From the Newsletter

June 2020

 

PENTECOST 2020

 

At our May 31st service we celebrated Pentecost Sunday. This was our third Sunday worshipping together again and we had a congregation of 18 having a glorious time in Christian unity. We were good at keeping our distance and refraining from the usual close contact moments of the past. It was good to be together and have a time of sharing and social but distanced contact.

 

The altar was in red and the color red was dominate throughout the worship space. Red mandevilla flowers were a new touch this year and added their beauty to the occasion. With all of us wearing red we looked quiet festive to welcome the Holy Spirit to come and dwell within us.

 

The description of the coming of the Holy Spirit 50 days after Easter as recorded the book of Acts Chapter 2 is a familiar scripture reading for this major feast day of the Church. Jesus promised the coming of the new Advocate to his disciples on the night of his last meal with them and that has now happened.

 

They are filled with this vital Spirit of dedication to the new mission set before them.

 

This same Holy Spirit is promised to us and to function as guide, helper, protector and instructor in our lives. Old Testament and New Testament scriptures reveals the strength we can obtain by utilizing the gifts of the Spirit.

 

In Psalm 51:10-12 of King David we have his cry to God to restore the Spirit within him after his separation from God by his sinful affair with Bathsheba.

 

Create in me a clean heart, O God,

and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from your presence,

and take not your holy Spirit from me.

O give me the comfort of your help again,

and sustain me with your willing Spirit.

 

David realizes that he needs God to forgive him of his sin and by God’s grace to restore him by the cleaning of his heart to a new spirit. He pleads for the restoration of God’s peace and take away the feeling of guilt. David is fearful of having a heavy grief on his mind if he cannot rest until he is united again into God’s love.

 

Each of us can by our sinful natures and falling into temptation at times experience a feeling of being separated from God. We repent of our sin and seek restoration and the same renewal of the presence of God in our lives that was felt by David. And with that renewal nothing can compare with the joy that comes from a pure heart and a new walk with our God. Our blessing is that our Lord Jesus took these

temptation sins unto himself at the Cross. We are restored and forgiven by God’s love every time

we fall. Bless the generous Spirit of God in our lives. He lifts us up and restores our hearts and the

relationship with God to put us into that blessed condition that David desired.

 

Last summer the Church did a one day renewal retreat with the women of the church when Rev.

Scott Ruthven came and led a teaching on Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Many biblical scholars

consider chapter 8 to be the best book to be found in the Bible.

 

This chapter is a guide to “Life lived in the Spirit” and in that regard it is a fitting subject for our new season of Pentecost.

 

A walk through Romans 8 is all about the Holy Spirit’s work in our Christian life. This is the way

that a Christian believer can live a life in which God has called him. We cannot live a live devoted

only to our own strength. For us to live we need the power of the Holy Spirit living within us in

order for us to be Christlike.

 

In the first verses we are in union with Christ and liberated from our past by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This Spirit is mentioned nineteen times in the first twenty seven verses of Romans 8.

 

The “Spirit of life” has set us free from our past life and we are “justified“ to a new life in Christ Jesus.

As Paul says we can come to Christ just as we are once we believe. From that point on we walk with

a different step and make our way to being led to a new life of sanctification and on to a final

complete union with Christ where there can be no relationship separation ever.

 

This truth frees us to live a Christian life. We are not on a path that requires us to gain God’s

eternal acceptance. We already have it and there is “no condemnation” by the Father. We can rest

assured as one who is in Christ Jesus we are free from our weaknesses and now walking with new

purpose. We have been set free from the old law of sin and death.

 

Now we walk “according to the Spirit” And we live by the power of the Spirit. Now we must walk

intentionally facing the challenges that come our way but with the promise of the spirit dwelling

within us. Then we must walk continually in the power of the Sprit’s help. We must always be

humble and remember to rely on this Spirit. We will be wise to be obedient to God’s commandments in our lives. We are walking in his will and not ours only. Finally we must stay connected to God through our prayer life. Let His Spirit guide us as we communicate through prayer and walk accordingly.

This chapter is vitally important to our living with the Spirit in us.

 

IN OUR TIME OF SOCIAL UNREST

We are thankful to be back in Church and with that reunion we are extremely aware of the social

unrest sweeping across our country. We pray for a restoration of peace to rule the actions of the

troubled times. The voices we hear are split between hope for a restoration of calm and a

criticism of the actions of the police in response to the violence.

 

May we find a solid God grounded position that will be the base for a new understanding of our life together as a diverse but culturally divided country. We try to live in harmony with our neighbors and are shocked to see the trashing of these beliefs.

 

Lift up this country and its leadership in this time of stress. Hear our prayers Lord and bring

your peace to sooth the trouble.

 

Amen.

 

The peace of God be with you.

Pastor Fred+