renew it where it is tired, nurture it where it is faithful.

Gracious God, send your Spirit of comfort, we pray to those who are in jails and prisons; give them hope and opportunities to learn and live again. In countries where violence or war prevails, we ask for your protection for those innocents who suffer and live in fear of death. Bless and protect those who speak in your name and are persecuted for it; safeguard and encourage them.

God of all places and people, let your Spirit of truth and healing come to communities that have been torn apart by violence, untruth, and neglect.

All-knowing God, you see those who are suffering in body, mind, or spirit. Send your Spirit of comfort to restore them to the wholeness and the wellness that you intend for each one. Amen.

The Sacrament of Holy Communion

Invitation & Instruction

This is the Lord’s Table. All of us are here in the same way. We are each and every one of us… guests. This is not our churches table and it is not our denomination’s table. It is a gift and it is the table of God.

Sung Affirmation of Faith: I believe …

Great Prayer

Your involvement in the world has not ended. You continue to create with constant collisions in space, in the expansion of our universe, by providing rain and seeds, and in the birth of each new child.

You continue to create in us: new ideas, new identities, new ways of growing and learning, new connections, new marriages, new friendships.

Providing one, we are forever grateful to you for the unending gifts you bestow upon us and entrusted to us. Your faithfulness and mercy astound us. God of sacrifice, You are our rock and our shield. Your compassion and grace know no end. Creating father we thank you for the gift of life and for the gift of all creation. All that is praises your name.

And now we join with the whole creation to lift our hearts in joyful praise.

Sanctus

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might,         Heaven and earth are full of your glory.          Hosanna in the highest.

Benedictus

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

Eucharista (cont)

Precious Lord, we thank you for the gift of salvation sent through your son Jesus Christ. We thank you that loved us so much that you came to be not just with us but one of us. You the God of all power became enfleshed, skinned knees, got picked on, learned, grew, suffered, witnessed the deaths of those you loved and even gave your own life up in our place.

You made yourself low and brought yourself down to be a vulnerable human being. And from this blessing we were given instruction but also freedom. Our  You have amazed and continue to amaze us. It is completely beyond our understanding how you could send Christ to live among us, love us, and know that he would die at our hands. And through him you the author of salvation have also shown us what it means to rise to new life and promised resurrection of the saints.

And now, gathered together, we proclaim the mystery of faith.

Memorial Acclamation

Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again

Epiclesis and Eschatological Petition

Father God we also thank you for the gift of your Spirit. It is by your Spirit of glory that we find comfort and council. We praise you also for the works of the divine Spirit in creation and our holy scriptures. We praise you for that the same Spirit which empowered the holy conception of our Lord also empowers us today. It is by Your Spirit that we are given gifs and talents to use for the building up of Your Church, for growing ever more mature in the faith, and changing this world in such a way that we leave it to future generations in some way better than the way we found it. By your spirit we are called to service for your divine will. You have said that You are with us and it is clear looking back that You have been.

Pour out Your Spirit here and now in new ways on Your people. Let none of us remain in conflict with one another but instead bring as peace that passed understanding… both now and forever. Amen.

Breaking Bread & Pouring Wine

“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ‘This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26 ESV)

When we break the bread, it is a sharing in the body of Christ.

When we bless the cup, it is a sharing in the blood of Christ.

In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

Serving the people of God

“The gifts of God for the people of God”.

Bread: “Take; eat. The Body of Christ broken for you.”

Wine/Grape Juice: “Christ’s blood poured out for you.”

The Prayer after Communion

Eternal God, we give you thanks for this holy mystery in which you have given yourself to us. Grant that we may go into the world, in the strength of Your Spirit, to do just as you have done, to give ourselves for others. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord – Amen

Song: Lord Jesus, you shall be… (665)

Benediction

As you enter a new week, may you experience God’s presence.

May you feel God pouring out the Holy Spirit upon your souls daily over your heads and your thoughts in the words of your lips, over your hearts and your feelings and emotions and your compassion for all others, and over your hands and your feet as you put into action all that God directs in you.

And Now – may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God our Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

Response: Amen, we praise your name, O God (x2)

Sing Amen, Amen, we praise your name, O God!
Sing Amen! Amen, we praise your name, O God!
Sing Amen! Amen, amen. Amen, amen.
Amen, we praise your name, O God!

Words: Xhosa,S.C.Molefe © Lamko Institute,1991. Music: S.C.Molefe © Lamko Institute,1991. Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Music postlude

Numbers in brackets after a song/hymn indicate that it is from the 1997 Book of Praise of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Those and other songs are being used in accordance with the specified licenses with One Licence and CLC.

Brad Childs retains the copyright (© 2022) on all original material presented by him. As far as Brad Childs is aware, all of the material presented that has not been attributed to others is his own creation or is in the public domain.

