PSTP Pilgrim stop, think, pray, then go on your way
Reflections for Pentecost, Acts Ch 2
At the Deanery Pentecost Pilgrimage 2013 the Ministry of the Word took the form of a path through the woods, with texts, prayers and reflective questions along the way. It was devised by Revd Frank Wright, Westbourne. Pilgrim – stop, think, pray, then go on your way.
Along the path, readings and reflections.
When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place. 2 Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there. 4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak. 5 There were Jews living in Jerusalem, religious people who had come from every country in the world. 6 When they heard this noise, a large crowd gathered. They were all excited, because all of them heard the believers talking in their own languages.
- Pause for a moment on your journey. These six verses remind us that when we are together there is a great strength at work in us. When people see us together they understand more of what we are about as Christians than when we are alone.
- Think about how being a member of the Church helps you believe in God and Jesus Christ.
- Pray for the Church in all its shapes and sizes throughout the world and thank God for it; for our bishops Mark and Martin; our Rural Dean, Clive and Lay Chairman, Jane.
Take a card from below with the above verses on and move on to find verses 7 and 8
7 In amazement and wonder they exclaimed, “These people who are talking like this are Galileans! 8 How is it, then, that all of us hear them speaking in our own native languages? People from Galilee had a marked accent. Not only that, they were thought of as not very bright because of it!
- Think about the language we use in prayer and worship.
- Pray to find ways to speak which people who have not heard about God and the Church can understand.
9 We are from Parthia, Media, and Elam; from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia; from Pontus and Asia, These districts are modern day Iran, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Eastern Turkey, and Northern Turkey.
- Think about how the quest for territory and resources, often resulting in war, has shaped this part of the world. The 20th century saw war here too as nations fought for freedom, and against prejudice.
- Pray for people who live on battlefields today, for those who serve in the Forces, and for a peace in which all people are honoured. Thank God for the peace of our own land and our freedom.
10 from Phrygia and Pamphylia, from Egypt and the regions of Libya near Cyrene. Some of us are from Rome. Phrygia is modern Bulgaria and southern Romania. Pamphilia is a region of southern Turkey.
- Think of how we view people from these countries today, especially as they affect the European Union and the part of the United Kingdom in it.
- Pray for countries struggling with extreme poverty and for people who have to leave their homelands to find work.
11 both Jews and Gentiles converted to Judaism, and some of us are from Crete and Arabia—yet all of us hear them speaking in our own languages about the great things that God has done!” Gentiles are people who were not born into the Jewish race and faith. They came from all over the known world of the Eastern Mediterranean, from the continental lands and the islands. We can think of Arabia as the whole Arab world.
- Think about how history has left this part of the world and its political make up and how recent political events have brought new divisions and threatened old relationships as well as new freedom.
- Pray for Arab people as the Arab Spring has brought both new freedoms and new enmities. Pray especially for the ancient countries of Egypt and Syria and for Christian people in those places.
12 Amazed and confused, they kept asking each other, “What does this mean?”
- Think about how we need to be able to talk and listen to each other in order to understand and accept different ways of being and living.
- Pray for understanding between people who differ from each other, men and women; in different cultures and religious groupings. Ask God why we are all made so differently from each other.
14 Then Peter stood up with the other eleven apostles and in a loud voice began to speak to the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, listen to me and let me tell you what this means. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose; it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 Instead, this is what the prophet Joel spoke about:
- Think about how what we know of God is shaped by the Old Testament, particularly the prophets. Think about how it helps to have hope and vision as those ancient people did.
- Pray for the prophets of today and those who proclaim the faith of Jesus today. Thank God for people who help us to see how the life of the world may turn out and how we can influence it. Pray for hope and vision as goals to work towards.
17 ‘This is what I will do in the last days, God says: I will pour out my Spirit on everyone. Your sons and daughters will proclaim my message; your young men will see visions, and your old men will have dreams. 18 Yes, even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will proclaim my message. 19 I will perform miracles in the sky above and wonders on the earth below. There will be blood, fire, and thick smoke; 20 the sun will be darkened, and the moon will turn red as blood, before the great and glorious Day of the Lord comes. 21 And then, whoever calls out to the Lord for help will be saved.’
- Think about the last days. They are already here! Today is the last day as will tomorrow be. To wait until tomorrow to do anything may be to wait until it is too late – not that the world may end but the hungry person could die, the friendless person could wither away, the peace could be lost.
- Pray for courage to act in God’s name, to speak God’s word, to forgive, to love, to heal.
Take a card with the above verses on and keep them as a reminder of today. Go on your way.
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