Please welcome my dad, Rev. Hollis Hiscock, as today's guest blogger!
This post is inspired by his Pentecost sermon. You can watch it live HERE.
|Screenshot of Rev. Hollis Hiscock in action...|
A Queen, a Priest and a Ghost walk into a church on a Sunday morning ...
I know you're waiting for the punchline.
Today, the message of the homily is the punchline:
The Queen is Elizabeth …. The Priest is Hollis … the Ghost is Holy.
How are they connected with Pentecost?
And what is their message to us in the year 2022?
The three go to the front of the church and take turns speaking ...
Queen Elizabeth goes to a table, picks up a plate, and shows it to the people sitting in the church. The plate is a souvenir of her coronation which happened on June 2, 1953.
She explains that she wants to take people back to the previous year. In 1952, when she gave her first Christmas message as Queen, she asked people that “whatever your religion may be, (I ask you) to pray for me on that day (her coronation)—to pray that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making, and that I may faithfully serve Him and you, all the days of my life.”
After all the ups and downs in the ensuing 68 years as Queen, in her 2020 Christmas message, she spoke about the festive mood created by Christmas lights - how lights bring hope, and how Jesus Christ is “the light of the world”.
She went on to say that “the teachings of Christ have served as my inner light”, and that we should “let the light of Christmas, the spirit of selflessness, love, and above all hope, guide us in the times ahead”.
After the Queen sits down, the Priest picks up a Bible and shows it to the people.
He says it was given to him on June 13, 1965, when he was ordained to “the office and work of a Priest in the Church of God”. He explains why it looks rather unused: the King James Bible was the only version available for hundreds of years, but after 1965 there was an explosion of Bible translations. Today, portions of the Bible are available in nearly 3,500 languages.
Like the Queen, he wants to take people back to the winter of 1964: "Four of us were preparing to be ordained. We met for 2-3 hours with the Archdeacon, and I was so upset after the meeting that I went back to my room and documented my feelings."
He shows a letter outlining why he was upset, disillusioned, and wondering if he wanted to be a Priest, after he observed the behaviour and heard the words of the Church authorities.
After struggling through questions, like “do I preach the Gospel of Jesus or be restricted by the whims of fallible beings?” and “whom do we serve - God or church hierarchy?”, he concluded that “my firm conviction in God kept my hopes for the ordination to the Priesthood alive”.
“I have carried the copy with me ever since and when things were not going well for me in my ministry work, I reread it for guidance. My firm conviction in God kept me going”.
Hollis goes on to share:
In 2004, on my 40th anniversary of ordination, I said in a sermon, “I am still sane and have kept my faith in God”.
On my 50th anniversary, I wrote, “God is still around and promises to meet us - at all times, in all places and under all circumstances”.
When the Priest sits down, the Holy Ghost picks up a red candle, and says:
“I was there at the first Pentecost” (Acts 2:1-21).
The followers of Jesus were a sorry lot. After waiting for 40 days (not really knowing why) they were disillusioned, bored, complaining, and ready to give it all up.
But when God’s mighty wind entered the house, they opened their eyes, and when they felt God’s 'tongues of fire' touching their heads they stood up, and when they were 'filled with the Holy Ghost' they were ready to act … and they did.
First, they told the people nearby about God’s love.
Then, they spread it across countries and down through the ages.
One day, God’s spirit touched you and you began to follow God. I was there then and with you ever since, like I was with the Queen and the Priest."
This brings us to today, a time to renew our faith in God:
- Light a candle or visualize a lighted candle in your church.
- Feel God’s spirit waking or renewing your faith.
- Feel God’s fire bringing new life and energy to you.
- Feel yourself being filled with God’s spirit.
- Remember the Queen’s words, “Jesus is the light of the world”.
- Remember the Priest’s words, “wherever we go, God is there waiting for us”.
- Remember God’s (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) promise, “I am with you always”.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat...
May God's light shine brightly in your heart, today and always...
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Want even more Pentecost inspiration?
Please enjoy our first episode of Breaking Light Broadcasting:
Pentecost - A Musical Celebration