Here below we have an outline of our service for you to follow at home if you can’t be with us. Choose a quiet reflective space and to make it more meaningful have a cross, bible and candle to make your sacred space.
Good morning everyone and I hope the new year is treating you kindly. Things are quietly getting back to normal after Christmas, people are getting back to work, children going back to school and our services are getting back to normal. We still have the threat of the dreaded virus but I think we are managing it as well as we can. The children and families service on Wednesday teatime is going well and means that the Sunday service is quieter.
The reflection and intercessions are by myself today. Stay well and may God bless you
PRAYER OF PREPARATION
Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen
Let us say sorry to God for the things we have done wrongly or for the things we have not done.
Almighty God our heavenly Father we have sinned against you and against our neighbour in thought word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ who died for us, 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 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 sins 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 Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit. In the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Eternal Father, who at the baptism of Jesus revealed him to be your Son, anointing him with the Holy Spirit: grant to us, who are born again by water and the Spirit, that we may be faithful to our calling as your adopted children; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
THE OLD TESTAMENT READING
ISAIAH 43, 1-7
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my sight, and honoured, and I love you, I give people in return for you,
nations in exchange for your life. Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up’, and to the south, ‘Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the end of the earth— everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.’
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 3, 15-17, 21-22
As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, ‘I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’
This is the Gospel of Christ. Praise to you O Christ.
Last week we celebrated Epiphany and suddenly we are at a point in Jesus’ life when he was an adult and beginning his teaching journey. It seems a little bit rapid and irrelevant but the key is in the word beginning. In the lectionary calendar we have to put all of Jesus’s life into one year and so there is little space to fit in everything. So here we are a new year of 2022 and another beginning in baptism, the special baptism that meant so much to the people of Israel and ultimately to the world.
Some of us will have made New Year resolutions and in making things will be looking to make things better for ourselves or others. So baptism is a start in someone’s religious life and life journey, it symbolises a cleansing, a fresh start and being brought into God’s family by name as Isaiah indicated. With Isaiah’s revelation we are told that we will be safe and cared for, loved and honoured – this is just what the wise men did for Jesus, bringing him gifts fit for a King, they were so dedicated to their quest that they travelled for weeks just to find out where this king was.
The king they were looking for was not one that would fight their cause against the Romans and despotic rulers, but one that would change how people lived by his example and teachings. This would give them the fresh start both in life and death.
Luke writes of John’s teaching and preparation of Jesus’ coming, he was baptising people so that they had a chance of a fresh start and to follow a very special man on earth.
Si if you have made some resolutions at New Year, what have you chosen to do and is it possible to do it. Do you need help? Does it change your life in any way? The early Christians certainly didn’t have any idea what was to come but their faith helped them through. I hope yours helps you too.
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.
We give thanks for all your baptised and faithful people. May we all rejoice in your presence and in your power .We ask your blessing on all who are being children’s groups and all who teach us God’s word. We especially pray for our churches and clergy and lay ministry in our Turton Moorland team. We remember all who are seekers and long to know you.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer
We pray for all who are beginning new work or new ventures. We remember especially those who are leaving home for the first time. We ask your blessing on those forming new relationships and all who are newly married. We pray for those who have the care of young families and we remember any who are struggling at this time.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We give thanks for our own homes and loved ones. We ask your blessing upon our parents and godparents, upon our children and godchildren. We pray for all who influence our lives by their teaching or by their example.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We pray for all who are struggling with life, those who are burdened with guilt or anger, all who have memories that disturb them. We remember allwho are ill at home or in hospital, especially any who feel lonely or unwanted. We pray for all who have been taken into care this week.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer
We give thanks for all who have enriched our lives by their goodness and care. We pray for friends and loved ones who are departed from us and especially from our book of remembrance Margaret Carmyllie, Phyllis Greenhalgh, Jesse Simpson and Margaret Ann Jones. May they know your love in the fullness of life eternal.
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 forever. Amen.
Christ the Son of God, born of Mary, fill us with his grace to trust the promises and obey his will; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father , the Son and the Holy Spirit be among us and remain with us always.