• Rossendale Circuit

My! How You've Changed - Sunday Service - 23.05.21

with Revd. David Burrow


Video Service


Watch directly on youtube here.


Part 1


Hymns & Songs:


MP 691 'This is the day that the Lord has made'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXZwW0D2OZ4


MP 241 'Holy Spirit, we welcome you'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5_eGsD3gj0


MP 1039 'Colours of day dawn into the mind'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svGOOoLxPa0



Part 2


Hymns & Songs:


MP 525 'O thou who camest from above'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfDJL2CGQ9w


MP 1351 'Spirit of God unseen as the wind'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy8AZ46GKqc



Part 3


Hymns & Songs:


MP 59 'Blessed assurance'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuyf1YQvcwY


MP 664 'The Spirit lives to set us free'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzU9Dv7ZXVY


If you want to get lost in wonder love and praise try this one . . . .

'Holy Spirit you are welcome here'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2q7hMfmVL3I



Other Links


Our Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuzuzxmGWU4e_xRupJilppg


Our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/rossendalemethodistcircuit


Our Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/rossendalecircuit/


Our Website: https://www.rossendalemethodistcircuit.co.uk/


Our Email Address: rossendalemethodistcircuit@gmail.com




Transcript


*Not always exact to the script.


Psalm 104:24-35 God the Creator and provider. A great Psalm for a Harvest festival.


God provides for all our needs, both physically and spiritually. And on the day of Pentecost, which is a Harvest celebration for the Jewish people, the Holy Spirit filled the disciples of Jesus with a power that propelled them into the streets to proclaim the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection to all who were in Jerusalem for the festival.


No longer afraid of the religious authorities – the same ones that had put Jesus to death, the disciples, with Peter as their leader, were ready to face whatever the world might throw at them.

Here’s a taster of Peter’s sermon: in Acts 2:17-18, 21


“This is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

The crowds of Jews who had gathered from the four points of the compass for the festival celebration received far more than they could have imagined and about 3000 were baptised on that day!


Prayer


We pray to God the Holy Spirit, saying: Holy Spirit, come upon us.


Come, Holy Spirit, creator, and renew the earth. Holy Spirit, come upon us.

Come, Holy Spirit, counsellor, and touch our lips that we may proclaim your word. Holy Spirit, come upon us.

Come, Holy Spirit, power from on high; make us channels of peace and ministers of healing. Holy Spirit, come upon us.

Come, Holy Spirit, breath of God, give life to dry bones, and make us a living people, holy and free. Holy Spirit, come upon us.

Come, Holy Spirit, wisdom and truth; strengthen us to be bold in faith. Holy Spirit, come upon us.


Lord God, as we pray for the Holy Spirit to fill us again, we confess that too often we have tried to do your work in our own strength.

We know we have failed you, and we carry the guilt of that.

We are sorry for all the times we have fallen short, and, in the stillness, we confess our need to you now. [Pause].


On this Pentecost Sunday, we hear you saying to us yet again: “your sins are forgiven”.

Thank you that our relationship with you is not broken but is renewed again today. And for that we rejoice and offer our thanks in Jesus’ name, Amen.


Lord’s Prayer


Hymns & Songs:


MP 691 'This is the day that the Lord has made'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXZwW0D2OZ4


MP 241 'Holy Spirit, we welcome you'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5_eGsD3gj0


MP 1039 'Colours of day dawn into the mind'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svGOOoLxPa0



Photo by Isaac Martin via Unsplash


Acts 2:1-21 Read about all that happened on the day of Pentecost, 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection.


Several years ago, when I was a minister in Manchester, I visited one of our elderly church members in one of the inner-city tower blocks where he lived alone. As always Eric filled my head with great stories from his life of faith, travel and work. After the visit I got in the lift, down seven floors, out the front door and walked straight into four young men who were hanging around outside.

Should I say nothing, keep my head down and keep on walking?

Should I say, "Hi", . . . . . and then keep on walking?

I chose the latter. "Hi", I said, and their reply, on seeing my dog collar, was, "Hi, hey, are you a vicar?" One hour later I got on my way! Thankfully, the day was sunny and warm.

During that hour I listened to how two of them had recently been released from prison and saw no future for themselves.

"My brother's a solicitor, and when he comes home mum gives him a hug, she never gives me one."

