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Sunday (Zoom) message: Contagious Holy Spirit

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Pentecost Sunday – May 31, 2020

Scripture:
John 20:19-23 and John 16:20-22

Dayspring Zoom Connect Worship, Pentecost Sunday, May 31, 2020

Gathering

Music prelude:   Spirit of the living God                  

O Spirit of the living God, thou Light and Fire Divine
Descend upon Thy Church once more and make it truly Thine
Fill it with love and joy and power, with righteousness and peace
Till Christ shall dwell in human hearts, and sin and sorrow cease

Blow, wind of God, with wisdom blow until our minds are free
From mists of error, clouds of doubt, which blind our eyes to Thee
Burn, winged fire, inspire our lips with flaming love and zeal
To preach to all Thy great good news, God’s glorious commonweal


So shall we know the power of Christ, who came this world to save
So shall we rise with Him to life which soars beyond the grave
And earth shall win true holiness which makes Thy children whole
Till, perfected by Thee, we reach creation’s glorious goal
 

written and performed by Audrey Assad
                                                     
Greeting: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you…”                                             

Welcome and announcements:   Gina Kottke

Call to worship:

L: Breathe upon us, Holy Spirit,
P: and inspire our thoughts and actions.
L: Stir in our hearts, Holy Spirit,
P: and fill us with energy to spread joy in the world.
L: Strengthen us, Holy Spirit,
P: and move us to bring hope to those in despair.
L: Breathe in us, Holy Spirit,
P: as we worship and witness to God’s coming reign. 

Opening praise song: 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

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

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)

written and performed by Francesca Battistelli 

Prayers of approach and God’s help and of confession: Sarah Smuts

Loving God, compassionate Son, healing Spirit, with tender kindness You transform our lives with your presence. You turn weeping into laughter, sorrow into joy, and death into life. We come in adoration this day and pause to worship You. We rest from our work and responsibilities; we set aside our distractions and activities to praise You for the beauty that fills your world and to enjoy our life in You.

Dear Lord, on this Pentecost Sunday, we acknowledge how dependent we are on You as our Maker. Spirit of God, at Pentecost You moved among the gathered disciples to create new understanding. So, move among us this day to fill us with a fresh understanding of the Scriptures. Energize us to act on this holy wisdom faithfully, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Living Word.

Holy One, source of our lives, we confess that we have not always listened for your Spirit’s call. You call us to love our enemies, but we cling to animosity old and new. You call us to unity in the body of Christ, but we remain divided. You send us into the world to be witnesses, but we avoid opportunities to share our joy in Christ. Loving God, You know us better than we know ourselves. Hear us as we share with You the secrets of our hearts in these following moments of silence:…(silence)

Assurance of God’s forgiveness:  Heinrich

Friends, hear and believe the good news of the Gospel! In Jesus Christ, God’s generous love reaches out to embrace us. In Christ, we are forgiven and set free to begin again in the renewing power of the Spirit. Thanks be to God for this most generous gift.

Children’s time: Lynn Vaughan                                                               

Music meditation: He leadeth me               

He leadeth me, O blessed thought
O words with heavenly comfort fraught
Whate’er I do, where’er I be
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me
 

Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom
Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom
By waters still, over troubled sea
Still ’tis His hand that leadeth me

He leadeth me, He leadeth me
By His own hand He leadeth me
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me

performed by Den Vichakyothin

Scripture reading: John 20:19-23 and John 16:20-22           Gina Kottke

John 20:19-23 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Jesus Appears to the Disciples
19 When it was evening on that day, 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.”

John 16:20-22
20 Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. 22 So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

Message: “Contagious Holy Spirit”               The Rev. Heinrich Grosskopf

This week, and for about ten weeks up until now we’ve seen many instances where viral things have happened. Virusses have a way of spreading quickly and working destructively.

The week’s anger flaring up because black lives are being treated as if they don’t matter has gone viral. The anger and the chaos has spilled over from Minneapolis to roughly two dozen other cities in the United States. When something negative goes viral, it can become ugly. It’s like a domino-effect. The one domino topples the one next to it, then it topples the next and the next and eventually they all get toppled.

The same has been ongoing for roughly ten weeks here in Alberta. The coronavirus has been spreading and our main goal was to “flatten the curve,” which has happened. It wasn’t easy, because virusses are known for their viral spread as far as they can. Physical distancing has made it possible to stave off the spread of this contagious coronavirus.

For the most part, we have been very fortunate. It was a lot of diligence on the part of careful citizens, and I’m sure we can be thankful to God for protecting us. It still isn’t over yet, and we are warned to be cautious, especially while we start letting our guards down.

It’s interesting how all that the Spirit does, appears to be contagious. It’s of course not like with the coronavirus, because it’s not a negative contagion, it is a positive contagion and moves outward, spreading God’s goodness into the world through God’s incarnation, through Jesus Christ who is God who became flesh in the shape of a human being like us.

In our passage from John 20, we see how Jesus came into the disciples’ presence in spite of the door being locked. The only reason He could go in is that Jesus is the door Himself, as we saw a number of weeks ago according to John 10. In a sense, God sent the risen Christ to go into their presence. That’s the first domino. Then this results in Him saying “Peace be with you.” Imagine this being the second domino. After He said “Peace be with you”, He showed them his hands and his side. Then another domino topples, “the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.” This joy doesn’t stay there. It spreads and nobody can prevent this spread.

