Good morning everyone and I hope you are all well. We are still in Epiphany and we are following Luke’s Gospel this liturgical year. Today we learn about Jesus and other prophets who were not accepted in their own home towns. Rev Hannah has written us a reflection today and Mike Haslam has done the intercessions. Many thanks to them and don’t forget to let us know if you would like Holy Communion at home.
Take care God bless
PRAYER OF PREPARATION
God is spirit –Let us worship him in spirit and truth
Give us the joy of your saving help – and sustain us with your life-giving Spirit.
PRAYER OF PENITANCE
Almighty god our heavenly father, we have sinned against you, through our own fault in thought, word and deed, and in what we have left undone. We are heartily sorry and repent of all our sins. For your Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, forgive us all that is past; and grant that we may serve you in newness of life to the glory of your name. Amen.
Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ only Son of the Father, Lord God Lamb of God you take away the sin of the world; have mercy upon us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit. In the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Almighty God, creator of all things, who in the beginning didst command the light to shine out of darkness: grant that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ may dispel the darkness of ignorance and unbelief, shine into the hearts of all thy people, and reveal the knowledge of thy glory in the face of Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
THE NEW TESTAMENT READING
1 CORINTHIANS 13. 1-13
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke. Glory to you O Lord
LUKE 4. 21-30
Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’ All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, ‘Is not this Joseph’s son?’ He said to them, ‘Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, “Doctor, cure yourself!” And you will say, “Do here also in your home town the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.” ’ And he said, ‘Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s home town. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up for three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.’ When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you O Christ.
Last week’s gospel reading gave us an insight in Jesus’s preaching in the synagogue in Nazareth, his home town. This week, what we get to hear about, is the response from the people that heard what he had to say.
Firstly we hear their amazement, not uncommon in Luke’s Gospel. It’s no surprise that they were amazed, really. Jesus has just made a huge declaration about who he is. He’s told all those present that the spirit of the Lord is upon him and in doing so he places himself at the centre of the messianic prophecy.
This passage is not just Jesus standing up and reading the scroll, he takes the next step beyond simply quoting and reading the Isaiah scroll by then making his own comments, connecting what he reads to the current moment. Jesus interprets the meaning and significance of the Isaiah prophesy, pointing them towards where to look as he sits among them to entertain the questions that follow. What Luke is teaching us here is that reading scripture as part of a community is an essential tool. Talking with each other about what we have heard and read can lead to a much deeper understanding.
There is a challenge in this passage too, the confusing change in atmosphere from amazement about what he had to say to the questioning of his background. ‘Is this not Joseph’s son?’ they ask. In the other Gospel accounts about Jesus’ hometown conflict, the questions continue, and things devolve with the crowd taking offence at Jesus’ deeds and teachings. In Luke’s version, he counters it. But we are still left with the puzzle as to why the atmosphere changed, why the crow suddenly felt that Jesus wasn’t worthy to be teaching in the synagogue at all. Some suggest that this story reflects the problem of the honour-shame code when it meets God’s prophetic disclosures and intentions. Jesus has turned this on it’s head.
For us today, I think it is worthwhile spending time thinking how we hear this passage-Do we identify with the wisdom that this tale offers? That talking about scripture in community is a valuable tool for deepening our understanding and faith. Or do we identify more with the confusion over whether or not Jesus is able to speak adequately to those who have known him from infancy? This might reflect on us personally as to whether we feel worthy to offer our own interpretations of scripture.
For me, there is merit in reflecting on both. I know that I have gained much insight from talking with others about how they read and understand some passages of scripture, and I know that I have in some instances felt afraid of offering my own interpretations. But I have gained so much every time I have engaged in these things that I think it worthwhile, even if it is outside my comfort zone. I believe that is where most growth happens.
I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again; ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
During the intercessions, we pray for the church, our country, our government, people in difficulty and those who have died. You can use your own prayers or if you prefer here are some on today’s theme.
God of light and love, we remember before you all who seek to proclaim the Good News. We ask your blessing upon all ministers of the word and sacraments, upon all who teach and preach your name. We pray for all who are striving to bring the light of Christ to darkened lives.
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.
Lord God, we pray for all who work for peace and unity, and for all world leaders that they will continue to seek for an end to the suffering caused by war and violence, injustice and inequality, disease and prejudice, poverty and hopelessness and bring healing to the world. We pray especially for those seeking to prevent a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer
Father God, we pray for our Turton Moorland communities, that each of us might make use of our individual talents enabling each church group to flourish as a witness to the “One Body” of the church. Help us to spread the warmth of Your love to everyone we meet.
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer
Gracious God, we pray for the work and service of all care homes and day centres for elderly and sick people, and for the charity organisations and shops who raise money to help. We pray for all who are finding their life painful, lonely or uncertain, especially those who are ill or vulnerable. Help them to sense your comfort in times of need and bless their families and carers. Today we remember especially Ann Hall.
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer
Merciful Lord, your love reaches beyond the grave. At the end of our days on earth be with us and with those we love. May those who have gone before us rest in your eternal peace. We remember before you those who have died and we pray for all whose life is saddened by the death of a loved one, be with them in their loneliness. Today we remember: Thomas Fowler, Frank Entwistle, Ronald Louvain Barker, Richard Adrian Daintith, Ellen Pilton and Lily Fisher
…and those whose anniversaries fall at this time:
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer
Everlasting God, we pray for ourselves; as we go from this church today to start the week ahead, we ask that in all we do, we may we walk more closely with you at our side safe in the knowledge that your fatherly love and care knows no bounds.
Merciful father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
May the love of the Lord Jesus draw us to himself, the power of the Lord Jesus strengthen us in his service, the joy of the Lord Jesus fill our hearts and the blessing of God almighty, the father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with us now and for ever more. Amen.