Worship at Home for May 28, 2023

Dear Friends,

This Sunday is Pentecost. This is a good day to wear red to symbolize the flames of the Spirit that rested over each of the disciples when they were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. May that Spirit fill you too!

If you would like a home visit, conversation, or home communion, please call me at 573-437-2779 (church) or 573-832-2475 (cell).

  • Open House at Camp MoVal on Sunday beginning at Noon.
  • Family Fun Day at the Angell Farm will be on Sunday, June 25


Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture: Acts 2:1-21, Psalm 104:24-34, 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13, John 7: 37-39

Sermon: Flowing Spirit

“Bethlehem was God with us, Calvary was God for us, and Pentecost is God in us.” Robert Baer

Air and water are essential for life. Try holding your breath. Just how long do you last until you need to open your mouth and suck in life sustaining air. Very few of us can last more than a minute without breathing. We are often warned about the dangers of becoming dehydrated. Drink water we are told. If we don’t drink enough water, there will be a whole host of health problems.

Yet we often try to live with out the life sustaining power of the Holy Spirit and the rivers of living water offered by Jesus. Too often we try to live life alone and on our own terms. This may lead to poor spiritual and emotional health.

Loneliness is at epidemic proportions in the United States. The US Surgeon General has declared this a national health emergency. If you go to the Surgeon General’s website, you will see listed ways that loneliness affects both our physical and emotional health. You will also learn about ways to combat loneliness through connections with loved ones, a circle of friends, community involvement and even time spent in solitude. Much of what he suggests has been practiced by Christians for centuries.

The festival of Pentecost is a Jewish holiday. Pentecost along with Passover and the Festival of the Booths were the three pilgrimages to Jerusalem holidays practiced by the Jews of Jesus’ time. On that Pentecost after Jesus’ Ascension, people were gathered in Jerusalem for a community wide religious holy day celebrating the harvest. There were faithful Jews from all over the world. Those born Jewish and those who had converted. They gathered with the express purpose of worshipping God.

I wonder if some of those in the crowd felt lonely. Did they feel isolated because no one spoke their language? It is possible to feel lonely while surrounded by other people. Were they thirsty for some good news after years of Roman Occupation?

The Holy Spirit shows up with the rush of a mighty wind and fills the disciples with the power to communicate with this crowd. How might you feel if the Holy Spirit enabled you to hear words of hope and good news in your own language in a strange town?

Peter shared the good news of Jesus. The living water of Jesus filled them with hope, and a community of thousands joined together to be baptized into the new life in Jesus. Those isolated individuals from many places become united in Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Those who were baptized that day formed a group of faithful followers of Jesus who empowered by the Holy Spirit shared the living water of Jesus with a thirsty world.

The Holy Spirit continues to work in our lives and in our world today. Just how might the Spirit be calling upon us to reach out to those who feel lonely? To those needing the living water of Jesus? The Holy Spirit empowered the disciples to communicate with the lonely and thirsty individuals at Pentecost. We need to let the Spirit flow through us to communicate God’s love in ways unique to those who need it.

According to Dr. Murthy (US Surgeon General) even a smile from a stranger can help combat loneliness in a lonely person. A quick phone call to an old friend or a new neighbor helps with loneliness in our and their lives. Putting a fun event with friends on the calendar helps too. Maybe there is someone who needs to be invited to Pub Theology, Hay Day at the Angel Farm in June, or the Pool Party in July.

Serving others combats loneliness. It doesn’t need to be something big, just aiding someone at work or helping a stranger who has dropped an item. Serving in the name of Jesus at the Upper Room Store or Helping Hands lets people know that God loves them.

This Pentecost allow the Spirit to empower you to reach out to others and let them know about the living water of Jesus. As followers of Jesus, let us be moved to create social connections and help others live lives with better physical, emotional, and mental health.

Prayer: God, may we be filled with the living water offered by Jesus to live full lives. May the Spirit fill us so that we may reach out to others in love. Amen.

Prayer list: Elizabeth, Cheryl, Dave, David, Evelyn, Jason, Paulette, Bobby, Kevin, Jim, Darryl (doing better!), Marilee, Beverly, Jim, Jenny, Jaqueline-Dixon’s daughter, Kirk, Barbara, Mitchell, Mahala, Mary, La Rae, Bud, Tyra, Marilyn, Tom, Jeff, Jesse, Kate, Kyle, Carmen, Sandy, Gary, Terry, Bob, Mark’s brother Billy and sister-in-law Jane, Delores W., Tyra, Freya, Vicki B., Barb Z. and for peace.