Sun 7/2/21

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Broadcast & Online services.

Full Morning Prayer with Sermon and Hymns which will be used on ZOOM at 11am to join us email 

crosscountryparishes@outlook.com 

Broadcast and Live-streamed Opportunities for Worship
8.10 am  Radio 4 Sunday Worship 
10.00 am Chester Cathedral are livestreaming the Cathedral Eucharist at: https://chestercathedral.com/stream/
10.45 A modern-style of service will be livestreamed from Christ Church Gipsy Hill available at: https://www.facebook.com/christchurchgipsyhill
The Prayer Book Society continue to livestream a wide range of Book of Common Prayer Services available at: https://www.pbs.org.uk/churches-and-services/-1


A Service of the Word 
For Use on Zoom

 

Sunday 7 February Second Sunday before Lent

 

OPENING

Leader     We come from scattered lives to meet with God. Let us recognise his presence with us.

Silence

Leader     As Gods people we have gathered:

All             Let us worship him together.

 

All             Lord, direct our hearts, and teach us to pray.  Lift up our hearts to worship you in spirit and truth, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

HYMN  At the name of Jesus

 

CONFESSION

We have come together in the name of Christ 

to offer our praise and thanksgiving,

to hear and receive God’s holy word,

to pray for the needs of the world,

and to seek forgiveness of our sins,

that by the power of the Holy Spirit

we may give ourselves to the service of God.


 

Jesus says, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of God is close at hand.’

So let us turn away from our sin and turn to Christ,

confessing our sins in penitence and faith.

 

Lord God,

we have sinned against you;

we have done evil in your sight.

We are sorry and repent.

Have mercy on us according to your love.

Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin.

Renew a right spirit within us

and restore us to the joy of your salvation;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

May the Father of all mercies

cleanse you from our sins,

and restore you in his image

to the praise and glory of his name,

through Jesus Christ our Lord

Amen.

 

Blessed is the Lord,

for he has heard the voice of our prayer;

 

therefore shall our hearts dance for joy

and in our song will we praise our God.

 

 

MEDITATION ON JOHN 1:  

One and Only by Rend Collective

 

Reading  Colossians 1:15-20        

                  

The Benedictus               

You have raised up for us a mighty Saviour,

born of the house of your servant David.

 

Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, 

who has come to his people and set them free.

 

He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour, 

born of the house of his servant David.

 

Through his holy prophets God promised of old 

to save us from our enemies,

from the hands of all that hate us,

 

To show mercy to our ancestors, 

and to remember his holy covenant.

 

This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham: 

to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

 

Free to worship him without fear, 

holy and righteous in his sight

all the days of our life.

 

And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, 

for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

 

To give his people knowledge of salvation 

by the forgiveness of all their sins.

 

In the tender compassion of our God 

the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

 

To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, 

and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

 

You have raised up for us a mighty Saviour,

born of the house of your servant David.

 

 

READING                  John 1:1-14     

 

A Sermon for the 2nd Sunday Before Lent
Colossians 1: 15 – 20; John 1: 1 – 14

 

I treated myself to a fun book to read.  The Archers at war is a prequel to The Archers, relating the happenings in Ambridge before they became public 75 years ago.  Prequels to film series and novels have become popular, and today’s readings follow the trend.

Last week we finished the Christmas season as we gazed at the light shining from infant eyes.  Now, before we begin Lent, our readings offer us the prequel, throwing us back long before the arrival of Jesus in Bethlehem to creation and beyond.

Both John and Paul make it quite clear that Jesus was present at creation and is God; ‘The Word was with God, and the Word was God’.  Clearly the God of the prequel is far more difficult to understand than God lying in a manger… 

We need some help.  When I was training for the ministry, the college Chaplain asked us what our picture of God was.  Was he the stern judge?  A teddy bear for times we need comfort? A policeman making sure order was kept?  A father – and if he was a father, what kind of father was he?  We will all have a picture of God which we prefer, and which shapes our understanding of God.  Whatever our picture and understanding of God is, todays readings tell us they can never be full enough or big enough to contain God.  Which is why we need Jesus; God made known as a baby, sharing with us all that it means to be human.

Jesus is easier for us to understand, but we need to make no mistake.  Paul tells us quite clearly that Jesus is the image of the invisible God.  In understanding Jesus, we can understand God, however far removed he may seem, and however hard to understand.

Now we have grasped God as the baby in the manger, and held him in the arms of our imagination with Mary and Simeon, we are ready to discover more about Jesus, and in doing so, to find out more about God.

