It’s Pentecost – the birthday of the church. On this day we remember when God breathed his Spirit upon the faithful and sent them into the world to bring the Good News to all. But in 2020, breath is a dangerous thing. I admit, I approach this Pentecost with a deep sadness, aware of those who have had their breath stolen – by the virus or by police brutality or by gun violence in our streets. 2020 is the year of the ugly-cry. When tears are so close to the surface as grief surrounds us on every side.
I’m far from the only church leader grappling with this sorrow. But in sorrowing times, turning to God is the wise, faithful, BIBLICAL thing to do. God is bigger than our grief or sorrow. God longs to comfort us in the midst of our weeping. God longs to be the source of our joy.
So yes, I am sorrowing, this Pentecost. But I am also counting my blessings, recognizing that each blessing is a gift from God who is the source of my joy. Join me, as we worship!
Let’s begin with Eric’s prelude, which is a wonderful arrangement by John F. Wilson of the well-known hymn tune HYFRYDOL by Rowland H. Pritchard. (The hymns we sing to this tune include, #110 Come, Thou long expected Jesus; #371 Love Divine, all loves excelling; and #370 Hallelujah! sing to Jesus.):
A prayer to settle our hearts and confess our shortcomings:
Our Scripture Reading this week is 1 Corinthians 12:3–13, and is read by Lynne Bishop in the following video:
Our first hymn is #399 Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness (remember that Eric is playing an introduction to the hymn, so wait for that before you begin singing along!):
The sermon for this week is entitled, GIFTS for these hard times:
Our Final Hymn is #472 We are God’s people :
Until tomorrow, dear friends, know that God is the generous giver, that he has given you gifts through the Holy Spirit, and that you are called to use them for the blessing of others!