Other information :
There are some notes on our production of the service.
A rough plan of the church is available.
A note on copyright.
|Narrator||We welcome you here in the name of Jesus. May God's Holy Spirit surround and fill us with His peace, His joy, and His love.
Some house-keeping information -
Our sentence for today is from the book of Acts, Chapter 1 verse 8 :
"When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power."
Please stand for the hymn "All over the world the spirit is moving".
"All over the world the spirit is moving".
|During last verse of this hymn Peter comes down the Hospital aisle to the centre, bottom step; Peter 2, John and the servants come to the front and wait at Hospital side.|
Let's imagine ourselves back in Jerusalem a few years after Jesus's death.
|Curius starts walking slowly down the organ aisle.|
|We're very interested in the new Christian movement, and would love to find out more about it. We've heard a lot of rumours, but we want to know what really happened.
Of course, as it's only imagination, we can't really do that, but we can imagine what might have happened to someone like us called - say - Curius Nosiparka, one day in Jerusalem. ( points to Curius ) Look - here he is, coming down the side aisle !
|Curius should now be well down the organ side aisle, looking about him with interest. He sees the group of disciples, and moves towards them.|
|Well, he's in luck; he's just about to meet Simon Peter, one of Jesus's special friends, and a leader of the Christians. Curius, on our behalf, will seize the opportunity to ask Peter some questions.
As Peter answers the questions he looks back to some of the happenings just after Jesus died. Some of these flashbacks will be re-enacted by a 'younger' Peter.
We invite you all to join Curius in asking the questions. ( These questions are coloured red on the screen. )
|Curius ( going up to Peter ) + ALL||Hi - it's Peter, Simon Peter, isn't it ?|
|Peter||Yes, I'm Simon Peter.|
|Curius + ALL||You're the guy that was always with Jesus !|
|Peter||Yes, I was with Him.|
|Curius + ALL||One of His special friends ?|
|Peter||That's right - I'm one of His special friends who went everywhere with Him.|
|Curius + ALL||That must have been great.
Hey, Look. I've always wanted to ask you about the death of Jesus. Did you really see Him die ?
|Narrator||You will notice that Curius is a bit pushy. Going from his first meeting with Peter to asking how his best mate died in agony within half a minute is a bit much. Still, it gets the information. Just don't follow his example. Fortunately, Peter's used to people asking questions, and he wants to tell the story.|
|Peter||Well - no.
That's where I made my worst mistake ever.
I said something wrong because I was frightened, and afterwards I was deeply ashamed. And it was really hard to recover from it.
|Curius + ALL||Why ? What happened ?|
|( Peter and Curius move to the side.
As Peter speaks, servants move to centre, with Servant 2 and Servant 3 by the altar warming their hands at an imaginary fire, Servants 1 and 4 nearer the front, and Servants 5 and 6 between the other two groups. )
|Peter||Well, it started early on that last night. Jesus warned us that He was going to be arrested and put to death, and that everyone would desert Him - and he said too that He'd be raised to life again. I said that whatever the rest did I'd stay faithful, but He said that I wouldn't.
I remember just how He put it : "Before the cock crows", He said, "you'll deny me three times". Of course, I knew better, and so did the rest of us, and we all said we'd stay faithful.
But then Jesus was arrested, and too right we all scattered.
John and I followed Him right into the High Priest's house, right into the enemy's camp, you might say - and this is what happened -
|Servant 2||Brrrrr. It's a chilly night. I wish they'd get done with this Jesus. Him and His people are giving us a bit of trouble.|
|Servant 3||Yes, they're making lots of trouble.|
|Servant 6||All about that Jesus.|
|Servant 5||It's a lot of fuss about one man.|
|Servant 3||But He was such a good man.|
|Servant 2||You're not one of His followers, are you ?|
|Servant 3||No, not me.|
|John and Peter 2 come in past servants at front.|
|Servant 1 ( to Peter 2 )||You too were with Jesus of Nazareth.|
|Servant 4||Yes, I'm sure you were with Him.|
|Peter 2||I don't know what you're talking about. ( stage hand rings bell. )|
|Peter 2 and John move past Servant 1 and Servant 4 towards Servant 2 and Servant 3, Servant 5 and Servant 6.|
|Narrator||- and they went and warmed their hands at the fire.|
|Servant 2 to Servant 3||He was with Jesus of Nazareth.|
|Servant 3||Yes, I saw him with Him.|
|Servants 5 & 6||So did we.|
|Peter 2||I swear that I don't know that man ! ( stage hand rings bell. )|
|Narrator||After a little while one of the men standing there came to Peter and said -|
|Servant 3 to Peter 2||Of course you are one of them. After all, the way you speak gives you away !|
|Peter 2||I swear that I am telling the truth ! May God punish me if I am not ! I do not know the man ! ( stage hand rings bell. )|
|Narrator||Just then a cock crew ( Effects : cock crow ) and Peter remembered what Jesus had told him : "Before the cock crows you will say three times that you don't know me".
