Message for June 13, 2021

Mora/Ogilvie UMC

June 13, 2021



*Call to Worship

Leader: Come, Holy Spirit. Inspire our hearts with your fiery presence!

People: Let your flame burn within us, stirring us to action. 

Leader: Come, Holy Spirit. Energize our lives to work for God.

People: Let your wind of hope swirl around us, lifting and moving us from complacency.

Leader: Come, Holy Spirit. Pour your blessing on us.

People: Let your presence challenge us to proclaim God’s presence and love in everything we say and do. Amen.

Ministry Matters Abingdon Press, 4 June 2017,

*Opening Prayer

Amazing God, when your disciples were empty and discouraged you sent the power of your Holy Spirit to fill them with new life.

We come here today feeling empty and discouraged ourselves.

Send to us the wind and fire of the Spirit so that we to can be empowered to serve you in the world today.

*Hymn            UMH #103                   Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise (V 1,3,4)

Scripture        Act 2: 1-4; 16-21

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.

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.’

Meditation     Worth Stopping For

Today we find ourselves in week two of our Road Trip sermon series. Rod and I discovered long ago that there is a reason that we do not take many road trips. For many years after we were married, we traveled to visit our parents; Rod’s 125 miles and my mom 150 miles from our home.

It would seem all this traveling might had prepared us for longer trips. But instead of preparing us for longer road trips it only introduced us to every pop machine, bakery and bathroom between Bloomington and Marshall.

Our last long road trip took us from Bloomington, MN to Cabool, Missouri. We completed our business in a couple days in Cabool and then decided since we were so close, we would visit my aunt in Bella Vista, Arkansas. This was our first “can’t miss” opportunity on this trip.

We spent a few hours with my aunt Marilyn in Bella Vista and then got a room for the night. We then decided that since we were already on the road we might as well visit Rod’s brother in Seward, Nebraska. It made no difference to us that Minnesota was pretty much a straight shot North from Belle Vista, and that Seward took us pretty far to the west.

After Seward we decided to not miss the opportunity to visit Rod’s parents in Lucan, Minnesota. It was kind of on our way home, so we stopped there and finally we made our way back to Bloomington.

The first leg of the trip, Bloomington to Cabool, was about 10 hours and we made that in one day, but our driving endurance went downhill from there. We discovered that we like to sleep in a bit in the morning and then have a late leisurely breakfast, then got on the road at, oh maybe 10:30 to 11 and after about four hours or so we were sick of driving, so we stop for the night. It was fun, it was laid-back, it was easy, and we got nowhere fast.

I read a statement recently that gets to the same point – it reads like this…

  • “I was celebrating the new year in Rio de Janeiro. I went there for the fantastic beach fireworks. Just before midnight, I decided to go to the hotel to pick up my camera and got stuck in the elevator till 3 AM. Happy New Year!

We lead such busy lives with so many “can’t miss” opportunities along the way. Last week I told you about my friend Amy’s experience running out of gas while driving in the Twin Cities. Not only did she run out of gas but when she returned just 15 minutes later her car was gone. I guess the tow truck operator also saw a cannot miss opportunity and there went Amy’s car to the impound lot. To add insult to injury to poor Amy when she went to retrieve her car the battery was dead.

Can miss opportunities that divert our attention, have you ever been in a place in your spiritual journey where you felt like you were running on empty, when you even felt kind of dead inside, or when all those can’t miss opportunities became more important than your spiritual journey? Maybe this is where you find yourself today.

We all have times we should be praying more, absorbed in scripture or getting involved in small groups, studies or missions, yet you can’t muster the energy. Or you find yourself appearing  to have it all together, doing all the right things – but your soul is on empty. It is like living a double life.

When we run out of gas, when we have dead batteries, we are more easily distracted by the can’t miss opportunities.

If Rod and I had been focused on getting right back to Minnesota we would not have made all the stops along the way.

Jesus’ disciples also found themselves in this lost sort of place – that place that their souls were on empty. These men were handpicked by Jesus. They spent about three years leaning from Him, devoted to him, following Him, and loving Him. Then things changed and in a short period of time they found themselves needing a big-time fill-up. They likely felt alone, lost and without direction.

Well they got a fill-up like none other.

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.

How have the disciples moved from being lost and empty to a spirit-filled life? As Jesus leaves them, he sets their path, giving them a world-changing mission. Imagine the conversations walking down the mountain, getting back to reality. Returning to day-to-day living left feeling empty and wondering how to manage all they are asked.

John Piper, a theologian, pastor, and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis used an analogy to illustrate the experience of the Spirit before and after Pentecost. Piper said picture a huge dam for hydroelectric power under construction, he used the Aswan High Dam on the Nile, 375 feet high and 11,000 feet across.

The plan for construction was announced in 1953. The dam was completed in 1970 and in 1971 there was a grand dedication ceremony and the 12 turbines with their ten billion kilowatt-hour capacity were unleashed with enough power to light every city in Egypt.

During the long period of construction the Nile River wasn’t completely stopped. Even as the reservoir was filling, part of the river was allowed to flow past. The country folk downstream depended on it. They drank it, they washed in it, it watered their crops and turned their millwheels.

They sailed on it in the moonlight and wrote songs about it. It was their life. But on the day when the reservoir poured through the turbines a power was unleashed that spread far beyond the few folk down river and brought possibilities they had only dreamed of.

Piper said that Pentecost is like the celebratory opening of the Aswan High Dam. Before Pentecost the river of God’s Spirit blessed the people of Israel and was their very life. But after Pentecost the power of the Spirit spread out to light the whole world.

None of the benefits enjoyed in the pre-Pentecostal days were taken away. But ten billion kilowatts were added to enable the church to take the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ to every tongue and tribe and nation.

