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An abstract image of a white dove and orange "fire" coming down from the heavens

Friday Connections – 29th May 2020

Welcome to our 11th Friday Connection – Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4)

I remember as a child that we always had new clothes for what we called Whitsunday – is that a peculiar Yorkshire thing, or did that happen in Lincolnshire as well? These clothes then became our “Sunday best”, and what had been new clothes last year now were pressed in to everyday use. Was it also something to do with the cleansing or newness of the Spirit – hence Whit or White Sunday, as the name for the day?

Pentecost only came later as the name for the day when the Holy Spirit came to the disciples, which our reading tells us about. For a first century Jew, Pentecost was the fiftieth day after Passover, and it was a celebration of the crops beginning to grow again, as they remembered coming to the promised land generations before, and the promise that God would provide their needs – it was called the first fruits, to be fulfilled in the full harvest later in the year.

In our reading, the disciples had been waiting for the Spirit that Jesus had promised to meet their needs in working and speaking for him, and now they were able to speak in a way that everyone could understand. Their needs of timidity and uncertainty were met so that they could then meet the deeper needs of others.

A new language to meet deeper needs – and as we move out of this time of staying at home, we will need to speak in a new way of God’s love to those we live with and see each day – and we will need God’s d help to have the right words to say, so that people can grasp God’s love and purpose for life for themselves, that we show to them and talk about.

May you know the refreshing of the Spirit this Whitsuntide
With our love & prayers, Irene and Terry

Pentecost Sunday readings: Psalm 104:25-35, 37, 1 Corinthians 12: 3b-13, John 7: 37-39

a BIble laying open in the sunlight, with John 20:31 written across the top "these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."

Friday Connection – 17th April 2020

Welcome to our Fifth Friday Connection – 17th April 2020

As we join together again it is difficult to believe that the coming Sunday will be the fifth Sunday we have been unable to worship together physically. Despite the situation we are still able to speak to each other by telephone and other electronic means and, of course, through our prayers for each other, the situation and our world as all countries work hard to combat this virus.

Are you contagious? Hopefully not with the virus or any other illness but with the Christian Spirit. For us as Christians we need to be contagious so that others can catch the Spirit and know how much God loves them.

The Gospel readings for Sunday are from John 20:19-31 and the Acts of the Apostles 2:42-47. As we read these portions of scripture we see how the apostles reacted to the resurrection of our Lord and the receiving of the Holy Spirit.

In the reading from John we see that the disciples were locked away and afraid. Although we are locked away and some of us may be wary of how life is going to return to some normality, we know that in God’s plan we are safe. After his resurrection Jesus appeared to the disciples and said to them “Peace be with you” and emphasised that by repetition. Even when Thomas doubted because he wasn’t with the disciples at Christ’s first appearance, Jesus came and again reassured him. John tell us of these incidents and says to us today …these things are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in His name.

In the Acts of the Apostles we learn how the apostles lived and how they shared their faith so much so that “…every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”. In this exceptional time when we are separated from each other we still have opportunities to dispense our faith, maybe by encouraging each other in our church family but also by being able to speak to friends who aren’t believers and showing God’s love in our care and concern.

You may be eating your meals alone, or with one other or with a family. The disciples “…ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, praising God…”. Meals may have become more of an important and enjoyable part of your day as other activities have become curtailed. Thankfulness is part of a Christian life so rejoice in every day, the weather, the jobs that you’ve been able to do because of the lockdown and the food we eat to keep us healthy. While we offer our thanks to God, remember those parts of the world where health services and food are scarce. Consider what we can do to help. There are so many ways and things we have to be thankful for, even in this different and difficult situation.

As you pray each day remember that Jesus is the Christ and through belief in Him we have life in all its fullness. Jesus still leaves his peace with all who believe. Easter is a daily celebration for all his followers.

We send our love and prayers
Terry and Irene