Good morning and I hope you are well. Today is the second Sunday of Lent and the Gospel reading is all about Jerusalem and its failings. We had our first Lent group meeting on Monday and we were looking at Exodus and the plight of the slaves. Of course we also went into discussion about countries and prejudices of today as well. We are covering the Church of England lent course which is about embracing justice. You can download the app and check the daily readings and reflections for yourself. It is “ Live Lent embracing justice”. (Mondays in Lent at 1.30pm in church)
We have our Spring fair in the day school on Saturday 19th March, please come along if you can as we need all the support we can get. There will be MU gift stall, toy stall, assorted bottle stall and more. 11-2pm
The intercessions and Reflection are by myself this week. Take care and God bless. Jan B.
PRAYER OF PREPARATION
God is spirit – Let us worship him in spirit and truth
The Lord is with us – Let us praise his name together
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.
PRAYERS OF PENITENCE
Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
The first commandment is this: “Hear O Israel the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength”.
The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Amen Lord have mercy.
The Spirit of the Lord fills the world and knows our every word and deed. Let us then open ourselves to the Lord and confess 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.
Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy. Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy.
Almighty God, you show to those who are in error the light of your truth, that they may return to the way of righteousness: grant to all those who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ’s religion, that they may reject those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
THE NEW TESTAMENT READING
PHILIPPIANS 3. 17-4.1
Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation so that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.
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 13. 31-35
At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, ‘Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.’ He said to them, ‘Go and tell that fox for me, “Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed away from Jerusalem.” Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.”
This is the Gospel of Lord. Praise to you O Christ.
Jerusalem – the Holy city, the place of pilgrimage and the most important temple to God in their world. Yet it was not a peaceful place. It was known for barbaric practices usually by Herod’s officers who would stone and crucify people, especially if they did not follow or threatened his rules. It had a long history as a city of rebelling against God.
So Jesus likened his presence there as a hen protecting her brood from the fox. The predator being Herod. The Pharisees had warned him not to go there, but did they want to protect him or were they keen that he did not disturb the equilibrium of Roman rule?
In God’s eyes the only way to save the city was to welcome Jesus, but we obviously know what happened at Easter in this so sacred city!
Our present situation in the world is still as flawed, we think back to wars that have resulted in so much despair and ruination of lives and cultures and yet here we are again. The people of Syria, Yemen, Myanmar and now Ukraine must wonder why? What have people learned or ignored about the human race and our way to preserve our dignity, peace and love. All these people are someone’s children, can they not see that power and greed are not the answer, nobody wins only suffering and evil.
We say at our baptism we reject evil, at this Lenten time we can pray and support peace movements and provide help for refugees. We acknowledge that we are those chicks that need protection as Jesus was trying to do against the fox, the predator –evil. At the end of the day chicks grow up and have to fend for themselves, so in contrast maybe this is also what we have to do- fix it, educate others, show others the right way. God gave us free will and wonderful skills that we now need to put into action.
Let us hope that governments, United Nations and leaders put an end to these awful situations in various countries and let us pray for the refugees and for peace and carry on supporting one another.
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 Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, and is seated on the right hand of the Father; he will come again in glory 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 intercessions we pray for the church, our world, the poor, the sick , the oppressed and for the departed. Below are prayers on today’s theme however you may wish to use your own prayers at this stage.
Father as we give you thanks for our freedom and ability to choose, we pray for all who are being persecuted for their faith. We remember those who love in homes where faith is discouraged or scorned. We ask your blessing on all who are struggling with their faith or who are tempted to turn their back on you.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We rejoice in the good things of our land. We pray that justice and freedom will be for all peoples. We remember today all who are imprisoned for speaking out against evil or for resisting a corrupt regime. We also pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We give thanks for our homes and for those who have provided us with love and security. We pray for those who have had to leave their homes and family members behind to seek refuge in other countries. May they see the generosity and compassion from strangers and give them a future with hope. We remember the children who are in danger or separated from parents, please protect them as a hen protects her chicks.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We pray for all who work in the healing professions, all who do research in medicines and all who care for ill people. We pray for friends and loved ones who are ill at home or in hospital. We ask your blessing upon all whose illness finds no cure.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer
We give thanks for the gift of eternal life and we pray for loved ones who are departed from us. From our book of remembrance we pray for Douglas Robert Anderton, Alice Thompson and Robert Goff Pearce. May we rejoice with them in the fellowship of all your saints.
Merciful Father, accept these prayer for the sake of 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 this day 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.
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 forever more. Amen.