Behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent…
Matt. 27:51

Pasted Graphic
MAY 2020

Introduction: Intro Fill thou my life To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.

Words … Horatius Bonar was born at Edinburgh, in 1808. He was ordained to the ministry, in 1837. In 1843, he joined the Free Church of Scotland. His hymns and poems were composed amid a great variety of circumstances.
The tune is Richmond composed by Thomas Haweis (b. Redruth, Cornwall, England, 1734; d. Bath, England, 1820) Initially apprenticed to a surgeon and pharmacist, Haweis decided to study for the ministry at Oxford and was ordained in the Church of England in 1757. After completing advanced studies at Cambridge, he published a Bible commentary and a volume on church history. Haweis was strongly interested in missions and helped to found the London Mission Society.

Fill thou my life To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.

Fill thou my life, O Lord my God, 
in every part with praise, 
that my whole being may proclaim 
thy being and thy ways.
Not for the lip of praise alone, 
nor e'en the praising heart 
I ask, but for a life made up 
of praise in every part!
Praise in the common things of life, 
its goings out and in; 
praise in each duty and in deed, 
however small and mean.
Fill every part of me with praise; 
let all my being speak 
of thee and of thy love, O Lord, 
poor though I be, and weak.
So shalt thou, Lord, from me, e'en me, 
receive the glory due; 
and so shall I begin on earth 
the song forever new.
So shall no part of day or night 
from sacredness be free; 
but all my life, in every step 
be fellowship with thee.

Prayer To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
Heavenly Father, we come into your presence with many different needs. At this time some of us are anxious for loved ones who have the covid19 virus and others who are working closely them. We understand the sensible precautions which need to be taken and we would ask that all the people involved in nursing would be reminded of things which can be done to minimise the risks. We would ask, too, that those who are acting carelessly will quickly see the dangers they are causing to others. Where research for a vaccine is undergoing tests, we pray for receptive minds of the researchers to receive your direction.
We especially pray for those for whom palliative care is the only option. As they fight for life, give them strength to accept the peace that you alone can give, dear God and though they are deprived of family contact at a time when it is most needed remind them that they are part of a family for whom Jesus died.
There are people who are struggling to cope with being isolated. May your presence be very real to them, we pray.
Open our eyes to see the need of those who are worried about how to get food, those whose hospital treatment for conditions unrelated to the pandemic virus is being delayed causing distress and increased pain and open our hearts to help wherever we can.

In this present time when so many are questioning why you, our almighty God, are not intervening to halt the spread of the virus, grant to your disciples the wisdom to and ability to reveal your love when man causes so many disasters.

Meet our needs we pray as we bow before you in humility and expectation. This we ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Introduction Intro Christ whose glory To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
Words: Charles Wesley
Tune, Ratisbon…Composer (attributed to): Johannn Gottlob Werner
b. Oct. 4, 1777, Hayn be Borna, Sachsen, d. July 19, 1822, Chemnitz; German organist, teacher and composer. 

Christ whose glory To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.

Christ, whose glory fills the skies,
Christ, the true, the only light,
Sun of righteousness, arise,
triumph o'er the shades of night;

 from on high, be near;
Daystar, in my heart appear.

Dark and cheerless is the morn
unaccompanied by thee:
joyless is the day's return,
till thy mercy's beams I see,
till they inward light impart,
glad my eyes, and warm my heart.

Visit then this soul of mine;
pierce the gloom of sin and grief;
fill me, radiancy divine;
scatter all my unbelief;
more and more thyself display,
shining to the perfect day.

Intro Let thy Holy Spirit To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
A simple prayer of just these few words.

Pavel Grigorievich Chesnokov was an Imperial Russian and Soviet composer, choral conductor and teacher. He composed over five hundred choral works, over four hundred of which are sacred.
He was born in Vladimir, near Moscow on 24 October 1877. He gained recognition as a great conductor and choirmaster while leading many groups including the Russian Choral Society Choir.
By the age of 30, Chesnokov had completed nearly four hundred sacred choral works, but his proliferation of church music came to a standstill at the time of the Russian revolution. Under communist rule, no one was permitted to produce any form of sacred art. The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, whose last choirmaster had been Chesnokov, was destroyed, which disturbed him so deeply that he stopped writing music altogether.
He died on 14 March 1944 of a heart attack caused by malnutrition while he was waiting in a Moscow bread line.

