Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sharing the Light

Such a lovely morning as we gathered to celebrate Pentecost...Last year, the Spirit had danced with the children who whirled coloured streamers and filled valley church with energy and joy.
This year the calendar was less kind to us: this was a Sunday when All Age worship wasn't on the cards, so I decided to use the Pentecost liturgy as it appears in Times & Seasons 
I panicked slightly as I printed the booklets...There seemed to be so many words, so much symbolism to crush into just over an hour on a Sunday morning - but in the event it was quite wonderful.

Early in the service, my colleague the Herring of Christ led us in a responsory based around the repeated motif "Come Holy Spirit" and from where I was sitting at least, that prayer was thoroughly answered.

The best moment was at the very end of the service, as the congregation, carrying candles lit from the Paschal candle before we finally extinguished it moved from the pews out through the west doors into a world of blue skies, sunshine and birdsong.  Lovely organist played the Charpentier Te Deum Prelude as they came, not a procession at all but a straggle of ordinary, precious individuals, with all their failures, hardships and joys...I stood on the spot where we'd lit the Easter fire 50 days ago and watched them emerge, toddlers and grandmothers, familiar faces and newcomers too, each one bearing a light - and I had a glimpse, as I do sometimes when presiding, of the wonder of the church stretching through space and time...Ordinary people going in the power of the Spirit to love the world for God

For fifty days we have celebrated the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ over the
powers of sin and death.We have proclaimed God’s mighty acts and we have prayed that the power that was at work when God raised Jesus from the dead might be at work in us.
As part of God’s Church here, I call upon you to live out what you proclaim.
Empowered by the Holy Spirit, will you dare to walk into God’s future,
trusting him to be your guide?
By the Spirit’s power, we will.
Will you dare to embrace each other and grow together in love?
We will.
Will you dare to share your riches in common and minister to each other in need?
We will.
Will you dare to pray for each other until your hearts beat with the longings of God?
We will.
Will you dare to carry the light of Christ into the world’s dark places?
We will.        (Text from Common Worship Times & Seaons, copyright Archbishops' Council 2006)


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