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St Clement Church Community Second Sunday before Lent Service



Good morning

The Christmas season is over – the trees have been taken down in church and the Nativity scene has been dismantled and put away.

The Christmas story is over for another year, or is it? Should it be the very essence of our daily lives? If so, perhaps we need to look at the story more carefully.

With love to you all



Let us pray


Father God, we gather here, or at home, today under your care and protection. Thank you for your loving kindness that never fails us. We thank you for those sharing worship with us, that you will guide our thoughts and actions to bring you glory.

 Strengthen us and fill us with your peace. May we love and serve each other as Jesus has shown us. Fill us with the Holy Spirit to do your good work on earth.  Amen


We say together: 

Heavenly Father, we gather in your presence today with open hearts and minds, ready to worship and praise your holy name. We ask that you bless this time of worship so that we may be uplifted and inspired by your presence. Fill us with your love and grace, and help us to honour you in all that we do. Amen

                                                                                      Hymn: 238 New every morning is the love


Prayer of Penitence


Seek the Lord while he may be found,

Call upon him while he is near.


Let the wicked abandon their ways

and the unrighteous their thoughts.


Turn back to the Lord, who will have mercy;

To our God who will richly pardon.


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


Collect for Second Sunday 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 our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things, now and for ever.






Proverbs 8. 1, 22 - 31

Colossians 1. 15 - 20


Hymn: 433  O worship the King all glorious above


Gospel: John 1. 1 - 14

(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.                                                               All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.                                                                                                                       What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.


There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.                            He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.


He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.                                                                                                         But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become the children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.


And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.


(This is the Gospel of the Lord.    Praise to you, O Christ.)




Often, when I had had a very busy day, Martin would say, ‘Stop, haven’t you learnt that two letter word, yet? Stop, sit down, take a look at what’s happening, what you’re doing and what it means.’                          Driven by needing to get things done, often means that one misses out on, oh such important things. Looking back, Martin was right and I wish I had paid greater heed to him.


Today’s Gospel reading I associate with Christmas, it’s the last lesson at our Service of Nine Lessons and Carols and is often read at the Christmas Day service.


Christmas Eve is about the excitement and busy-ness that takes us to the manger. Christmas Day is quieter, less crowded and more calm.

John makes us face Christmas without the angels, the shepherds, Mary and Joseph, or the baby Jesus in a manger.                                                                                   John tells a very different Christmas story from the one Luke tells. It’s not better than Luke’s, just different, and we really need both.


Luke tells the story with facts. He tells us what happened. He describes events – about a particular place, time, and people. Luke focuses on the child Jesus.


What does John do?


John’s version of the Christmas story is very different from Luke’s. John wants us to reflect on what it means. He describes a way of being. For John, it’s a creation story – ‘In the beginning.’                                                        When we hear about the Word becoming flesh and living among us, we immediately assume that it is referring to Jesus. But, isn’t it more than this? What about us – you and me? John wants us to consider what it means to ‘become children of God,’ for the Word of God to dwell in our flesh to the same degree it does in Jesus.

What about the ‘power to become children of God?’ What about the Word becoming flesh in us?

John is saying that the Word of God dwells in us and among us as one of us and we can’t escape it. It’s everywhere. Every time we encounter the Word of God, we are encountering the very breath of God, the spirit of God.

Try this. Hold your breath and try to say, ‘Good morning.’ Try it now. What happens? You can’t do it, can you? If you’re going to speak a word you have to breathe. When God spoke the Word into flesh, God breathed God’s spirit into our lives and into this world. That means that every time we know beauty, experience generosity, offer mercy, act with wisdom, live with hope, feel ourselves reborn and recreated, the Word, in that moment, is once again becoming flesh. The Word has become flesh in your life and mine.

Yes, Jesus is the picture, the pattern, the archetype of what the Word become flesh looks like. We look at that picture so that we can recognise it in ourselves and one another. It is to be our way, our truth, our life. It describes who we are and who we can become.

The question isn’t whether the Word became flesh in you, me or anyone else. The question is whether we have eyes and hearts to see and trust that the Word has become flesh and is living among us, and that it becomes a way of being, day after day.


I am still very busy – more so, since Martin is not here to slow me down or stop me. I still don’t know a two-letter word and this can make me very cross, grumpy and even distraught at times. But should life be like this? What can I do? What can any of us do when the busy-ness of life just seems to overtakes us?


When was the last time you allowed yourself to get lost in a good story? As many of you know, I’m a great ‘crime’ fan but, there are times when that sort of story may not be the most ideal. Sometimes, one’s own imagination, if we let it wander gently, can be so much better.


What if, shutting our eyes, we listen closely as the gentle whispers of the wind carry us across vast landscapes; through rolling hills and swaying trees. Imagine standing on a hilltop, with the wind gently caressing our face. As it whispers in our ear, it carries with it the scent of pine trees and the distant sound of birds chirping. The breeze envelops us, making us feel a deep connection to nature and a profound sense of tranquillity.


