The June 2022 magazine for our church benefice in Walmersley Road is now available. You can pick-up hard copies at either of our churches or click on the link here to read on-line:
This month’s Pentecost edition includes news and updates from most of our church groups and organisations. There are details about a celebration to mark 50 years since the opening of our church school buildings. In addition, there’s the diary of events and services to come plus a bit about Bake Off.
The June 2022 magazine also includes this letter from Margery Spencer…
Many years ago when I first retired I used to play the piano in a nursery school once a week. My ability could stretch to “The wheels on the bus” and “Twinkle, twinkle little star” but nothing much more demanding. One day I was talking to the children about my holiday in France and mentioned that I had gone under the sea in a car inside a train. One three year old looked at me in amazement. “Did you not get wet?” he asked. When I told him that I had stayed absolutely dry his response was “Flippin ‘Eck, Mrs Pinano.” Afterwards any unexpected event was a Flippin ‘Eck moment and I was known for the rest of my time at the nursery as Mrs Pinano.
What phrase do we use when we hear about or experience something unexpected, or shocking? Do we say “It stopped us in our tracks”, “pulled us up short” or that horrible phrase “made us gob smacked.” I suspect the phrase we use depends on the nature of the event and the company we are in.
Two thousand years ago many Jews were gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Shavuot, fifty days after Passover. They had come from far and wide and amongst them were the disciples who were still reeling after the events of the crucifixion and resurrection.
Suddenly, a sound like the rushing of the wind filled the house where they were staying and there seemed to be tongues of fire which came to rest on each of the disciples. Immediately they began to speak in other tongues as they were filled with the Holy Spirit and everyone there heard them in their own language. The people could not understand what had happened and accused the disciples of being drunk. It was probably one of the greatest “Flippin’ Eck” moments in history. (Acts 2:1-11)
Jesus had promised the disciples that he would send his Spirit to them, but I doubt if they thought it would happen in such a dramatic way.
It certainly proved to be a turning point for the disciples. From a group of frightened men, not knowing how they would cope without their leader, they became certain, strengthened and unafraid to carry on the work of Jesus. What a transformation. From that point on, the disciples went about, preaching, teaching and healing and despite opposition they continued to spread the good news.
Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to the disciples to empower them and in the same way he promises the Holy Spirit to each of us. It may not come as a rushing wind or flames of fire, but the power of the Holy Spirit can enter our lives through prayer, making it possible for us to do things we would never have imagined.
We can find that we have gifts we never knew about, take on tasks we had never envisioned and find experiences beyond our reasoning. We might not be as emboldened as those first disciples but our lives can change and we can change the lives of others. Each of us can receive the gifts of the Spirit, and use them in Christ’s service.
My favourite Pentecost hymn has these words
Come Down O Love Divine
Seek Thou this soul of Mine,
And visit it with Thine own ardour glowing.
That is a prayer we can use to find the strength we need to carry out the work of Jesus.
It might even create a “Flippin ‘Eck” moment!
Yours in Christ, Margery
Thanks to www.pngitem.com for the cover image.