Unacknowledged use of copyrighted material is unintentional and will be corrected immediately upon notification being received.

Songs for Worship

Holy Spirit you are welcome here

There’s nothing worth more That could ever come close No thing can compare You’re our living hope… Your presence, Lord

 Refrain: Holy Spirit, You are welcome here. Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for To be overcome by Your presence, Lord Your presence, Lord

 I’ve tasted and seen Of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart becomes free
And my shame is undone… Your presence, Lord                   Refrain

 Words: Francesca Battistelli  Music: Katie Torwalt / Bryan Torwalt © 2011 Capitol Cmg Genesis, Jesus Culture Music. Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

I will trust in the Lord

I will trust in the Lord, I will trust in the Lord,
I will trust in the Lord, ‘til I die

African American spiritual public domain

Jesus, we are gathered

Jesus, we are gathered; Jesus, we are gathered; Jesus, we are gathered; we are gathered together with you x 2

 Words and music: Patrick Matsikenyiri © Patrick Matsikenyiri, 1990. Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Breathe on me, Breath of God

Breathe on me, Breath of God, Fill me with life anew, That I may love what Thou dost love, And do what Thou wouldst do.

 Breathe on me, Breath of God, Until my heart is pure, Until with Thee I will one will To do and to endure.

 Breathe on me, Breath of God, Till I am wholly Thine, Until this earthly part of me Glows with Thy fire divine.

 Breathe on me, Breath of God, So shall I never die, But live with Thee the perfect life Of Thine eternity.

 Words: E. Hatch; Music: R. Jackson; public domain. arr. © Philip Keveren 2003; Hal Leonard Corp. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Behold the lamb of God

Behold the lamb of God, behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sin, the sin of the world.

Words: public domain. Music: Iona Community (Scotland) © WGRG the Iona Community, 1988. G I A Publications. Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

She comes sailing on the wind

Refrain: She comes sailing on the wind, her wings flashing in the sun; on a journey just begun, she flies on. And in the passage of her flight, her song rings out through the night, full of laughter, full of light, she flies on.

Silent waters rocking on the morning of our birth, like an empty cradle waiting to be filled. And from the heart of God the Spirit moved up on the earth, like a mother breathing life into her child.

Many were the dreamers whose eyes were given sight when the Spirit filled their dreams with life and form. Deserts turned to gardens, broken hearts found new delight, and then down the ages still she flew on.                             Refrain

To a gentle girl in Galilee, a gentle breeze she came, a whisper softly calling in the dark, the promise of a child of peace whose reign would never end, Mary sang the Spirit song within her heart.

Flying to the river, she waited circling high above the child now grown so full of grace. As he rose up from the water, she swept down from the sky, and she carried him away in her embrace.                 

                                                            Refrain 
Long after the deep darkness that fell upon the world, after dawn returned in flame of rising sun,
the Spirit touched the earth again, again her wings unfurled, bringing life in wind and fire as she flew on.                                           Refrain

 Songwriter: Gordon Light; 1985 © Common Cup Company. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;, praise him all creatures here below; praise him above, ye heavenly host; praise Father Son and Holy Ghost

 Words: Thomas Ken; Music Genevan Psalter1551;last line, Ravenscroft’s Psalter 1621; both public domain.

This I believe (the Creed)

Our Father everlasting The all-creating One; God Almighty Through your Holy Spirit Conceiving Christ the Son Jesus our Saviour

I believe in God our Father I believe in Christ the Son I believe in the Holy Spirit Our God is three in One I believe in the resurrection That we will rise again For I believe in the Name of Jesus

 Our Judge and our Defender suffered and crucified forgiveness is in You. Descended into darkness You rose in glorious light Forever seated high

 I believe in God our Father I believe in Christ the Son I believe in the Holy Spirit Our God is three in One I believe in the resurrection That we will rise again For I believe in the Name of Jesus

 I believe in You I believe You rose again I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord

  I believe in God our Father I believe in Christ the Son I believe in the Holy Spirit Our God is three in One I believe in the resurrection That we will rise again For I believe in the Name of Jesus

 For I believe in the Name of Jesus

Words and Music: Ben Fielding, Matt Crocker © 2014 Hillsong Music Publishing Australia (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

 One bread, one body

Refrain: One bread, one body, one Lord of all
One cup of blessing which we bless And we, though many, throughout the earth We are one body  in this one Lord                             Repeat

Words and music: John B. Foley, V. 4 © Judee Archer Green © John B. Foley, SJ and New Dawn Music, 1978; V. 4 © Judee Archer Green, 1997. Reprinted with permission under One License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

[1]Cessationism is a doctrine that spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, prophecy and healing ceased with the Apostolic Age.

Posted in Recent Sermons.