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5 Jun 2022

The Gospel. St. John xiv. 15. 

Jesus said unto his disciples, If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. 

O heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of truth, who art everywhere in all places and fillest all things; Treasury of blessings and Giver of life: Come and abide in us and cleanse us from all impurity, and save our souls, O good One.

Happy Birthday!  Pentecost marks the fiftieth day after Easter and celebrates the birthday of the Church through the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the disciples who “were all together in one place”.  

But unlike the hidden things of our hearts and the closed doors of our minds, Pentecost is all out in the open.  It is public and for all to see.  It is universal, for all people.  “We do hear them speak in our tongues.”  Out of all the different languages and cultures, one thing is heard, openly for all peoples and for all times. The one thing is “the wonderful works of God.” 

We Christians are united in the praise of God contrary to all the controversy in the Church today.  The essential teachings of the Church, which we find in Scripture and the Creeds, are complete and unite us.  The challenge for us is to gather up the broken pieces of our lives and glue them together in the unifying vision of God.  The healing of humanity is to be found in our being raised up into the mystery of God.

We can achieve all good things in our lives and in the healing of others because of this coming down of the Holy Spirit.  In Scripture this appears as a wonderful event, “a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind” and “cloven tongues, like as of fire”, which results in the “speaking in tongues”.  The praise of God heard in all the tongues and languages of the world.  Our experience of Pentecost tells us of our redemption and sanctification. 

We are made in the image of God.  The coming down of the Holy Spirit raises us up into the mystery of God.  This is the only way we can change.  

Pentecost makes us think about the whole great story of God’s salvation for us:  First, there is creation.  The Spirit moving over the waters brings order and unity to the world.  God breathes his Spirit into the dust of humanity, and we are made alive.  There is redemption – the way God has dealt with our rebelliousness—from the Garden and until today, it is we who seek to have things our own way--which is not His way.  During this redemption God’s spirit speaks to prophets and reminds us of His laws. He delivered His people from slavery and took them to the mount of glory in a cloud of majesty.  Then, there is sanctification – the process of our being changed into the image of God by living lives of holiness.  That can only happen when we let the Holy Spirit guide us day by day.  

The Holy Spirit is also the spirit of unity and order and bestower of the seven-fold gifts. They include the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge, the fear of the Lord, and the spirit of piety.  They are the gifts that bring us closer to God.  

In our Anglican tradition we see all of this summarized in Scripture, the Creeds, and in the way we worship and live day by day.  All of this we receive with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Pentecost signals our redemption and the sanctification by gathering us into the mystery of God. 

Source: Sermon for Pentecost Fr. David Curry, Christ Church Windsor, AD 2005

The Decalogue. 

God spake these words, and said: 

I am the LORD thy God; Thou shalt have none other gods but me. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law. Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down to them, nor worship them; 

Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law. 

Thou shalt not take the Name of the LORD thy God in vain; 

Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law. 

Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath-day. 

Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law. 

Honour thy father and thy mother; 

Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law. 

Thou shalt do no murder. 

Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law

Thou shalt not commit adultery. 

Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law. 

Thou shalt not steal. 

Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law. 

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 

Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law

Thou shalt not covet.

Lord, have mercy upon us, and write all these thy laws in our hearts, we beseech thee. 

Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ saith. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. 

Bishop Edwin Tompkins


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