Peter went out crying bitterly.
|Peter 2 goes out down centre aisle crying; servants go to hospital side.
Peter and Curius return to centre.
|Peter||Of course, Jesus had been right. He knew me much better than I did. I was big brave Peter who wasn't afraid of anything - but He knew better. And when the pressure came on, I broke, just as He'd said.
The shame was very hard to bear. I wanted to go back to that courtyard, back to those servants, and tell them that Yes, I was with Jesus, Yes, I loved Him above all others, Yes, I would die with Him if that's what it came to.
But you can't go back. And isn't it easy to be brave when there's no more danger ?
All that day I hid from everyone and just cried and cried.
So I missed it all.
|Curius + ALL||That must have been terrible.|
|Peter||Yes, it was.
Eventually I crept back to the house where the others were and they told me everything that had happened - that Jesus had died on the Cross and was buried.
And I'd missed it all.
What could I do now ?
|Curius + ALL||So what did you do ?|
|Peter||Well, the women were busy preparing spices for Jesus's body, and the rest of us just sat around.
I was really worried.
Would Jesus forgive me for deserting Him ?
We talked about it - and it turned out that most of the others had run away too. All but John.
That was the worst day of our lives for all of us, for we were all wondering, "Would Jesus forgive us ?".
Then we remembered Jesus telling people to repent. So we did.
|Curius + ALL||How did you do that ?|
|Peter||Really, I think we already had. I told you how I felt after I'd let Him down. We'd all looked at what we'd done, or not done, and we understood how wrong it had been. We knew how badly we'd let Jesus down.
We all said "Sorry" to God, and asked Him to forgive us, and to help us not to let Him down again.
That made things a bit better. But I still wondered, was I really forgiven ?
|Curius + ALL||Then what happened ?|
|Peter||Well, early the next morning the women went to the tomb to anoint Jesus's body with spices.
They came running back saying, "The tomb's empty and Jesus is alive !".
I found that hard to believe.
Well, would you have believed it ? People who are dead and buried just don't come back to life, do they ? Anyway, John and I went to look and sure enough the tomb was empty.
And then I remembered what Jesus had told us about being raised from the dead and I began to believe that Jesus really had risen.
I felt heaps better.
But still at the back of my mind was the question, "Have I been forgiven ?"
|Curius + ALL||That's a serious question. But how can you ever know the answer ?|
|Narrator||Please stand for the hymn|
|Curius + ALL||How can you ever know that you've been forgiven ?|
|Peter||Well, I know that He has forgiven me.|
|Curius + ALL||How do you know that ?|
|Peter||It was like this.
A few days later we were all fed up and decided to go away for a few days. We went to Galilee and while we were there we went out on the boat for a night of fishing.
You know that I was a fisherman ?
|Curius + ALL||Yes, I know that.|
|Peter||So seven of us went fishing and this is what happened.|
|Peter and Curius move back to side; X, Peter 2, John and fishermen come to centre in front of altar.|
|Narrator||Would anyone like to come and help us act this part of the story ? Please come to the front now and X will tell you what to do.|
|X lines up the volunteers and cast in the 'boat' facing the hospital side.|
|X||Everyone listen to the narrator and copy me.|
|Narrator||They rowed out onto Lake Galilee to fish.|
|Everyone row the boat - follow X's actions of rowing the boat.|
|Narrator||They rowed and rowed and rowed until they found a good place to stop. Then they dropped the anchor.|
|X and everyone drop the anchor :|
|Narrator||They got the net ready and threw it over the side.|
|X and everyone throw net over the side.|
|Narrator||They waited, then they pulled the net in again.|
|X and everyone haul the net in.|
|Narrator||No fish, not one !
So they tried the other side.
They got the net ready and threw it over the side.
|X and everyone throw net over the side.|
|Narrator||They waited, then they pulled the net in again.|
|X and everyone haul the net in.|
|Narrator||Still no fish !