So what else do Paul and John tell us to help with our discovery?  Paul paints an enormous picture.  Not only is Jesus the image of God; he is the one through whom everything was created.  Best of all, because he created everything, Jesus is in control.  That’s something we desperately need to hear as world events suggest increasingly that the world is out of control.  Paul tells us, as we will remember on Ascension Day, that is not true.  Jesus created thrones and powers and reigns over them…

That’s a bit hard to grasp.  Can John help us see more clearly?  We know he tells us that Jesus is ‘The Word’, but we can’t see words, and often we don’t understand, or misunderstand them.  Thankfully, John doesn’t leave it there. He tells us that ‘The Word’ brought life into being.  We know about that.  We’re living it.  John also tells us that life brings light, and we know about that, too; we can’t get far without it.  And John’s good news doesn’t end there.  We’re back to light again.  Light which no darkness can overcome.  Light which came into the world, not like the light shining from Moses’ face when he came down from Mount Sinai; so bright no-one could bear to look at him.  This light came into the world and was laid in a manger.  A baby we can gaze at and get to know as Jesus who continues to share our lives.

We can think of light as the visible form of love.  Not the imperfect love that we know.  Love which can be wonderful, but which is also fickle.  This is love which, like the light in the darkness never fades and never lets us down.  This is love, which Paul tells us re-united us with God when it hung on the cross.

We have looked at a big picture; one we struggle to see all at once; one which is too big to understand.  We have also looked at a baby in the manger and a man on a cross.  A God we can begin to understand.

Which leaves us with two big challenges.  Everything, including us, was created into bear God’s image of love, shining as the light in the darkness.  What can we do to make sure the light of God’s love shines through us? 

The second challenge is bigger.  Every other person whoever lives also bears God’s image of love.  How can we recognise that, however flawed the image may be, treating everyone we meet as we would treat Jesus?

S Anne Lawson

4/02/2021      


HYMN      I the Lord of Sea and Sky

 

STATEMENT OF FAITH

Leader     Let us affirm our faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God.

 

All             Though he was divine,
he did not cling to equality with God,
but made himself nothing.
Taking the form of a slave,
he was born in human likeness.
He humbled himself
and was obedient to death,
even death on the cross.
Therefore God has raised him on high,
and given him the name above every name:
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
and every voice proclaim that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.  Amen.

 


 

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

                  Gracious God, it is our privilege to pray for your world and your people, and so we put our prayers at your disposal this day. We pray for those who are in the news today, whether willingly or not. Especially we pray for those people who are affected by coronavirus. 

                  Lord, hear us. 

                  Lord, graciously hear us.

 

                  We pray for our church community, our life together in Christ, and our witness to the world. Especially we pray for the time when we can safely gather again in your name. 

                  Lord, hear us. 

                  Lord, graciously hear us.

 

                  We pray for those who weve met or talked to in the last day or so who have some important issue to face. Especially we pray for dilemmas faced by our own family and friends . . . 

                  Lord, hear us. 

                  Lord, graciously hear us.

 

                  We pray for those coping with stress at work, at home, or in life generally – feeling the world is a dark and weary place. Especially we pray for any friend or colleague in need now . . .  

                  Lord, hear us. 

                  Lord, graciously hear us.

 

                  We pray for those who are waiting for something important –a birth, a job, a visit, a hospital appointment, a word of forgiveness, a covid vaccination. Especially we pray for anyone we know whos longing for love and friendship, and a way out of loneliness . . . Lord, hear us. 

                  Lord, graciously hear us.

 

                  We pray for those whose lives are not content, but who have not yet found their home in you. Especially we pray for one or two people we know for whom faith would be a lovely gift . . . Lord, hear us. 

                  Lord, graciously hear us.

 

                  Father, every person we have mentioned in our hearts is known and loved by you more than we can ever imagine. We entrust them to you in confidence and hope, knowing that you will use our prayers for their healing and well-being, for we ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ, who is alive forever with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

                  © Pritchard, John. The Second Intercessions Handbook (reissue): More Creative Ideas for Public and Private PrayerSPCK.  adapted.

 

 

 

THE COLLECT FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY BEFORE LENT

Leader     Almighty God,

                  you have created the heavens and the earth

                  and made us in your own image:

                  teach us to discern your hand in all your works

                  and your likeness in all your children;

                  through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

                  who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns                                                

                  supreme over all things,

                  now and for ever.

All             Amen


 

Leader     Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us.

All             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,

                  the power and the glory,

                  for ever and ever.

                  Amen.

 

HYMN      To God be the Glory

 

CLOSING PRAYER

All             Eternal God,

our beginning and our end,

                  accompany us in this day’s journey.

                  Dawn on our darkness,

                  open our eyes to praise you for your creation

                  and to see the work you set before us today.

                  Take us and use us

                  to bring to others the new life you give in 

Jesus Christ   our Lord.  Amen.



HYMNS