31 May 2020

Praying in Easter with USPG:
50, Sunday 31 May 2020

‘Come Holy Spirit’ … the holy water stoup in the Chapel of Saint John’s Hospital, Lichfield (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

Today is the day of Pentecost, fifty days after Easter Day and the last day of the Easter Season.

I have been using the USPG Prayer Diary, Pray with the World Church, for my morning prayers and reflections throughout this Season of Easter. USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is the Anglican mission agency that partners churches and communities worldwide in God’s mission to enliven faith, strengthen relationships, unlock potential, and champion justice. It was founded in 1701.

The theme of the USPG Prayer Diary for this week (31 May to 6 June 2020) is ‘Each one heard them speaking in the native language of each (Acts 2: 6).’ The Rev’d Dr Hugo Adan, Rector of Holy Trinity with Saint Matthew, Southwark, London, introduces this theme in the Prayer Diary this morning:

‘When we read Chapter 2 of the Acts of the Apostles, two things immediately come to our minds: the fact that the Gospel was proclaimed in every language and that everybody understood the message. The text doesn’t say Peter spoke in all the different languages mentioned; it just says that people understood in their own language.

‘We all come to faith with our own backgrounds. We all have a culture; a context that gives us a framework from which we understand the world. The fact that we are Christians and/or priests, lay leaders, missioners or evangelists doesn’t make our cultural framework any less active. This is why inculturation (the theological reflection about culture and the Gospel) is important in our global context today.

‘At St Matthew’s, we try to be aware of our cultural context. We are a bilingual parish (English-Spanish) and every day we experience that the language of love (God) is universal – but this is expressed through our own particular languages, which are not always universal. The ability to come out of our comfort zones and value our encounters with the ‘other’ are essential parts of the way we try to live the Gospel.’

Sunday 31 May 2020 (Pentecost):

Loving God, on this day of Pentecost, give us a
fresh appreciation for the diversity that we enjoy in
the Body of Christ through your Holy Spirit.

The Readings:

Acts 2: 1-21 or Numbers 11: 24-30; Psalm 104: 26-36, 37b; I Corinthians 12: 3b-13 or Acts 2: 1-21; John 20: 19-23 or John 7: 37-39.

The Collect of the Day:

Almighty God,
who on the day of Pentecost
sent your Holy Spirit to the apostles
with the wind from heaven and in tongues of flame,
filling them with joy and boldness to preach the gospel:
By the power of the same Spirit
strengthen us to witness to your truth
and to draw everyone to the fire of your love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Post Communion Prayer:

Faithful God,
who fulfilled the promises of Easter
by sending us your Holy Spirit
and opening to every race and nation the way of life eternal:
Open our lips by your Spirit,
that every tongue may tell of your glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Yesterday’s reflection

Series Concluded

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