Let Thy Holy Spirit To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab. Let thy Holy Spirit come upon us. Hallelujah.

JOHN 16:1-15
AUDIO FILE John 16.1-15 To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
“All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, 5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

Introduction Intro Be Still To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
A relatively recent song which has been accepted across the denominations.

Be Still To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.

Be still, for the presence of the Lord,
the holy One, is here;
come bow before him now
with reverence and fear
in him no sin is found
we stand on holy ground.

Be still, for the presence of the Lord,
the holy One, is here.
Be still, for the glory of the Lord
is shining all around;
he burns with holy fire,
with splendour he is crowned:
how awesome is the sight
our radiant king of light!

Be still, for the glory of the Lord
is shining all around.
Be still, for the power of the Lord
is moving in this place:
he comes to cleanse and heal,
to minister his grace -
no work too hard for him.
In faith receive from him.
Be still, for the power of the Lord
is moving in this place.

Introduction: Intro Fall Afresh To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
An arrangement by Andrew Mackereth for brass bands of the words:-

Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mould me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.

Fall Afresh To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.

Introduction Intro Breathe on me breath of God To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
Words: Edwin Hatch D.D., was born at Derby, U.K. Sep. 4, 1835, and educated at Pembroke College, Oxford, After holding important appointments in Canada, he returned to England and became Vice-Principal of St. Mary Hall, Oxford, 1867; and Rector of Purleigh, 1883. He died Nov. 10, 1889. His hymn-writing was limited but "Breathe on me, Breath of God’ has stood the test of time.

Trentham : R Jackson 1840 b, Oldham, Lancashire, England –d. 1914;
After receiving his musical training at the Royal Academy of Music, Robert Jackson worked briefly as organist at St. Mark's Church, Grosvenor Square, in London. But he spent most of his life as organist at St. Peter's Church in Oldham, where his father had previously been organist for forty-eight years. A composer of hymn tunes, Jackson was also the conductor of the Oldham Music Society and Werneth Vocal Society.
Breathe on me breath of God
To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.

Breathe on me, breath of God:
fill me with life anew,
that I may love as you have loved
and do as you would do.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
until my heart is pure,
until my will is one with yours
to do and to endure.

Breathe on me, breath of God;
fulfil my heart's desire,
until this earthly part of me
glows with your heavenly fire.

Breathe on me, breath of God;
so shall I never die,
but live with you the perfect life
of your eternity.

Introduction: Intro He touched me To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
A song written in the 1960s but still used often across the denominations.

AUDIO FILE He touched me To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.

Shackled by a heavy burden,
'Neath a load of guilt and shame
Then the hand of Jesus touched me,
And now I am no longer the same

He touched me, oh He touched me,
And oh the joy that floods my soul!
Something happened and now I know,
He touched me and made me whole

Since I met this blessed Saviour,
Since He cleansed and made me whole,
I will never cease to praise Him,
I'll shout it while eternity rolls

He touched me, oh He touched me,
And oh the joy that floods my soul!
Something happened and now I know
He touched me and made me whole


Dr Malcolm Westwood

AUDIO FILE Sermon To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.

It must have been so difficult for the disciples of Jesus to take in what he was saying when he told them, “It is for your good that I am going away.’’ I can’t imagine anything more alarming they could have heard. True, they were sharing in the resentment Jesus was receiving from the leaders of the synagogues. Anyone who was siding with Jesus would be in no doubt that life could be easier if they distanced themselves from him. But his invitation to follow him was so compelling and he was able to reveal so much about God that although they weren’t slow in questioning Jesus about what they didn’t understand, they followed this miracle working, charismatic man, without hesitation. It wasn’t always easy for them ‘though.
In John 6 we find Jesus teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum where he clearly told the questioning people, I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.’ The Jews finding this incredulous began to grumble and reminded each other, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, “I came down from heaven?”
And Jesus met them head on …” Stop grumbling among yourselves, no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him… it is written in the Prophets:’ They will be taught by God……I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life……this bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves…. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
Jesus then said to the twelve he had personally called, ‘You don’t want to leave, too, do you?
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:67-69)

