Beloved in Christ
Pentecost is celebrated as the birth of the church, the time when the Holy Spirit enabled all to be included in the faith, inviting growth into new areas of the world. It equipped each person with the conviction and confidence of the faith, ability to share it with others by walking and talking alongside them, able to understand their understand every tongue and god (Acts 17: 22 to 31). As Bishop Ian pointed out, ‘church’ is comprised as the people of the world, each one we encounter.
How, now, coming out of lockdown and into unknown territory, is our church relevant, and can it ever be, in the same way? How can our church join the greater world? History is re-written and it has taken church with it, inviting us too, to find new ways. You and I are the Christ light out there!
Some ideas that came out of discussions are to do some walks together; picnic in Tentsmuir, hold an outdoor church service, and jokingly, to have a gardening party at St Mary’s, and, whilst cleaning up the bluebells, chat and have our own coffee tea and eats. Yes to that!
1. Last week I encouraged us to be one rather than separate. Now I challenge us to be at one with those who walk in our everyday path in our world. Christ has only our arms, our mouth, our action, our love. Let us be like Jesus, walking in the warm springtime newness, LISTENING, and speaking his truth.
2. It might be too soon, but question 2 is: what has this lockdown taught you? What has been an unexpected gift? What has this time equipped you to do?
3. And the third: what gifts do we offer to the new world we re-enter? (next week we consider the gifts of the Holy Spirit and from what I know of you, each of you have gifts in abundance!!)
Our Zoom video chat, called ‘Connect’ on Wednesday was only 4 strong, as – beware – Zoom invitations are often to be found in your spam box! Haha! It was good though to be refreshed and challenged by face to face and rather personal chats. I asked if any of you could join us in Zoom, or give me your cell number so we could wassap chat, please. As the phases of Lockdown pass, I will continue to chat with you telephonically. It’s been a pleasure to have shared your lives as they were when we conversed.
I’m picturing a future Tayport and Newport where we deepen the friendliness of passers-by and walkers, and where we invite each other into our homes! On this, I’m drawing up a little schedule: when might I come and visit you?
A smidgen of personal news; my goods from South Africa will arrive this week! The familiar family things bring me from exile back to the motherland of my grandparents. Many pieces were shipped to South Africa in the early 1900’s and now they return. Lockdown is indeed phasing out! In Jeremiah the exiles are encouraged to seek the welfare of the place to which they are exiled. I wonder if South Africa or Scotland has been the place of exile. A good reflection focus. And, in this northern hemisphere, aligned climatically with the Palestine Jesus lived in, I celebrate the warmth of Pentecost-time weather, and the abundant redolent growth around me. Perhaps this Pentecost will be one I remember better than most, more than a sermon, but not as warm as a hug from a friend.
See the important attachment on the SEC Sunday service being available as from tomorrow by audibly linking in, free, by telephone. I will forward it to you as a separate email.
Margaret Gray offers a weekly quiz: if you would like to join the group, please email her on firstname.lastname@example.org
I have enjoyed these prompts from Michael Patterson’s Weekly Diocesan resources:
‘Living in the midst of a global pandemic is not comfortable but it has forced the church to occupy some space that up to now we’ve not been fully convinced it’s a space we should inhabit. Well, we’re here now. Let’s get used to it. Welcome to the new normal’.
From the Taizé Community a polyglot version of the chant Veni Sancte Spiritus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmxXwAgkhWQ
The Rev’d Liz Crumlish, Path of Renewal, shares this prayer for Pentecost based on
“You cannot bear them now…
When the Spirit comes…”
Lord you spoke these words
to your disciples
enfolded in their own grief
In the midst of trauma
yours was the cautious voice
the consoling voice
In your infinite compassion
you made space
urging them to do the same
In these times,
we, like the disciples
are anxious to know
Calm our jets, Lord
Show us how to wait
Still our racing reactivity
Encourage us to care for ourselves
before we barge on
with fixing the world
or even the church.
that yours is a long term call
to sit contemplatively
with unanswered questions
our grieving spirits
to make space for you
to pour in your healing and your wisdom
in your time
when you consider
that we are able to bear it
through the great cacophony
urging us this way and that
enable us to discern
your still, small voice
So may it be.
READINGS FOR THIS WEEK
Acts 2: 1 to 21 Psalm 104: 22 to 36 John 7: 33 to 39
MONDAY 2 Peter 1: 2 to 7 Psalm 91 Mark 12: 1 to 12
TUESDAY 2 Peter 3: 11 to 18 Psalm 90: 1 to 6, 13 to 17 Mark 12: 13 to 17
WEDNESDAY 2 Timothy 1: 1 to 12 Psalm 123 Mark 12: 18 to 27
THURSDAY 2 Timothy 2: 8 to 15 Psalm 25: 1 to 13 Mark 12: 28 to 34
FRIDAY 2 Timothy 3: 10 to 17 Psalm119: 161 to 168 Mark 12: 35 to 37
SATURDAY 2 Timothy 4: 1 to 8 Psalm 71: 8 to 17 Mark 12: 38 to 44
God be with you in all you think, say and do!
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