A sermon/reflection for Pentecost Sunday 2020
The readings for this Sunday are that of the Ascension Day:
- Acts 1. 1-11
- Psalm 93
- Ephesians 1. 15-23
- Luke 24. 44-53
You might like to use the link below to find the above readings for 31st May Say of Pentecost (Whit Sunday), Year A, and click on any of the reading above that you wish to use:
Loving Heavenly Father, we thank you for the words you have given us today. We know they are words of life and salvation. Open our hearts Father, touch our souls, forgive us our sins especially our lack of faith, help us to respond to your word. May we know that you are our Lord and Saviour who promises us the power from on high, your Holy Spirit. May we experience in our hearts your love and your presence always.
To start with: Any story of your walk with Christ in the previous week? (Pause…)
In the sermons of last six Sundays of Easter, we have reflected that that
- Jesus is walking with you in the journey of your life,
- that we can recognise Jesus in the Word of God (Bible) and in the Sacrament of the Eucharist,
- that the result of meeting (recognising) the Lord is conversion of heart and testifying to the Risen Lord in your life.
- We then on the 5th Sunday of Easter, reflected on Heaven as being with God, being with Jesus, in this life as well as after.
- On the 6th Sunday of easter we had reflected on the promise of Jesus “I will not leave you orphans” – Jesus promises us the Holy Spirit.
- Last Sunday we heard Jesus tells us before he ascended to Heaven: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit come on you.” We prepare our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit.
An Orthodox Prayer for the feast of Pentecost
Heavenly King, Advocate, Spirit of Truth,
You are everywhere and fill all things,
The treasure-store of all good things, and giver of life.
Come and make your home in us,
Cleanse us from every stain of sin,
And in your goodness save us.
(A hymn from Orthodox Vespers for the feast of Pentecost.)
The Spirit of God fills the universe, Genesis 1. 1-2
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.
God’s Spirit was filling the whole universe, this is something that we must understand even as we celebrate the feast of Pentecost today.
How do we understand this truth?
Take energy for example – apart from fuel and coal, we speak of all sorts of energy production these days, especially alternative energies – the windmill power, solar power, earth power, hydro-electric power etc. We are exploiting energy that is already there. We are not creating it. We don’t see it, but it is there.
The Spirit of God that fills the universe is like that. Divine energy is everywhere. It is up to us to connect to and have our lives empowered, transformed and changed.
The Prophets and Saints
We have several examples of people who have tapped into God’s energy that transformed not just themselves but the world around them. In the whole of the Old Testament which is the history of our salvation, we have examples of men and women who were filled withthe Holy Spirit. They were the prophets and holy men and women who spoke God’s word for the people.
Pentecost (Whit Sunday)
Is the greatest event after the resurrection of Jesus. It was an event of unimaginable dimensions. What happened, as we see in the first reading of today’s lectionary is something incredibly divine and spiritual, something that catapulted the first Christians into passionate followers of Jesus. The apostles received the Holy Spirit and from being fragile, weak human beings they were empowered by the Holy Spirit and became great witnesses of Christ.
In comparison to what we see in Genesis 1.2 and Acts of the apostles 2. 1-11, our world is quite different from the Spirit of God which is the Spirit of Love. The spirit of the world, often, unfortunately, is the spirit of hatred, lack of forgiveness, greed, lust as opposed to love, anger, injustice, exploitation of the poor and weak, exorbitant profit making, in short, often the spirit of the world is the spirit of evil.
Several things going on in our Parish
We have several things going on in our parish wherein a person can open his/her heart to receive God’s Spirit. If you explore this website you will see a variety of services and ministries available for you. The Holy Communion that we are celebrating now is a moment when a person can open one’s heart with faith to the Spirit of God.
Our hearts are half empty. We are not filled like a half empty glass of water. Or maybe, our hearts, like glasses, are upturned and cannot receive the water. Jesus had said: “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.” He said this about the Spirit of God which believers in him were to receive. (cf. John 7.38-39)
The secret of receiving the Spirit of God is submission to God, surrender to God and inviting God to enter your heart. As we heard in the Gospel this morning, the fruit of our submission to God is peace of God and the gift of the Holy Spirit and forgiveness of our sins (John 20. 19-23)
Life becomes a great deal more meaningful and fulfilling when we let God in into our lives. We haven’t arrived but the journey of following Jesus is exciting and spiritually empowering in our souls.
The crux of the message that God is giving us today on this Pentecost Sunday is this:
Listen to God.
Obey him in your heart.
Give your life to God.
Make God the absolute and only centre of your life.
Your life will be transformed for ever!
A Prayer you can say now:
Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for becoming one of us. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank you for rising from the dead to give me hope and the gift of eternal life. I repent of my sins and invite you into heart and life as my Lord and Saviour. Please grant me your Holy Spirit so that I may know you, love you and follow you every day of my life.