Sermons from St Faith's   

The Church's Birthday

Pentecost Parade Talk from Fr. John with the assistance of the St. Faith’s Rainbows.

Sunday, 2nd June, 2019

Many years ago I went on a family holiday in Normandy.  We planned to go fishing at a trout lake which had picnic tables.  The owner welcomed us in French. My French is rudimentary; “Je voudrais de pecheur un poisson pour deux persons.” Or, two of the family would like to catch a fish.  When then had a disjointed conversation about bait. I had the angler's standby in my fishing bag: sSweet corn (le mais) and SPAM (le SPAM), then the language and the conversation got too technical for my level of French.  I think with hindsight he owner was suggesting he had other baits that the trout liked.  The day was sunny, the picnic was as nice as usual, and the bait was tried.  The site owner was obviously getting concerned about the lake's reputation, so he arrived every few hours with a dustbin of trout which he threw into the lake just ahead of our pitch.  But alas no fish were caught.  If I had understood French better I could have had some bait that French trout enjoy, and maybe would have caught some fish.
The story of Pentecost is about the Holy Spirit coming to 11 frightened men from Galilee who could speak their own language well, hiding in fear in a room and the spirit gave them the courage and the ability for them to be understood by nearly a thousand people from all over the Roman World: people who spoke many other languages.  The Spirit literally tears down the things that divide people including nationality and language and brings them together.
The Rev. Denise has lent me an amazing device, flames without fire!  (The device is brought forward and Fr. John looks for a switch to make it work)  Rev. Denise says “you need to plug it in.”  The M.C. arrives with an extension lead, and we have flames. (everyone goes aaah!)  I then explain there are two lights and some pieces of cloth, and something that makes wind that moves the bits of cloth.  The wind is like the wind of the Spirit that drives the disciple out into the street to tell of Jesus's love. The fire is the courage the disciples found to go, not just into Jerusalem but out into many countries, telling people of Jesus's love, who in turn told others of Jesus's love, eventually reaching the shores of our country too.
And so we often call Pentecost the birthday of the church,as the church grew from 11 to thousands in one day, and the Rainbows have brought something you have on birthdays.  (shouts of “it’s a cake" from the Rainbows. The Rainbows bring the cake out and the congregation sing “Happy Birthday dear Church.”

And then the Rainbows lead us in the words and actions of;

Who’s the king of the jungle
who’s the king of the sea
Who’s the king of the universe and whose the king of me.
I tell you J E S U S is
He’s the king of me
He’s the king of the universe
the jungle and the sea.


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