The apostles needed a powerful way to move forward. It would have been easy to go back to their families, back to their fishing boats back to their farms, but Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem. Then with a sweep of the wind and the touch of the fire, God pours out the Holy Spirit on these empty followers of Jesus.

The filling of the Holy Spirit mobilizes the apostles to go out into the world, filled with the necessities to make the journey. They have the power through the Holy Spirit. Peter dismisses the claims of drunkenness and claims this new power is from God. This stop in the journey filled them for the mission Jesus had planned for them.

UMC.Org describes the Holy Spirit as follows…

The Holy Spirit is God’s present activity in our midst. When we sense God’s leading, God’s challenge, or God’s support or comfort, we say that it’s the Holy Spirit at work.

In Hebrew, the words for Spiritwind, and breath are nearly the same. The same is true in Greek. In trying to describe God’s activity among them, the ancients were saying that it was like God’s breath, like a sacred wind. It could not be seen or held: “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes” (John 3:8). But the effect of God’s Spirit, like the wind, could be felt and known. Where do we find the evidence of the Spirit at work?

The Holy Spirit gives you the power to go out and change the world for the glory of God. But how do we open yourself up to God’s spirit? There’s a temptation to do things in your own strength but when you do, you will run out of gas. When we try to do God’s work, relying on our own strength, we are like a trickle in the dam. When we tap into the power of the Holy Spirit we are not empty, we are filled with the flow of God’s power.

The power of the Holy Spirit enabled the disciples of Christ to turn the world upside down with the powerful preaching of the gospel. They could not have accomplished this in their own power. Jesus promised that the Spirit would come, live within them, and empower them in a miraculous way.

Imagine that handful of disciples starting a movement that has grown to massive numbers today. Now imagine what we can do with the same Holy Spirit living within us. The power of the Holy Spirit is not just to a few, but to a community of believers.

How will our church use what the Spirit is offering to us to grow the kingdom of God? We as a church can use this incredible power to invite others within our community into the this family of God. We can use this power of the Holy Spirit to feed the hungry, to house the homeless in fact to heal a broken world.

My friends we have been given the power. Let’s pray right now to have the power awakened within us.

As Individual or as a community we have the power. A few years ago we had with us a speaker named Rusty Palmer. Rusty lives just outside of Ogilvie and at the time he shared with us he attended the Ogilvie UMC.

Rusty identified himself as a user of drugs and alcohol for much of his life. But a number of years ago changed he accepted God and the power of the Holy Spirit into his life. Today Rusty is off all substances and has totally turned his life around.

He went to a small Bible School and today leads classed, weekly ministers to children in some tough parts of the Twin Cities, and annually has committed his resources and time to do significant mission work in other parts of the world. Rusty has told me that without the Holy Spirit working in his life he would be the person he is today.

How about you? Have you asked the Holy Spirit to fill you up, to lead you and guide you? Have you asked the Holy Spirit to unleash the power in you so you can do God’s work here in our community?  If not, why? If not how about doing it now.

My friends we have been given the power. Let’s pray right now to have the power awakened within us.

Come Holy Spirit come…Amen

*Hymn            UMH #420                   Breathe On Me, Breath of God

Pastoral Prayer and The Lord’s Prayer

God of the journey,

Your life was a journey from the moment you were born.
From birth to death. From Bethlehem’s stable to Calvary’s cross.

For each step that I might take, Be my guide, O Lord of life.
For each load that I might bear, Be my strength, O Lord of life.
For each mountain I might face, Be my power, O Lord of life.
For each river that might impede, Be my safety, O Lord of life.
For each place where I might rest, Be my peace, O Lord of life.
For each sunrise and sunset, Be my joy, O Lord of life.

Let my eyes be your eyes, sharing compassion, warmth and love.
Let my hands be your hands, bringing healing with their touch.
Let my ears be your ears, listening where there is need
Let my words be your words, bringing comfort joy and peace.

Father, help us be a people who are prepared for the journey which lies ahead. Take from us all evil desire; remove from us any refusal we have to forgive others; lift from us any reluctance we have to love our enemies and to bless, in your name, those who curse us.

Send unto us the desire to love one another as Jesus loves us, the yearning to bring your saving word to those who hunger, the longing to reach out and touch another person with your love and to speak to others—and to ourselves—your truth.  Help us to be ones who are prepared; help us to be ones who live Christ-like lives…

We ask all these things not in our name, but in the name of Jesus Christ—he who taught us to pray to you for ourselves and for the coming of your kingdom saying: “Our Father….”

~ written by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild, and posted on Kir-shalom.

In the name of Jesus the Christ, who taught us to pray as one community we pray.

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen

Hymn UMH # 328                   Surely the Presence of the Lord


On our own we are limited, but through the power of the Holy Spirit all things are possible. Share a story about how God has worked through your church to give people hope.

*Doxology UMH # 95             Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow

*Prayer of Dedication

Living God, you are the Lord of all! Only you can send your Spirit to bring us new life. You graciously speak your word of hope in times of struggle and uncertainty, and in times of joy and peace. We are grateful that you are continually at work in our lives and the world to fulfill your promises. May our giving today show our trust in you. We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Ministries, Discipleship. “Offertory Prayers and Invitation for May 2018.” Discipleship Ministries.

*Hymn   UMH #384                Love Divine, All Love excelling 


The Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make his face shine upon you

and be gracious to you;

the Lord turn his face toward you

and give you peace.”

Go now to love and serve the lord


We will again have fellowship time after worship in Ogilvie and before worship at Mora starting June 20. We are starting with beverages being served and will add treats at a later date.

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