The New Room is sharing a Friday reflection each week during the time that we are closed. Even though we cannot currently join together for our usual Friday lunchtime Communion service in the chapel, we hope that these short reflections will act as a point of spiritual focus, enabling a moment of quiet thought and prayer.
This week’s reflection is from one of our chaplains, Revd David Weeks.
Jesus said “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth”. Acts 1 : 8
When I was a child living in Kingswood, Pentecost was a time of celebration (though we called it Whitsun). On the Sunday, the children from the Sunday school took over the chapel and sang hymns and recited poems for the congregation, relatives, friends and anyone else who might come. The chapel was always packed for Sunday School Anniversary. On the Monday (Whit Monday,in those days a public holiday) all the local chapels went in procession through the streets of St George and Kingswood. Young people and adults walked and the children rode on the backs of lorries, suitably decorated for the day. Each church had their big banners which they carried with pride. How good it felt when at last you were considered old enough to share in the banner carrying.
People came out in their thousands to line the route of the procession to gaze at the passing spectacle, to hear the marching bands and to look for people they knew. The procession was a mile or so long. It was a big event in the local calendar.
This was our way to celebrate Pentecost, when we remembered how the Holy Spirit had enabled the disciples of Jesus to declare themselves as followers of Jesus to the crowds in the Temple. For us it was the one time in the year when all our church people left their buildings to make clear for everyone to see, that they were followers of Jesus.
Even the Sunday School Anniversary was a time when, young as we were, we were telling others that we were followers of Jesus.
Those days are past, a pleasant memory, a little bit of history. Now we are in a new time of history, when once again we have left our church buildings. How in our own time are we, under the power of the Spirit ” his witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. ” Acts 1:8.
A Prayer. Holy Spirit of God, come to us as you came to those first disciples, as you came to John and Charles Wesiey, as you came to so many of our ancestors in the faith and make us effective witnesses for Jesus. Amen.