Transcending Our Differences
Transcending Our Differences

Transcending Our Differences

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! 

Welcome to your online worship from St. Mark’s for The Day of Pentecost, Sunday, May 19, 2024.

This week, in our exploration of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21), my message calls us to witness the transformative power of the Holy Spirit as it descends upon the disciples, igniting them with courage and unity. Through the lens of Scripture and reflection on present-day divisions, we are reminded of God’s enduring call for unity amidst both our diversity and division.

Today’s Opening Sentence

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful; and kindle in us the fire of your love.

Today’s Reading – Acts 2:1-21

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”
But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
‘In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
And I will show portents in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
The sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’1

Your Online Message and Prayers

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Reflection questions for the week: 

  • How does the concept of unity amidst diversity resonate with your own experiences and beliefs? Reflect on a time when you felt a sense of unity with others despite differences.
  • In what ways do you contribute to building bridges and fostering understanding in your community? Consider actions you can take to promote unity and reconciliation in your interactions with others.
  • Reflect on instances when you’ve witnessed division or conflict, whether on a personal or societal level. How can you respond to such situations with grace, empathy, and a commitment to reconciliation?
  • Consider John Wesley’s dream and the vision of a diverse multitude united as Christians. How can you embody this vision in your own life, embracing the diversity of God’s creation and working towards unity within your spheres of influence?

A continued reminder that if you are at all uncomfortable being in-person for worship, or if you are not feeling well, please join us here online.

Thank you again for joining with your parish family in our online worship today.

Find out how you can support our ministry and good work in the community here.

God Bless you and have a blessed week. Be well!


The Rev’d Canon Rob Park

  1. Scripture quotation is from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.