They kept trying all night until they were exhausted.
|X and everyone act exhausted.
Jesus comes onto shore ( hospital side, top step )
|Narrator||Then they saw someone standing on the shore. They didn't recognise Him at first.|
|X and everyone point to Jesus.|
|Jesus ( Calling as over a long distance - all the following conversation is similarly called out. )||Have you caught any fish ?|
|Fishermen||Not a thing.|
|Jesus||Throw your net out on the right side of the boat, and you will catch some.|
|Fishermen ( miserably )||We've just done that - there's nothing there.|
|Jesus||I think things might have changed. Go on - give it another go.|
|John ( to Peter 2, not specially loudly )||Amateurs. They always know better than we do.|
|Peter 2 ( to John, not specially loudly )||Too true. But you never know - and we've nothing better to do, have we ?|
|John||I suppose you're right. Come on, everyone - one last throw !|
|X and everyone throw net out on audience side of boat.|
|Narrator||So they threw the net out -|
|X and everyone try to pull the net in, and stop, straining at the "ropes" but not getting anywhere.|
|Narrator||- and could not pull it back in, because they had caught so many fish.|
|John ( to Peter 2 )||It is the Lord !|
|Narrator||Simon Peter wrapped his outer garment around him and jumped into the water and came hurrying ashore.|
|Peter 2 wraps cloak round him and comes wading to shore and goes up to Jesus.|
|Narrator||The others pulled up the anchor ( X and everyone pull up anchor ) then rowed to shore dragging the net behind the boat.|
|X and everyone turn round and row back to shore dragging heavy net behind them to the hospital side front step.|
|Narrator||Thanks to our volunteer crew, we've reached shore safely. Obviously we couldn't have managed without you - so now you can go back to your seats for a well-earned rest !|
|( Wait until the extra "crew" are away from the front area. )|
|When they stepped ashore they saw a fire burning there with fish on it and some bread.|
|Jesus||Bring some of the fish you have just caught.|
|Narrator||They dragged the net ashore and it was filled with 153 fish, but even so the net was not torn.|
|Fishermen drag the net out and count the fish and take some to the fire.|
|Jesus||Come and have breakfast !|
|Fishermen and Jesus sit around eating breakfast.|
|Narrator||They just knew it was Jesus.
Jesus gave them the fish and bread to eat.
|Narrator||When they had finished eating Jesus took Peter to one side.|
|Jesus and Peter 2 move to front.|
|Jesus ( to Peter 2 )||Simon son of John, do you love Me ?|
|Peter 2||Yes, Lord. You know that I love You.|
|Jesus||Feed My lambs.
Simon son of John, do you truly love Me ?
|Peter 2 ( more emphatic )||Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.|
|Jesus||Take care of My sheep.
Simon son of John, do you truly love Me ?
|Peter 2 ( quite insistent )||Lord, You know all things. You know that I love You !|
|Jesus||Feed My sheep.
|Jesus with Peter 2 following come down centre aisle, other fishermen move to hospital side aisle.
Curius and Peter move to centre.
|Curius + ALL to Peter||And that's how you know you've been forgiven ?|
|Peter||Yes, that's how I know, but I also know that Jesus forgives all who ask Him provided they are truly sorry.|
|Curius + ALL||Even me ?|
|Peter||Yes, even you.
But Jesus didn't just forgive me. He gave me a job to do - "feed My sheep", He said - and after letting Him down so badly I determined to do it as well as I could. Although I still didn't know how, but it fitted in with His telling me earlier on that I would be a "fisher of men".
|Curius + ALL||That's an unusual job title. What is it ?|
|Peter||Well, just as an ordinary fisher goes out to sea and brings back some fish to shore, I'm to go out into the world to bring back some people to God. Of course, what happens after that is a bit different - the people don't get killed and eaten, they get eternal life.
But it was great to have a job to do for Him. He was giving me another chance, and I'm not going to let Him down again.
|Narrator||X will now describe the actions for our next hymn.|
|X||We'll sing this twice. The second time through would the males - that is, men and boys - please bob down for all the words beginning with "m", and the females - the women and girls - bob down, for all the words beginning with "f".|
|( fishermen help with actions )|
|Fishermen return to their places.
Helpers hand activity out to the children.
|Curius + ALL||What happened next ?|
|Peter||We all began to meet together and to pray together while we wondered what to do next.