"What's going to happen to me? Will I still be here when I'm 40? No job and no hope?


They told me about meeting the chaplain in Leyland prison and speaking with him about God.

They’d heard the story of Nicky Cruz, the Puerto Rican gang leader, who did drugs, and murdered people. They had read his story, ‘The cross and the Switchblade’ and how God had used a minister called David Wilkerson to speak to Nicky and his gang at the risk of his own life.

And they had heard how God had changed Nicky Cruz’s life around completely, but they didn't believe it could happen to them.


To be honest, as I listened, I really struggled to believe that the God I have devoted my life to serving

and speak of every day is able to change their lives.

Only later, as I thought about our conversation, did I realise that if what I preach isn't possible, I better give up altogether!

Not long after it was Pentecost. A good time to get my act together and take God at his word.

God does change people in ways that make others say: “My! How you've changed!”

And so, I wonder, how many people do you or I know to whom we can say: “My! How you've changed!”?


Peter and his friends were changed, they were transformed when they were filled with the Holy Spirit. They were filled with power, the power to witness, to share their story of their relationship with Jesus Christ.

Peter preached so convincingly, that the crowd were pierced to the heart. They recognised their sin and asked, "What shall we do?"

Peter's answer was clear: "Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."


So, they repented, were baptised with water, and received the gift of the Holy Spirit.

They were changed people, changed by the power of God. And when they returned home to their own countries, they took their new found faith with them.

Do note here how God’s timing was perfect. The story of Jesus, within days of Pentecost, was being shared across many countries. Check out a map for the countries listed in Acts 2:8-11.

Some of those journeys home would have taken days and these new followers of Jesus would have been able to share their faith in all the towns and countries they travelled through. Communities of new disciples were formed and more and more people were changed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Isn’t it wonderful how God had it all worked out?


So, what about you and me and our stories of how our lives have been changed by the Holy Spirit?


And what about the people we meet?


Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Therefore, what Jesus was, he is.

What Jesus said, he says. What Jesus did, he does.

What Jesus promises to give, he gives.


This is still as true today as it was on that day of Pentecost when all Jesus’ followers were filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit.

They believed, they were baptised, and they began to be changed by the Holy Spirit.


Being filled with the Holy Spirit is not a saving experience for non-Christians, it is an empowering experience for believers, to give us courage and to equip us to build God’s kingdom.

When we lack boldness and power in our Christian lives, it’s because we have not been filled with the Holy Spirit.

Without the Holy Spirit, Christian discipleship is impossible.

There can be no life without the life-giver; no understanding without the Spirit of Truth;

no fellowship without the unity of the Spirit; no effective witness without his power.

The people of God, without the Spirit, are lifeless.


One of the questions we need to answer is, ‘Do we want to be renewed and revived by an outpouring of the Holy Spirit?’

If we do, we need to be aware that this will lead us into all kinds of adventures and difficult places.

And as we live in the power of the Holy Spirit, we always need to remember that we leak!

Christians need a daily topping up of the Holy Spirit, and so does the church.


Sadly, the Methodist Church in the United Kingdom is, in many places, lifeless.

Just like the Israelites of old, when they had turned away from God, we need to cry out to God to seek and know His presence and so be filled once again with the Holy Spirit.


Dare we risk what the Spirit may bring?

Dare we risk our lives being changed like those of Peter, and his friends?

Dare we risk our churches being changed?

If the answer is ‘Yes!’ then we need simply to ask God.


The Holy Spirit is a gift God longs to pour into our lives.

“Here”, says God, "Ask, and I will give to you".

And as we ask, we make a conscious decision to surrender our lives to God, body, mind and spirit.


Ask now, wherever you may be.

Ask at home, ask when you are on your own, ask when you've got someone with you to pray with you. Whatever you do, ASK and keep on asking.

RECEIVE and keep on receiving the power of God to live within you.


Listen to this wonderful promise from the apostle Paul in his letter to the church in Rome:

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.’ Romans 8:11 How’s that for starters?!

The Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead comes to live in you. Such a gift! Such power! Such a companion!


When you ask the Holy Spirit to fill your life you may not feel any different straight away, on the other hand you may feel warm, peaceful and loved; you may speak with the gift of tongues (a God-given language different from your own).

Whatever you feel, BELIEVE you have received, because God is faithful to his promise and will give you his Holy Spirit.

