EXPECT WHITSUN WONDERS – WHY NOT?
Notes for talk and activity on Pentecost Sunday 2012, St James the Great,
Read Christopher Howse in the Daily Telegraph, keeping sacred
- Lots of details about what we have lost along with Whitsun since the
- This includes Whit Walks, which grew up as part of the Sunday School
- In 1949, 12,000 children took part in Manchester alone!
- What would the church be like if 12,000 children were making their way
there this morning?
- Not to mention cheese-rolling and church ales ... maybe next year Melanie
can restore the church ale? (Originally for charity fund-raising).
But back to White Sunday
- In Hebrew scriptures, white is God’s colour, only God is white, it is a
sign of his immediate presence
- E.g. – Moses’ face, the angelic messengers who are at the
Resurrection and the Ascension, Jesus “white than any bleach could make
him” at the Transfiguration
- This kind of encounter with God’s Spirit comes with a new sense of
direction and new power to accomplish it.
- Has a long parallel history in the English Church
- Remember Malory’s Morte D’Arthur, and the visions often
clothed in “white samite”? There was an expectation of wonders, of new
challenges and quests, of setting the world to rights at Pentecost.
- Besides, my childhood ambition was to be a knight in shining white armour
(note the colour).
Can we light the torch of expectation for others and pass it on?
- We have the example of the Olympic torch, just recently passed
- (Fire/water activity)
- Today we have experienced a little of the excitement and co-operation of
the first Pentecost.
- What are our expectations of today? Are we ready to be, as Jesus says at
his Ascension, “clothed from head to foot with power from on high”?
- This is not a dead, historic event, but a living movement of the Holy
Spirit, of which each one of us is called to be part – to find a new
direction through the power of God.
If we do this, we shall grow some amazing results – just like the
sunflowers ... q.v.