I thought a lot about the question Jesus had asked me - "Do you love me ?" - and I decided that loving Jesus was going to be the most important focus for my life. I think many of the others decided this too.
|Curius + ALL||Is loving Jesus as important as that ?|
|Peter||Yes, for me, loving Jesus is the most important aim of my life. I hope it's yours too.
Then one day when we were all praying together this is what happened.
|Curius and Peter move to side; Reader and Peter 2 come to lectern.|
|Reader||This reading is from the book of Acts Chapter 2 verses 1-21, and can be found on Page 1205 of the Church Bibles.
When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing,
|( On the phrase 'strong wind', Stagehand turns fan on )|
|and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.
There were Jews living in Jerusalem, religious people who had come from every country in the world. When they heard this noise, a large crowd gathered. They were all excited, because all of them heard the believers speaking in their own languages. In amazement and wonder they exclaimed, "These people who are talking like this are all Galileans ! How is it, then, that all of us hear them speaking in our own native languages ? We are from Parthia, Media, and Elam; from Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia : from Pontus and Asia, from Phrygia and Pamphylia, from Egypt and the regions of Libya near Cyrene. Some of us are from Rome, both Jews and Gentiles converted to Judaism, and some of us are from Crete and Arabia - yet all of us hear them speaking in their own languages about the great things God has done ! Amazed and confused, they kept asking each other, "What does this mean ?".
But others made fun of the believers, saying, "These people are drunk !"
Then Peter stood up with the other eleven apostles and in a loud voice began to speak to the crowd :
|Peter 2||"Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, listen to me and let me tell you what this means.
These people are not drunk, as you suppose; it is only nine o'clock in the morning. Instead this is what the prophet Joel spoke about :
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;
This is the Word of the Lord.
|ALL||Thanks be to God|
|Reader and Peter 2 return to seats.
Peter and Curius move to centre.
|Peter||Then I went on to preach a sermon and three thousand people joined our Christian group that day.|
|Curius + ALL||Three thousand people ! Wow, what a wonderful miracle !|
|Peter||It was amazing, and our lives were never the same again.
But God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and so what happened then is available to all who ask Him today.
It doesn't have to be quite so dramatic, but people are still moved by the Spirit of God to offer their service to Him and join His church.
|Peter and Curius return to their seats down hospital aisle.|
|Narrator||Y will now sing to us "Lord of all power, I give you my will".|
|Stage hand moves board and easel to gap in altar rail.|
|Narrator||We invite you now to bring up the hearts that were handed out at the beginning of the service and place them on this board as a symbol of your personal love for Jesus.
In these baskets there are some flame-shaped 'lapel' badges ( picks up a badge and shows it ) to symbolise the coming of the Holy Spirit. Once you have placed your "heart" on the board do help yourself to a badge.
While this is happening the organist will play "Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me". When all who wish have come to the front we will prayerfully sing this song.
|When all people have returned : Stage hand moves easel to side and places board against altar. ( Keep board slightly tilted so hearts don't fall off. )|
|Prayer 1 , Prayer 2, Prayer 3 and Prayer 4 come to lectern.|
|Narrator||Please sit or kneel for the prayers which we will end by singing The Lord's Prayer.|
|Prayer 1||Thank You, Lord God, that You are a forgiving God.
Thank You for Your assurance that when we come to You with contrite hearts You do forgive us. Please help us to live our lives as You desire and not as we desire.
|Prayer 2||Thank You, Lord God, for Your gift of the Holy Spirit; thank You for giving us the opportunity to receive this gift today. Teach us how to use this gift that Your glory may shine from us all the rest of our lives.|
|Prayer 3||Let us pray for all those people known to us who are in trouble or distress, those who are sick in body, mind or spirit. We lift each of these people up to You asking that You will pour Your healing love into each one; we ask this in the name of Jesus.|
|Prayer 4||We pray for Your peace to prevail throughout this world, praying that each one of us will act as Your peacemaker whereever we may be, and that You will raise up other peacemakers to be working and praying for world-wide peace. Amen.
Together we sing The Lord's Prayer.
|ALL||Our Father in heaven. Hallowed be Your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done, in earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.
For the Kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours now and for ever.
|Narrator||Please stand for our final hymn,
"Lord, the light of Your love is shining".
|Narrator||Please remain standing for the Blessing.
|Prayer 1, Prayer 2, Prayer 3, Prayer 4|
|Servant 1, Servant 2, Servant 3, Servant 4, Servant 5, Servant 6|