The twelve had walked daily with Jesus and had witnessed his closeness with God. They had seen what that enabled him to do. In every situation Jesus reflected the will of his Father, the power over life itself when he raised Lazarus and the Centurion’s daughter from the dead. And he promised his disciples,
 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these,…….”(John 14:12)
So it would not be surprising had his disciples been somewhat taken aback to hear him say,
“But I tell you the truth. It is for your good that I am going away.”
While he was with them, they had come to see that nothing was impossible.
But despite the wisdom and the power of Jesus they still had much to learn. They had their squabbles among themselves about who would get the best places in heaven, how it was inconceivable that one of the 12 would betray him, the misguided confidence that they would deny knowing him, the convenient ignoring of his teaching them that he would be put to death and rise on the third day.
They accepted him as their leader and they loved him for his love of them, but they still had much to learn of God’s ways-even though they daily saw God in Jesus in action. It was one thing to watch God in someone but how to have that same kind of experience was another. They needed him to teach them, to see how they could receive this power that would enable them to do greater works than they had witnessed Jesus doing.

So the thought that Jesus was going to be leaving them can’t have exactly thrilled them!

Their eyes were yet to be opened to the limitations Jesus had. The plan of God was for his Son to come into the world as a human being. Yes, he was able to do miraculous things because the Spirit of his Father was in him but he was still limited by a human body which meant he could only be in one place at any one time. He could speak to a crowd of 5,000 and feed them with a miracle but there were approximately 300 million people worldwide, only some of whom might hear of this wonderful man called Jesus.
But in Acts 1:Jesus gives them their task….’But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’
Here Jesus was spelling out how it was that they would be able to do greater works than he had been able to do. He was full of God’s Spirit but limited by the natural body he had accepted at his birth in Bethlehem.
We read in Luke 4 that Jesus, was ‘full of the Holy Spirit’, and it was that fulness which enabled Jesus to do all he did on earth. Even when he was in the desert for 40 days and was tempted as all humans are, he was able to resist the devil. He was not simply
touched by the Spirit. He was filled to overflowing!
He experienced what he was promising the disciples would receive so he was confident that they were going to be men through whom God could work his plan.
But, said, Jesus, don’t think you can be my witnesses to the ends of the earth by virtue of your natural abilities. ‘You must not leave Jerusalem until you are baptised with the Holy Spirit.’

If that baptism is going to make the difference between being an effective disciple or not, as disciples we need to heed what Jesus said…
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things.” (John 14:26) Not shall teach you ‘things’….shall teach you
ALL things.
The word used in the Bible for the work of the Holy Spirit is ELEGCHEIN. It’s a virtually impossible word to translate into English because it means so much.
Amongst many things, It means the Holy Spirit it will convict men of their wrongdoing. He will show them their protestations that they are acting in good faith are misplaced.
We can see that so clearly when the Jews were so adamant they were doing God’s work putting Jesus to death. They saw him as a heretic and in their pursuit of defending what they considered the true faith, aided and abetted by the Romans who considered him to be a dangerous character and the Jews welcomed the meting out to Jesus of the severest of punishments. Yet to those same people he became their Saviour. What could possibly have brought about that 180 degrees turn round? That is the Holy Spirit at work!
The Holy Spirit convicts, convinces and reveals the way a sinner can be forgiven. It is plain that with that knowledge in their armoury, every Christian blessed with the fullness of the Holy Spirit can be equipped to share the Gospel. But-and to paraphrase into our modern expression- don’t even think of moving an inch to do Gods will without you receive the gift God has promised.
Jesus knew there would come times when his disciples would face challenges which in human terms would defeat them. They were not to fear because with the fullness of the Holy Spirit, they would be taught how to handle the situation, what to say, how to say it.
But there’s so much to what the Holy Spirit is here to do and the challenges for us are just as challenging as they were for the first disciples.
The world is full of complex issues and Jesus had time with his disciples to teach them only
some of what they would need to know which is why he said that it was imperative that he should return to his Father so that the Holy Spirit would come who would not be limited as he had been. (The coming of the Holy Spirit was in fact the fulfilment of the promise of Jesus when he said to his disciples just before he ascended into heaven, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:120))
The Holy Spirit is to be with us until the very end of the world, to be available in all the situations we face, to reveal to us all we need to know for those situations at the speed we can understand.

We rob ourselves of the wonder of God’s ongoing plan when we fail to remember that God didn’t stop revealing his nature and his plan for us in AD 120 when the last book in the Bible was written. The Holy Spirit offers to continually reveal what we need to know in whatever situation we are.

