Alton Webteam: May 2020
I wonder if any of you have had a birthday recently?
I wonder how you celebrated?
Birthdays are special occasions when families remember the day we were born.
Apparently, I was born at home, in the farmhouse during the year of a great snow storm. The tale was always told that when the midwife came to leave, she found herself stuck in the snow!
This weekend we remember the birthday of the church — otherwise known as Pentecost.
Our minds go back to the account told in the Acts of the Apostles where the Holy Spirit came on the disciples like the sound of a mighty rushing wind and with tongues of fire.
They were all filled with the Spirit of God and began praising him with hearts full of joy.
I wonder if you can find time and space to simply praise God for his greatness?
I love the words of C.S Lewis when he says:
'The humblest praise most, while the cranks and misfits praise the least! Praise seems to be inner health made audible!'
He also remarks
We delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.
It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.
The Psalmist is always calling us to praise our God. He invites us to turn our eyes upon him and find reasons to be thankful.
Praise the Lord, all you nations.
Extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love towards us,
And the faithfulness of the Lord endures for evermore. Psalm 117
And even when we are feeling down in the dumps an old hymn has these encouraging words:
When upon life's billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
This week in preparation for our on line worship service a number of friends from our churches were invited to finish the sentence: 'I praise God because...'
They were given 20-30 seconds to do it in so that they could record a video for me to use in the service. It has been a privilege to listen to what each one had to say.
If you had 20-30 seconds to finish that same sentence 'I praise God because...' what would you want to say to God?
We are assured that God delights in the praises of his people — even when we sing out of tune or stumble over our words!
As we celebrate the birthday of the church — may our praises ring out to God, whether at home, in the garden, driving the car or going for a long walk!
Ways to Worship...
Sunday Worship — Hymns, Songs, Readings and Reflections led by Philip and friends. This week Jane Clabon from Alton is doing the reading.
The connexional Methodist Church have also provided a weekly printed sheet (attached) to help us share in worship whilst at home.
BBC Radio 4 Sunday Worship at 8.10am.
BBC 1 'Sunday Worship' at 11am — led by the Bishop of Hereford.
The BBC also offer 'Songs of Praise' at 1:15pm — led by Rev. Kate Bottley — a Pentecost Celebration.
For Your Prayers
A Reflection for Pentecost
We light a candle,
and enjoy the flickering light ,
and warmth it creates.
But without the spark that ignites,
there will be no flame.
Without the wax,
the source of power,
the wick will not burn.
Without the flame,
there will be no fragrance,
no warmth, no light.
And so with us, Lord.
You are the catalyst that ignites us,
and the fuel that sustains us.
You fill us with your fragrance
as you enter our lives.
You empower us
to carry your flame in our hearts,
to be the fragrance, warmth,
and light of your love,
in this dark world.
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