This is what we read in our second reading from John 16 when Jesus says: “Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. When a woman is in labour, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” The result is an enduring joy that can’t be stopped. Yes, the pain, the suffering and the anguish will be replaced with rejoicing. The joy continues further and further.

Back to John 20, and we hear Jesus spreading more of the contagion. “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’” This promise “As the Father has sent Me, so I send you” has proven to be true throughout all the ages. Twenty centuries and the gospel has continued to pop up all over the planet earth, and there hasn’t been any stop to this expansion. Ministers and pastors have been called to proclaim the good news, laypeople as well, it just could not be stopped.

What we might notice here, is how John’s gospel has a different Pentecost than the one Luke shares in the Book of Acts. It’s less of a fire and more of a presence. The Spirit is much more of a pastoral presence according to John. John’s Pentecost doesn’t wait, it happens on the same evening of Jesus’ resurrection. This doesn’t have to bother us that there’s an apparent contradiction. It could rather just be seen as a different interpretation.

The Spirit’s pastoral sensitivity according to John’s gospel, I believe, is present with us during this very same pandemic that we are experiencing. When Jesus had said, “As the Father has sent Me, so I send you”, He breathed on the disciples and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Why did He breathe on them? Actually, a truer translation would have been, “He breathed into them,” which makes so much more sense. It is the same thing that happened in Genesis 2:7 when “…the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Therefore the reason Jesus breathed into them, was to equip them with this exact same Spirit that takes us every step further into life. All that we do, all that we are enabled to do, every single bit, all the encouraging work we do, is made possible by the Holy Spirit who now lives in and through us. Through this Spirit we live, breathe and have our being. This is the new life that Christ makes possible in you. It’s a dynamic power that spreads virally, and the whole church, the whole world benefits from this Holy Spirit who walks alongside us.

Christians have a very precious calling to counter the negative anger and devaluing of Black lives across the whole planet. We can’t sit still, we can’t allow hatred to spill over from one news article to the next, as one woman put it so powerfully, “the knee that was on George Floyd’s neck was on the collective necks of all of black Americans.” Whether we believe this or not, this is proof of another contagion, a negative contagion that doesn’t serve humanity well at all.

We are instruments of God, into whom the Spirit of God has been breathed. “If (we) forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” The only way for God’s goodness to spread is by not holding on to the sins, a lack of a relationship with God, and of all the other people, that share this planet earth with us.

We are called forth to allow God to send us, as the Father has sent Jesus.

The Spirit spreads faith in Jesus, spreading peace and forgiveness from one person to the other, making this world a better place for us all.

Still, the two types of viral movements keep happening. The Holy Spirit’s spread is the stronger of the two, always conquering over the other. The negative viral movement, though, seems to keep going on.

Let us allow the Spirit to spur us on by these words found in Romans 12:20 and 21: “… ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Amen

Song: O church arise            

O church, arise and put your armor on;
Hear the call of Christ our captain;
For now the weak can say that they are strong
In the strength that God has given.
With shield of faith and belt of truth
We’ll stand against the devil’s lies;
An army bold whose battle cry is “Love!”
Reaching out to those in darkness.

Our call to war, to love the captive soul,
But to rage against the captor;
And with the sword that makes the wounded whole
We will fight with faith and valor.
When faced with trials on ev’ry side,
We know the outcome is secure,
And Christ will have the prize for which He died—
An inheritance of nations.

Arise, shine
For your light has come
Arise, shine
For the risen Son
Lift your eyes
We are his radiant bride
Arise, O Church, arise

Come, see the cross where love and mercy meet,
As the Son of God is stricken;
Then see His foes lie crushed beneath His feet,
For the Conqueror has risen!
And as the stone is rolled away,
And Christ emerges from the grave,
This vict’ry march continues till the day
Ev’ry eye and heart shall see Him.

So Spirit, come, put strength in ev’ry stride,
Give grace for ev’ry hurdle,
That we may run with faith to win the prize
Of a servant good and faithful.
As saints of old still line the way,
Retelling triumphs of His grace,
We hear their calls and hunger for the day
When, with Christ, we stand in glory.

songwriters: Townend Stuart / Getty Keith
sung by Kristyn Getty

Prayer of gratitude:

Reflection on givingGina Kottke

We give because we are the recipients of God’s overflowing love. We give because our givings support our minister and the church staff who enable us to be a community of Faith and Care. We give in order to take care of our building – an inheritance from those who have gone before us and from the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Our building is one of the ways in which we offer care to our community. We give in order to be able to meet together for worship via the internet. We give to support the ministry and mission of the Presbyterian Church in Canada across our nation and throughout the world. And in these days of COVID-19 distancing, we do our giving in the various ways described on the screen and in the Dayspring Weekly News.

Closing prayer: Heinrich

Blessing: Heinrich

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. Amen” (2 Corinthians 13:13)

Visiting


Copyright 2020 – Heinrich Grosskopf, Minister of Dayspring Presbyterian Church

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