Allow me to make two observations which I feel are relevant.
The Holy Spirit is not confined to the Church. He is in the world bringing conviction and challenge to those who may, as yet, not be members of the Church.
A dear friend of mine who had no church background at all was walking through London and just ‘felt’ he should go into St Paul’s Cathedral. While there he was convicted of what he felt God wanted him to do. Amazing, as he had no previous relationship with God! He left the Cathedral and immediately was ‘directed’ to a church headquarters where he made enquiries how to join. He became a member, then a minister, then a missionary where he led so many to a knowledge of Jesus.

George Friedrich Handel said of writing ‘Messiah’, "I did think I did see all heaven before me and the great God himself”

Who- be he Christian or not- fails to be moved by the Hallelujah Chorus. The Holy Spirit is at work in the world.

Yet, and I hope you will not think I’m suggesting the whole of the Church is negligent in it’s lack of dependency on the Holy Spirit, but could we-the present day disciples, members of God’s Church be missing what the Holy Spirit so urgently wants to teach us.
If the Holy Spirit can convict my non-believing friend in St Paul’s Cathedral what could he do through us who are his present day disciples already?
Yes, of course, we are the result of the Holy Spirit’s leading in our lives to be here we are. Perhaps he has guided us unknowingly, to us-though wonderfully so –through the Godly influence of parents or friends but he has so much more to reveal to us. So much more to teach us, so much more to lead us to do, so many more opportunities to be a blessing to others.
There is a difference in being ‘touched’ by the Holy Spirit and being baptised in the Holy Spirit. To be touched is a beautiful moment when by the graciousness of God we just feel moved by something that happens. Parents will know that feeling when they look on the birth of their child. Somehow, everything else in the world, at that moment, seems irrelevant. Our hearts just fill with joy.
I must confess, for instance I had one such moment when I first discovered one of the pieces of music I’ve shared in this service. Just 8 words set to music by Pavel Tschesnokoff
. ‘LET THY HOLY SPIRIT COME UPON US. HALLELUJAH.’ as I listened to it the Holy Spirit blessed me. (Of course, music is very much a persoan taste so I’m not saying you have to feel you felt touuched by the Holy Spirit when you heard it!)
Or to see the glorious sunset after a summers day, and that feeling of all is well with the world is to be touched by the Holy Spirit whether anyone is a Christian or not-Church member or not.
But when Jesus spoke about being baptised with the Holy Spirit, that was something different. He was speaking about receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit so that we are open to what he wants to reveal to us, sensing that what God wants us to do, however improbable or even unlikely it is to our nature, the Holy Spirit will empower us to do. The baptism of the Holy Spirit enables us to be part of that great commission Jesus with which Jesus entrusted his disciples –to make disciples-in other words, wherever we are, in whatever situation we may be, we will be able to reveal Jesus to those who meet.

I hope you have felt touched by the Holy Spirit by the hymns and the words in today’s service. I pray that his touch will lead you to ask to be baptised into his fullness if you have not already experienced that anointing.
If that is so, the way of that baptism is not complicated. Indeed the Holy Spirit is ever ready to bless us in this way. In the quietness just ask him to come to you in all his fullness. It may be that you would want your minister or a friend who themselves are baptised in the Holy Spirit to pray with you. Or perhaps you would like me to prayer with you. If you e-mail me, I’ll send you a personal e-mail with a prayer asking for you to know that amazing fullness which Jesus promised us.

May you truly be blessed as you sense God’s presence in these moments.

Introduction: Words and music by Brindley Boon who became a Salvation Army Officer in 1950. He was a journalist, songwriter and composer of brass band music. He was a fine man who I knew personally and was proud to call a friend. He died in 2009

Spirit Divine To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.

Spirit divine, come as of old
With healing in Thy train;
Come, as Thou did'st, to sanctify;
Let naught of sin remain.
Come, great Spirit, come,
Make each heart Thy home;
Enter every longing soul;
Come, great Spirit, come.
Spirit divine, purge Thou our hearts,
Make us to understand
Thy blessèd will concerning us,
And teach us love's command.
Spirit divine, cleanse Thou our souls
With pentecostal flood;
Breathe into us the life that shows
The Father love of God.

AUDIO FILE Benediction To hear the audio file, please click right mouse, then left click to open new tab.
By the gracious will of God and the preparation of your heart by Jesus, may you receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Amen