Whatever happens when you ask, do not be afraid, for God loves you with an unending and perfect love, and God’s perfect love casts out fear.


Since the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has filled the lives of millions of people in many ways, and everything the Holy Spirit brought on that day, the Holy Spirit brings today: new life, joy, fellowship, boldness, power, many different gifts and a desire to worship.


Once you've received God's gift of the Holy Spirit;

once you begin to live the Spirit filled Christian life, as you witness, as you worship, be prepared for people to say to you, as they must have said to Peter and so many others since,

My! How you've changed!”


Hymns & Songs:


MP 525 'O thou who camest from above'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfDJL2CGQ9w


MP 1351 'Spirit of God unseen as the wind'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy8AZ46GKqc


Prayers of Intercession


Romans 8:22-27

We dare, in our weakness, to join in prayer with the Spirit who prays for us according to God’s will:


God of all grace, we pray for your Church today, especially for the witness of your people in our community.

Come, Holy Spirit and empower your people.

Come, like fire, and kindle love in our hearts.

Come, like wind, and breathe new life into our souls.

Come, like water, and immerse us in your presence.

Come Holy Spirit and empower your people.


Week of Prayer for China

God of compassion, we pray for those who suffer today for their faith.

We pray for Zhang Zhan the Chinese Christian who was imprisoned last year following her investigations of the COVID-19 outbreak. Thank you for her courageous determination, fuelled by her faith, to make the truth known. We ask you to keep her healthy and strong, despite her partial hunger strike; that her strong faith will continue to sustain her; and that she will be released from her unjust detention.

Come Holy Spirit and empower your people.


We pray for ‘house’ churches in China – those which aren’t registered with the state, which makes them more vulnerable. We pray for healing for those who have been traumatised by raids on these churches, when police officers have arrested church leaders as they were leading online services.

Give wisdom to the leaders who are still free, as they consider how to keep their congregations safe, while also exercising their right to worship you freely.

Thank you for the courage displayed by those church members who continue to meet in small groups, despite the risk.

We ask that you continue to protect them, making them invisible to anyone who would wish them harm.

Fill them with your Holy Spirit that they might speak of you with boldness. And may their example inspire us to do the same in our own families and communities.

Come Holy Spirit and empower your people.


Father God, our hearts break when we hear about the horrific abuses experienced by the Uyghur ethnic group, and other violations against Muslims in China. Between one and three million Uyghurs, and members of other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities, have been arbitrarily detained in ‘re-education’ camps. Uyghur families are torn apart, as parents are sent to the camps and children are taken away to state orphanages.

Thank you Lord that there is growing awareness in the international community about this human rights crisis, and we now pray for strong, effective international action that will bring an end to this tragedy. We pray that the camps will be closed, that all the detainees will be reunited with their families, that they will be healed from the extreme trauma of their experiences. We ask this in your precious name.

Come Holy Spirit and empower your people.


We pray for all who suffer in body, mind and spirit in the face of war.

We remember the peoples of Israel and Palestine and pray that your Spirit of peace would move powerfully over the land and in the lives of all who are in leadership. May they seek reconciliation and justice for all.


We pray for those who continue to suffer from the pandemic and ask that your Spirit of healing would fill their lives. We remember especially the people of India. May all the nations, empowered and inspired by your Spirit, work together to supply vaccinations to all. Lord we cry out to you.

Come Holy Spirit and empower your people.

God of all grace, in quietness and trust we bring to you the people and places on our hearts today. [Silence]

Come Holy Spirit and empower your people.


In faith, and hope, we offer these prayers to you Holy God.

May your Holy Spirit renew the face of the earth and may we see your work, vision, and kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven.

We pray in Jesus’ name and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Feel free to add your own prayers and remember to pray for yourself!


Blessing: May the fire of the Spirit set you ablaze for the truth, the breath of the Spirit breathe new hope into your life, and the peace of the Spirit govern all that you do now and forever, to the glory of God. Amen.


Hymns & Songs:


MP 59 'Blessed assurance'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuyf1YQvcwY


MP 664 'The Spirit lives to set us free'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzU9Dv7ZXVY


If you want to get lost in wonder love and praise try this one . . . .

'Holy Spirit you are welcome here'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2q7hMfmVL3I


34 views0 comments