Sunday Worship - 7th February 2021
Croeso! Bore da! Welcome to you all. Please do make yourself known to me if you are popping in or if I can help in any way.
+Yn enw'r Tad, a'r Mab, a'r Ysbryd Glan. Amen
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN
Our opening hymn is: God who made the earth
we have sinned in thought, word and deed,
and have failed to do
what we ought to have done.
We are sorry and truly repent.
For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ
who died for us, forgive us all that is past,
and lead us in his way
to walk as children of light. AMEN
May God our Father,
who by the Lord Jesus Christ
has reconciled the world to himself
and forgives the sins of all who truly repent,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
and grant us the grace and power of the Holy Spirit. AMEN
The Collect for second before Lent
Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image: teach us to discern your hand in all your works and your likeness in all your children; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things, now and for ever. AMEN
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great. You are clothed with honor and majesty, 2 wrapped in light as with a garment. You stretch out the heavens like a tent, 3 you set the beams of your[a] chambers on the waters, you make the clouds your[b] chariot, you ride on the wings of the wind, 4 you make the winds your[c] messengers, fire and flame your[d] ministers.
5 You set the earth on its foundations, so that it shall never be shaken. 6 You cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. 7 At your rebuke they flee; at the sound of your thunder they take to flight. 8 They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys to the place that you appointed for them. 9 You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.
10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills, 11 giving drink to every wild animal; the wild asses quench their thirst. 12 By the streams[e] the birds of the air have their habitation; they sing among the branches.
The Gospel of Christ according to St Luke
Glory to you. O Lord.
John 1:1-14 NRSV 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life,[a] and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.[b] 10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own,[c] and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son,[d] full of grace and truth.
This is the Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, O Christ.
When I went to my first appointment in Durham I was told clearly, make sure you don’t preach pseudo facts ... ever. You see, you have a congregation of eminent scientists, professors, learned academics here, so don’t pretend to proclaim what you have heard on the TV, in the Readers Digest (yes, I really do go back that far!) or read in some non-accredited book.
This sounded harsh advice, but actually was almost the best bit of advice for the newly Ordained or the new to preaching that I’ve heard! Let’s face it, it is good for all of us to know and be certain in what we are proclaiming. I know that many proclaim things which can be deeply disturbing to some and have caused huge issues for others. All those who preach need to be certain of what they proclaim: sadly it is not always the case. Pseudo or false facts are not only confusing but ultimately are a block to those wanting to learn more about faith and to grow and develop in it. Can honesty be the best policy?
Can you remember back, just over twelve months ago, to when we first became aware of Coronavirus? It was acknowledged by the W.H.O on 31st December 2019 on their timeline of events, and as we all know all too well, it spread rapidly around the globe. We were led to believe that it originated from the wet markets and in particular that of Wuhan, though many people thought it had been around prior to that, but what showed in Wuhan was another mutation of the virus, which spread more quickly. Yet we didn’t and still don’t know the exact moment Covid 19 was unleashed on the world. Was it from a wet market, was it due to a “leakage” in laboratory in Wuhan, or was it somewhere quite different? Was that nasty bout of pneumonia/that nasty chest infection and cough, you suffered in late 2019 actually just that? Or was it a form of the present virus? We shall never know and perhaps it isn’t really important, despite the ongoing studies of the W.H.O presently in Wuhan. You see we will always think and embroider facts, create more or less, look for a reason, a cause etc. Even though there may never be one.
Creation is somewhat similar. We would love to know the actual details. Is it as recorded in Genesis 1 or 2? Is it the Big bang theory? How did the world, the cosmos, come to be created? We cannot go back and prove things. Many will take the literal word of the Bible, but even that comes in two forms according to the Old Testament and the stories are very similar to other religions and explanations for how we came to be. And how was it written up so many years after, when no-one had experienced it at the time? Are we saying there is no error in understanding?
Just as we have to live with the fact that we are living through a pandemic now, the beginnings of which are still so unclear, but are not of God, so do we have to accept there is mystery about creation. We as Christians say the mystery is God, God is at its epicentre and it is of God and we cannot fully know and understand it. It is the same for whatever theory about Creation that you choose to accept.
In the Gospel we hear very familiar words from St John, in the Prologue to his Gospel. John starts the Prologue in a style a bit like that of Genesis, “In the beginning” – familiar words that most people within in the Church could recite. It’s a starting point about the one who will reveal God. The “Word” of course shows God’s creative power in action, God showing himself in power, wisdom and love. This is beyond the understanding of many, but as Christians we know as in the Creation, God revealed his nature in Christ. We cannot understand it fully, but we can learn about it and experience it within our own lives. We need to acknowledge that, as humans, we do not have the right to know everything, and some things are clothed in the mystery of God, and in other things, as we draw closer to God we are allowed to understand a little more.
So as we again think about Creation we can never know it all, or explain it all and we need to acknowledge mystery as a part of things. Some things are beyond us and are only of God. Some things we have been involved with and fail to comprehend how it can destroy the fragile complexity of the world and its resources. We need to be careful what we say and to recognise we do not have command of God and access to the mind of Christ. We are mortals who are called to be stewards of God’s world and stewards of the holy mysteries.
Prayers of intercession and the Lord's Prayer.
Ever living God, our creator and redeemer, you love us and know us better than we know ourselves. With a word you created all things and so we pray that you will hear the words of your people ; giving thanks to you for your church, the world and its peoples.
We pray and return thanks for your Creation of the world, space and all its contents. For the creation of science and minds to develop what you have first given to us. For freedom of choice, for us to use daily both for the better and sometimes the worse.
Lord in your mercy... Hear our prayer.
We remember the areas of your creation where people lack the basic facilities of life, water, food, warmth, health and shelter. We pray for governments as they make decisions for their people and planet, and for the correct use of money. that your Church will speak out about issues to raise awareness.
Lord in your mercy... Hear our prayer
We pray for all scientists who work with issues such as climate change, pollution, deforestation. That you might lead them to consider the global needs of the planet and people now and into the future.
Lord in your mercy... Hear our prayer
In our prayers we bring before you all who work for a cure, the ongoing studies into a vaccine which will protect from all of Covid and other diseases and viruses. May we share this knowledge freely with others and enable all peoples to receive the vaccines, rich and poor.
Lord in your mercy.... Hear our prayer
We pray for all who are ill at this time, await surgery or treatment. For those with Covid. For all who care for the poorly whether in hospital or at home.
Lord in your mercy.... Hear our prayer
We remember all those who have died especially those known to us and for those whose anniversaries fall at this time - May they rest in peace and rise in glory. We pray that the those who grieve and mourn will know your peace, strength and love.
Lord in your mercy.... Hear our prayer.
Merciful Father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Our concluding hymn today is: We have a gospel to proclaim
The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all now and ever more. AMEN
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Ewch mewn tangnefedd i garu a gwasanaethu'r Arglwydd.
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