Good morning everyone, I hope this finds you well. We had a lovely team service at Canon Slade last week and the children were kept busy by Jo with some great craft work based on love. We had a collection for the Turkey/ Syrian emergency appeal and many thanks to all that gave towards it, it is a terrible situation and we pray for all those affected by the earthquake. Todays Gospel reading is the Transfiguration from Matthew, the reflection is by Rev Peter and intercessions by Joyce Armstrong.
Socially we have the pancake evening at Alison and Arthur’s on Shrove Tuesday and our fashion show open to all on the 3rd March at Dunscar Conservative Club.
Our team Lent course will start on Monday 20th Feb at 7pm at Christ Church Walmsley.
PRAYER OF PREPARATION
Faithful one, whose word is life; come with saving power to free our praise, inspire our prayer and shape our lives for the kingdom of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
PRAYER OF PENITENCE
Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed. We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. In your mercy forgive what we have been help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be; that we may do justly; love mercy and walk humbly with you, our God. Amen.
May almighty God, who sent his Son into the world to save sinners, bring us his pardon
and peace, now and forever. 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 on 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 Father, whose Son was revealed in majesty before he suffered death upon the cross: give us grace to perceive his glory, that we may be strengthened to suffer with him and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory; 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
EXODUS 24. 12-18
The LORD said to Moses, ‘Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.’ So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. To the elders he had said, ‘Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.’ Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud.
This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew. Glory to you O Lord
MATTHEW 17. 1-9
Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’ When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’ And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, ‘Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.’
This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you O Christ
The Feast of the Transfiguration is help in August – it is a big festival in Greece, a big celebration. In our lectionary this reading comes either just before Lent as we are taking it, or on the second Sunday of Lent. Either way it is an irruption into the way things are going. At the end of ch 16 Peter has declared that Jesus is the Messiah, but he cannot cope with the idea that the Messiah might suffer. He is strongly rebuked by Jesus; the disciple should listen to their teacher, not try and shape them!
So six days later Jesus takes the initiative and takes his key disciples up a mountain; he has something to teach them and through them to us. Jesus is changed, transfigured, (metamorphosed is the Greek word) and the disciples see him in a transcendent form, still human but glorious, as if the light of God from within is shining out unhindered by the earthly form. This would make a powerful but mysterious film scene. suddenly there is also Moses (who had also been to meet God on a mountain and whose face was burnt with glory) and Elijah, who was raised to heaven without dying. We are not told how they knew who they were. There is lots that is left out. Peter, ever one to speak but not always to think first, wants to freeze the moment by building three dwellings (it would take him a while!) Enough! a cloud descends, but a bright cloud not our gloomy dark damp clouds; a voice is heard, and at this point the disciples realise they are in touch with something far bigger than they can cope with; they fall to the ground. The voice repeats what was said at Jesus baptism, but we are commanded to listen to him.
Jesus remains calm and he goes to the disciples, touches them and says “don’t be afraid, get up”. I love this compassionate concern for them, given all that is happening to him.
They look up and Matthew makes very clear that the only person to see is Jesus – ‘they saw no-one except Jesus himself alone!’
This is an important moment – it picks up on the baptism voice, and it points to the Cross and glory; Jesus is seen for who he is God incarnate, the light shining through him. Jewish readers would understand that Jesus is to be understood as transcending Moses (and the Law) and Elijah (who they thought would come to announce the Messiah).
For us, faith can be hard going. Some of us have been blessed with a transfiguration moment when we have had an overpowering sense of God’s presence or peace, in a way we cannot fully explain. And then it is as if nothing has happened. If we have had such a moment we should and can treasure it remembering it while moving forward in what we do. We can pray for such a moment, for ourselves and for others, and without being competitive we can encourage one another with how God has touched us.
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.
Here we for the church, for the world, those in need and those who have died, you can follow your own prayers or these below on today’s theme.
As children of our heavenly Father, who knows us so well and loves us completely, let us pray.
Lord God, as we near the beginning of Lent we approach the springtime of the year when the face of the earth is renewed and life emerges out of death. We pray that this coming season of Lent may be a springtime for our souls, so that our lives, quickened by the breath of the Spirit and warmed by the sunshine of your love, may bear fruit and be made radiant with the beauty of holiness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Father, we pray for the Church as it struggles to steer a straight course true to your calling. We pray for wisdom and courage, honesty and the willingness to be vulnerable. We thank you Lord for the devoted service given and enjoyed by both laity and clergy, bound together by your love, providing faithful witness to your kingdom, your power, and to your glory.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Father, we pray for those in positions of power that they may not give way to corruption but work with integrity. We ask you to guide the law makers of all nations that they may distinguish between need and greed, honour the goodness in each other and work together to achieve what is good for us all.
We pray especially for the people of the Ukraine as they struggle with war and of Syria and Turkey as they struggle with the result of the forces of nature.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Father, we pray for those we love, whose company we enjoy. We pray especially for our own families, for those we love the best and who forgive us most. Give us the grace to realise that our families, friends and neighbours are ours because we are theirs. Help us to be good neighbours to our neighbours, faithful friends to our friends and loving members of our families.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Father, we pray for all those who suffer in body mind or spirit, all whose lives are in chaos or despair. In their darkest moments grant them a sense of your hand holding theirs and foster within them a healing trust in those trained to treat them and in the peace-giving power of prayer. Give them courage with Christ as example and hope for the future.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer
Lord, we remember our loved ones who have died and are now at rest in your kingdom each of them has experienced the supreme act of healing in the gift of resurrection; we commend them to your keeping. May our own witness be inspired by the legacy of faith and commitment which they leave behind.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Almighty God, lover of all men, giver of all grace, look mercifully upon us who acknowledge our sins; create in us a pure hearts and a steadfast spirit; and lead us in the paths of holiness and righteousness through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rejoicing in the fellowship of all your saints, we commend ourselves and the whole of your creation to your unfailing love.
Merciful Father, accept these prayers in the name of your son Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.
May the Lord bless us and watch over us; the Lord make his face shine upon us and be gracious to us; the Lord look kindly on us and give us peace and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with us now and forever more. Amen.