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Pentecost message 2008

05 May 2008

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On the first Pentecost the disciples of Jesus were together in one place waiting, expectant, open to the new thing that God was to do in them and among them. And because they were faithful in their waiting and open to God's promise they could receive into themselves that rushing mighty wind of the Spirit that was to strengthen them in their new life of fellowship in prayer, in the breaking of bread, in sharing their goods with glad and sincere hearts, and empowering them to go out and announce the good news to the whole world. Jesus sent the Spirit to his friends, as he had promised he would, to show them his love and to assure them that they would never be alone.

The disciples of Jesus received the gift of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost because they were waiting, trustful and already inclined to God, and God's activity in them and among them.

May we this Pentecost, following the example of the first disciples, wait together, open to receive anew the life giving power of the Holy Spirit that God always desires to give to us. May we be united in the communion of the same Spirit so that together we can give more credible and effective witness in the world to the good news of Jesus Christ crucified, and risen, and living and working among us still.

This Pentecost may we be ready to discern the work of the Holy Spirit in one another and in one another's churches. May we be alert to recognise the work of the Holy Spirit already at work in the world ahead of us. May we be ready to recognise the gifts of the Spirit in God's good creation. And, empowered by the same Spirit, may we work together joyfully for peace with justice and together care for creation entrusted to us using the gifts of creation wisely and justly for the good of all people and for generations yet unborn.

So, let us pray again, wherever we gather to celebrate this Feast of Pentecost, in the words of the lovely litany that we prayed together at the Seventh Assembly of the World Council of Churches. And, as we pray, may we be conscious of being joined in the communion of saints on earth and in heaven, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the power of the Spirit of Pentecost working in us.

O, Giver of life,
who brought all things into being,
sustain and replenish your whole creation
that it may reflect your glory.

Come, Holy Spirit.
fill all life with your radiance.

O, Spirit of Truth,
who convinces the world of sin,
consume, as a mighty fire,
the powers of evil that bind your people
and set us free to walk in your light. 

Come, Holy Spirit,
and illumine our hearts and minds. 

O, Spirit of unity,
judge, restore and call us again.
bestow on us the gifts
that build us up into your people. 

Come, Holy Spirit,
and light the flame of love
on the altar of our hearts. 

O, Holy Spirit,
transform and sanctify us,
that we and all people
may have life in all its fullness. 

Come, Holy Spirit,
Renew the whole creation. 

Amen.

The Presidents of the World Council of Churches