“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit come on you”

Preparing our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit.

A sermon/reflection for 7th Sunday of Easter – Year A – 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 21st May which was Ascension Day, used today on the 7th Sunday of Easter, and click on the reading you wish to use:

http://www.katapi.org.uk/CommonWorship/CWLectionarySelV.php

Prayer 

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.

Amen. 

Introduction

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.

Last Sunday we had reflected on the promise of Jesus “I will not leave you orphans” – Jesus promises us the Holy Spirit. Today, 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.

The key words

in the Word of God this morning are ‘you will receive power when the Holy Spirit come on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth’. (Acts 1.8)

These words are foundational words for the Church of Christ. The Church of Christ is not built on material things or on politically correct societies. The Church of Christ is built on ‘power from on high’ that comes from the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God. The dynamics that work in God’s Church is not what happens in the world of politics or business. The Church of Christ is built on spiritual power. That is why the feast of Pentecost that we celebrate next Sunday, or Whitsunday as also is called, is so important for Christians.

To understand

These words were pronounced in the context of the Last what happens when people receive the Spirit of God, it is enough to look at the disciples of Jesus. They were all very ordinary folk quite like us; Peter, James and John were fishermen; Matthew was a tax collector for the Roman occupiers; the others were simple folk who followed the call of Jesus.

We are told

in verse 14 of the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles that “they all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers”.

It was a 24-7 Prayer waiting on the Holy Spirit. These same people after they received the Holy Spirit were so totally changed and transformed that they went about proclaiming the good news of Jesus with a divine passion and we know that is how our Christian Church was born!

We remember

the story of Mary the mother of Jesus. (Luke 1. 26 -38). She was called by God, through angel Gabriel, and told that she will conceive and bear a son and she will call him Jesus. Mary was afraid and wondered, “How can this be since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” We know that she said ‘yes’ to God and through her yes, Jesus was born into the world as our Saviour!

We might know

people who radically changed their lives once they met the Lord and received His Spirit. You probably remember someone who touched your life by the strength and passion of his/her faith. Such faith inspires us to follow Jesus.

This is the message

that I wish to leave with you today. We are a week away from Pentecost Sunday when we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples.

We need that power

in our Christian life. But like the disciples we need to follow Jesus and surrender our lives to him. That is how we receive the Spirit of God into our hearts.

The Spirit will not, and cannot, come if Jesus is not at the centre of our hearts and the Lord of our lives. Like the disciples, like Mary we need to say that ‘yes’ to Jesus and open our hearts to him. Only then we will know the fascination and the joy of being real Christians!

Prayer

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.

Amen.

[ST Mattapally]

in our thoughts and prayers

 

Some Prayers/ Intercessions for the Seventh Sunday of Easter

As services are now suspended in churches, do use/ share these intercessions at home or on line.

“Prayer is a plant, the seed of which is sown in the heart of every Christian.

If it is well cultivated and nourished it will produce fruit, but if it is neglected,

it will wither and die.”

Jesus is alive.
Love has won the victory over evil and death.

As we continue to celebrate the risen Christ on this seventh Sunday of Easter, we bring all our concerns, worries and fears to the Risen Jesus, the one who give us true hope and deep peace.

He has told us “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon  you”

and has promised us life in all its fullness.

We pray for the stillness to listen and to recognise the voice of the Spirit in our hearts, who brings us peace.  

We pray for all who strive to proclaim the Good News of Jesus especially in these most difficult times when we cannot meet together in our church buildings.

 

After a short silence …

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Jesus Christ, you travelled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.” At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.

Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care.

Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbours from helping one another.

Heal us from our pride, which can make us claim invulnerability to a disease that knows no borders.

 

After a short silence …

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Jesus Christ, healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.

Be with those who have died from the virus. May they be at rest with you in your eternal peace.

Be with the families of those who are sick or have died. As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair. May they know your peace.

Be with the doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and who put themselves at risk in the process. May they know your protection and peace.

After a short silence …

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Be with the leaders of all nations. Give them the foresight to act with charity and true concern for the well-being of the people they are meant to serve. Give them the wisdom to invest in long-term solutions that will help prepare for or prevent future outbreaks. May they know your peace, as they work together to achieve it on earth.

Whether we are home or abroad, surrounded by many people suffering from this illness or only a few, Jesus Christ, stay with us as we endure and mourn, persist and prepare. In place of our anxiety, give us your peace.

Jesus Christ, heal us and grant us your Holy Spirit of love and peace.

After a short silence …

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

After a silent, slightly longer pause …

Father,
we feel loved,
we feel forgiven,
we feel saved.
Thank you for Jesus Christ your Son
who died for us on the cross
and rose again from the dead
and who offers us
true peace and true hope.
Help us to hold on to him
and to follow him
the way, the truth and the life.
Amen.

[ST Mattapally]