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, today we are celebrating Harvest, I think of years gone by when myself and lots of children used to make a harvest basket or box and bring it to church, I always felt so proud to bring it up to the front of church and place it with the others. The next day they used to be distributed to parishioners and I know when my auntie and uncle got one they were delighted that someone was thinking of them.
Things change and once again, this year we will be supporting Urban Outreach, they are doing an amazing job feeding and providing for people of Bolton, so our grub tub hopefully will be overflowing and bags and boxes besides.
The children’s service is going from strength to strength! Jo has started Little Church again on Sunday mornings it is so good to get back to our children’s ministry and we are delighted to welcome our new families.
We are starting our admission to Holy Communion and Confirmation classes soon so if there is anyone else wanting to join us then please let me have their names. Year 3 and up, for admission to Holy Communion and Year 7 to adults for Confirmation.
The intercessions and reflection this week are by myself.
PRAYER OF PREPARATION
As we rejoice in the gift of this new day, so may the light of your presence, O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you; now and forever. Amen
PRAYER OF PENITENCE
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.
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 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 Lord, you alone are the Most high, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Eternal God, you crown the year with your goodness and you give us the fruits of the earth in their season: grant that we may use them to your glory, for the relief of those in need and for our own well being; 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
GENESIS 2, 18-24
Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.’ So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.’ Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.
This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark. Glory to you O Lord
MARK 10, 2-16
Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’ He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’ They said, ‘Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, “God made them male and female.” “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’
Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.’
People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’ And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you O Christ.
What a tough Gospel reading to comment on. It’s not for me to say what is right or wrong on divorce as people who have lived in misery through the actions of their partner or without love have their own decisions to make. The church also takes that view and allows divorced partners to re-marry. Doing some research into this reading Jane Williams thinks as I do that it is very tempting to miss out the section on divorce and skip straight to the second half of the passage about children.
The two halves are related as Jesus is saying that marriage and children go together. She goes on to say that the people questioning Jesus where trying to trick him into disrespecting Moses as they knew he had a hard line on divorce (as he had observed men who did not take marriage seriously and had been married many times on a whim or just to change). Jesus answers by not directly saying he is against it but by quoting the scriptures on the purpose of creation.
We are in the season where we look at creation and so it relates to our children and Harvest today. Jesus was very careful not to go against the teachings of Moses. He is trying to show them that God is in their lives and that he is real and will give them security and certainty.
What about the children then? The disciples where keen to protect Jesus and stop him being pestered while the debate was going on. However, Jesus shows that this is a gift from God, the innocence and joy of children, their simplicity, their trust that Jesus is the Son of God and that the Kingdom of Heaven will be theirs.
We are God’s creation and he provides for us in good times and bad. In today’s environment with mounting concern for what we are doing with the planet, our harvest time is quite poignant.
We have a silver Eco-Church award but are we doing enough? Can we persuade others to join the fight over zero emissions? Our harvest are at risks, we have been given the skills and knowledge to put it right but we are not doing enough to stop it quickly enough, Sir David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and various other activists are showing us the way. Many food producers are struggling; maybe we will start to go back to local produce, less plastic etc.
Let us be grateful that we have enough food and think of others that don’t, the gifts for Urban Outreach are a fantastic help to those in our local area and also your gifts for the Afghan refugees. A different harvest this year, but it is still as important as those long ago
God bless – Jan B.
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.
Here we pray 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.
In the power of the spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father.
Almighty God, our heavenly father, you promised through your Son, Jesus Christ, to hear us when we pray in faith. Strengthen Mark and David our bishops and all our churches in the Turton Moorland team. We pray for our clergy and lay ministry teams and all who work in our communities, may they be united in your truth and live together inyour love to reveal your glory in the world.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
Lord at this harvest time we think who work in the world to provide us with food, we think of farmers and producers, manufacturers and packers and drivers. Our shop workers and delivery drivers. May we rejoice in your bounteous gifts but not forget the less fortunate.
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer
We pray for our families, friends and loved ones and thank you for their support and love. We also pray for those who do not have enough to eat or are away from homes in this country and around the world, especially those who are unable to ever go home.
Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Comfort and heal those who suffer in body, mind or spirit. Give them hope and peace that things will get better and relief from suffering. We think especially of Mildred Gerrard.
Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer
Hear us as we remember those who have died in the faith of Christ, we hold in our prayers this week Phyllis Hamer who passed away on Tuesday, our thoughts are with her husband Arthur, daughter Jan and the family. And from our book of remembrance Ernest Jones, Joyce Stables, Jim Walsh, James Charles Thomas and Doris Carr, according to your promises, grant us with them a share in you eternal kingdom. 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 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.
May God the Father, who clothes the lilies of the field and feeds the birds of the air, provide us with all we need for life in its fullness. Amen.
May God the Son, who fed the five thousand and turned water into wine, feed us with his life and transform us in his love. Amen.
May God the Holy Spirit, who hovered over the waters of creation and formed the world from chaos, form us in the likeness of Christ and renew the face of the earth. Amen.
And the blessing of God almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Be with you and remain with you always. Amen.