Sounds like ‘therapy’ doesn’t it, but for thousands of years stories have been used as a means of relaxation and entertainment. When we immerse ourselves in a story, our minds naturally begin to unwind. The rhythmic flow of the words, coupled with vivid imagery, allows us to gently escape the stresses of everyday life.


John wants us to look so much deeper into the Christmas story than just the place, time, and people. It shouldn’t just be a story to be told once a year, but rather a way of being, day after day. Perhaps this is why, with the Christmas season fully over, we have had this as our Gospel reading today.


And the Word continues to become flesh and live among us.  Amen

Let us declare our faith


Do you believe and trust in God the Father?

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.


Do you believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ?

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, he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.


Do you believe and trust in the Holy Spirit?

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




As we bow our heads and calm the busy-ness of our minds and hearts, let us bring our prayers before God, holding before him, the chaos and suffering of our world and trusting in his power to bring peace and harmony to his creation.


Faithful Lord, we thank you for the Church leaders across the Christian world; may they in faithfulness work in your name, preach your Word, inspire, lead and grow us all as disciples as we reach out to those in need in our communities and in the world.                                                                               We pray for all in our congregation here at St Clement, and ask that you will give us pure hearts ready to receive you into our lives, and that we may respond by bringing your Light to those whom we meet.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


God of every land and nation, you spoke your Word and revealed your good news in Jesus Christ. We pray for our troubled world, its peoples, and their leaders. We pray for those caught up in war, violence, and hatred; especially the innocent victims of these evils. May peace abound and righteousness flourish, that we may vanquish injustice and wrong.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


Holy Lord, although so many are sometimes separated by language and culture from the people they live amongst, we long to see your will done here on earth as it is in heaven. We pray for our neighbours, not only with words but day by day, in the things we do and the way we do them.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


We pray for all who are, or feel that they are, sinking amid the storms of life; those who are in dangerous or violent situations, those struggling to support their families, those who are homeless, uncared for or unloved. Those suffering from floods, storm or any other natural disaster, many due to global warming and the rising sea levels.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


Dear Lord, we bring before you friends and loved ones who are going through a time of illness or distress. In a moment of silence, we bring before you those we know who are suffering at this time, whether at home or in hospital. Give courage and hope to all. May they trust in

You and know the comfort of Your presence.

We especially remember at this time:

Ken and Reverend Diane, May, Susan, Angela, Terry and Dot, Margaret, Maureen, Alison and Rob, Rupert and Linda, Barrie and Sandra, Pam and David, Jan, Anita and Stephen, Michael and Patricia, Stella, Alison, Linda, Callum and Elaine, Jay, Andy, those known to each of us and those who have no one to pray for them.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


Merciful God, your love reaches beyond the grave. At the end of our days here on earth be with us and with those we love. May those who have gone before us rest in your eternal peace. We remember before you those who have died and we pray for all those whose life is saddened by the death of a loved one, be with them in their loneliness.


Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


Loving Lord, accept the prayers we have spoken and the prayers of our hearts.

In times of darkness, in times of stress, Lord, You are there, always there.

In times of tempest, in times of shock, Lord, You are there, always there.

In times of anxiety, in times of doubt, Lord, You are there, always there.

In times of loneliness, in times of despair, Lord, You are there, always there.

I n times of celebration, in times of joy, You are there, always there.

In times of emptiness, in times of plenty, Lord, You are there, always there.

So, as we start a new week, we know that You will be with us in all that we say and do.


Merciful Father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen


Gathering our prayers and praise into one, let us pray with confidence as our risen Lord has taught us.


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. Amen


The Word Became Flesh by Bob Gotti


Man on Earth will one day perish, but not so for The Word we cherish.

The Word of God that many treasure will indeed friend, go on for ever.

In the beginning was The Word, this is a verse that many have heard,

And God was with The Word, this is what the Apostle John conferred.


And The Word indeed was God; and clearly said with a definitive nod.

The Word is Christ my friend, who had no beginning and has no end.

Christ is The Eternal Living Word, as many prophets have concurred.

The Word became flesh indeed, coming to earth as the promised seed.


Through Him all things were made as the heaven and earth were laid.

And in Him was life, my friend, and that life was the light of men.

Christ is the true Light of the world this is the message to herald.

He came to give light to all men, but this they would not understand.


And though He created all things, the world did not recognise Him.

And John was sent to testify that Christ was The Lord from on High.

Christ’s own people wouldn’t believe and Christ they did not receive.

He came to the darkness of men, but Light they could not comprehend.


Christ came as The Light to all men, but men liked darkness instead,

Not wanting The Light to reveal, that their many deeds were so evil.

But these men are much like the grass and their glory will not last.

But let The Light be your endeavour and like Him you will live for ever.


The Peace


Jesus says to His disciples, ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.                                                                       Let not your hearts be troubled or afraid.’


The Peace of the Lord be always with you.


Hymn: 375 Immortal, invisible, God only wise




May the Father’s hand keep us from stumbling,

the footprints of Jesus give us confidence to follow,

and the fire of the Spirit keep us warm and safe                                                                 in our walk with God this day.





















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