Pretty chilly today at the bandstand – but dry. We were warmed by happy thoughts of our guests last week – 3 generations of Tattersalls, headed by matriarch Mary in her 90s, taking part, sharp as a knife as always, with Jack just a few months old adding his voice in happy squawks from time to time! Lovely to see them all and to wish them well in their moves to Macclesfield (Helen, Peter and Mary) and to Stockholm (Christopher). Thanks to Kevin and Kirsty for the coffees too – the whole visit was a real blessing to us. Thanks to Colin for leading us on Ascension Day with his thoughts on the build up to Pentecost…
Steve led us today with the following words and activities, starting with the proclamation: This is the Birthday of the “KINGDOM MOVEMENT”
ALL: The resurrection-fuelled, renewing, redemptive, Spirit-breathed, Jesus movement. Happy Birthday!
We read parts of Acts 2 and heard about the Jewish festival of Pentecost and then something of the Orthodox Christian traditon which seems to resonate so well with the Great Chain of being and Fransican teaching we have been exposed to in more recent times –
Russian Orthodox churches bring trees into their churches at Pentecost. “Trees are a representation of the created order assembled together with the people of God, awaiting and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit through whom everything is made new.” AMEN!
With that we created our centre piece around a burning flame, using braches of a beech hedge from our garden, echoing the celtic cross at Nevern (can you tell what it is yet?).
Steve shared thoughts on the Sacrament of the Present Moment – the idea that this is the time that God meets with us… We then did some slow walking taking the time to recognise God’s closeness in the now and mindful of being surrounded by trees in real Russian Orthodox tradition!
We followed this time by constructing a Prayer Cairn, placing stones for each of those we are most concerned for, remembering: Barbara, Tony, Frances and Charlotte, Kate, Jack, Jo, The Tatts, friends taking exams, family members, Holy Trinity
… and then prepared to share bread and wine
BREAD, WINE, FIRE, WIND….. So the Spirit which renews was manifest in Fire and Wind. Untouchable and uncontrollable, blowing and burning where it wills; we see neither its beginning nor its end. The idols we build, whether physical or mental about the GOD we’d really rather prefer to exist, are swept aside,
are burnt to a cinder by the untameable Spirit of the living God; before whom we tremble and are welcomed, in whom we come to know ourselves most truly,
through whom we can be transformed.
ALL: Spirit of the living God, we welcome you!
So to the Bread and Wine, those mysterious elements given for our remembrance of him who died for our fullest Shalom – peace and wholeness and salvation – without which reconciling we are lost; for the gift of love you give is in no way earned or deserved, merited or attainable in any other way than by grace. For this grace
freely given, for this sacrifice of Jesus for us, we bow in gratitude and adoration.
ALL: Jesus,our Saviour, we welcome you!
We share the bread and wine with one another and as we do so we say to each other: Maythe Spirit of Jesus be with you this week!
So to the Creator God, our Abba Father, all praise and thanks be given through Jesus our Saviour. Send your Spirit that we might live in the present moment, treasuring
and nurturing that awareness of the sacredness of every second, of every deed and of every person and created being.
God, our creator, we welcome you! Amen!
A great morning – thanks Steve.