St Clement Church Community Sunday Service 11.2.24
Good morning to you all as we celebrate our service of Sunday next before Lent. We will be holding our Eucharist service at St Clement, this Service of the Word is for you to read at home if you’re unable to worship with us in person. May Christ’s love sustain you always.
Much love to you all,
Rev Di and family xx
Let us pray;
Almighty God, as we prepare to enter the season of Lent, by prayer and discipline may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings, and by following in his Way come to share in his glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Hymn: ‘Be still for the presence of the Lord’
Our prayers of Penitence
We hear the commandments which God has given to his people, and examine our hearts.
I am the Lord your God: you shall have no other gods but me…
You shall not make for yourself any idol…
You shall not dishonour the name of the Lord your God…
Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy…
Honour your father and mother…
You shall not commit murder…
You shall not commit adultery…
You shall not steal…
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour…
You shall not covet anything which belongs to your neighbour…
Lord have mercy upon us and write all these your laws in our hearts
In a moment of quiet reflection,
We think of the times we have failed to keep God’s commandments…
and say together;
May almighty God, who sent his Son into the world to save sinners, bring us his pardon and peace, now and for ever. Amen.
Let us pray our Collect for today
Holy God, you know the disorder of our sinful lives: set straight our crooked hearts, and bend our wills to love your goodness and your glory in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Old Testament Reading: 2 Kings 2. 1-12
New Testament Reading: 2 Corinthians 4. 3-6
Hymn: ‘Christ whose glory fills the skies’
Gospel: Mark 9. 2-9
(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.
Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’)
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them anymore, but only Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
(This is the Gospel of the Lord. Response: ‘Praise to you, O, Christ’)
An elderly gentleman had been having serious hearing problems for a number of years, so eventually he went to the doctor to get it sorted and ended up wearing a pair of hearing aids that enabled him to hear a lot better. He went back a month later to the hearing clinic for a check-up and the Specialist said, "Your hearing is near perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again."
To which the gentleman replied, "Oh, I haven't told my family yet, I just sit around and listen to the conversations, I've changed my will three times!
Sometimes we pretend not to listen to something around us.
And sometimes we even turn off our hearing – and we don’t have to have a hearing aid with a switch to do this, as we have the ability to just ignore someone or something. I was talking with a person not long ago who worked for a fire alarm company and he said that for all the alarms sold, his concern was that people no longer listened to them because we hear so many alarms in this day and age we ignore them.
We don’t listen in other circumstances either.
Students in a boring class can turn off their hearing and stop listening to the teacher.
Husbands and wives hear one another, without listening.
Children don’t hear a word the parents say.
And don’t get me started about the congregation ignoring the sermon!
In last week’s gospel reading we heard that Jesus was the Word of God, the Word with a capital W, literally the living, physical embodiment of God. Here in our gospel reading today the disciples are told to listen to Jesus, to listen to that Word. It’s a dramatic moment.
Jesus has taken his inner circle of disciples to a mountain, they’re alone and it’s in many ways, a retreat for them. They’ve been hard at work and this is a time for a spiritual rest.
Suddenly, Jesus is transfigured, his body changes so that his face radiates and his clothes become dazzling white. Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus and the voice of God is heard, “This is my son, the Beloved, listen to him!” Listen to him. But we don’t listen.
Our lives are consumed by worry and anxiety. Jesus says, “Don’t worry, your life is more important than the things you worry about.”
But we don’t listen.
Jesus says love your neighbour. But we don’t listen.
Jesus says seek first the kingdom of heaven. But we don’t listen.
Jesus says do not judge others. But we don’t listen.
And it’s a tragedy because it could save us so much anxiety if we didn’t ignore the comfort offered as read in the scriptures; “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise person who built their house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
So many of us don’t listen, and our lives are the poorer for it.
Last year I took the funeral of a man whose body had been found in his house quite a while after his death. The coroner eventually decreed that the man had died from poor health that had been aggravated by malnutrition, and it was assumed he’d lived alone as a recluse on a very low income that didn’t allow him to look after himself properly.
However, the puzzle is, that when the police searched his house they discovered that he was very wealthy and it turned out he had at one time, owned a large business.
He had in his possession, the money and the knowledge needed to improve his life, he had all the resources, but he didn’t use them.
We may not be as financially well off as that man but we certainly have all the resources to save and enrich our lives, if we use them.
God says, “This is my Son, listen to him.” But when will we begin to take the time to listen? In the Gospel of John there comes a moment when many of the followers of Christ turn their backs on Jesus. It’s a sad moment in his ministry and seeing the crowds depart, he turns to the Twelve Apostles and asks, “Will you leave me also?” It was Simon Peter who responded, “Lord, where would we go? To whom would we turn? Only you have the words of eternal life.”
Christ has the words, he is the Word. We simply need to listen, perhaps this Lenten season we can make it our discipline to do so. Amen.
Hymn: ‘We have a gospel to proclaim’
Affirmation of our faith
Let us declare our faith in God.
We believe and trust in God the Father, source of all being and life, the one for whom we exist.
We believe and trust in God the Son, who took our human nature, died for us and rose again.
We believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God and makes Christ known in the world.
This is the faith of the Church. This is our faith.
We believe and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Our Intercessions this week are written by Helen Dunbar
In the power of the spirit and in union with Christ let us pray to the Father.
Fill your Church, O Lord, with life and energy, spiritual health and vitality. As we feed on you, may we grow more like you. We pray for the Christian Church that it may renew and invigorate its mission in the world. As we move towards Lent, we ask for unity in a divided and hurting world, we pray for its leaders and church communities that they may hear, and act upon God’s word to them.
Heavenly Father, we pray for those who seek to make peace in this divided world; for all leaders of nations that they may have the wisdom and courage to do what is right for all, that their hearts may be turned to you in the search for righteousness and truth; for those working to improve international relationships, that they may find the true way of reconciliation, and bring an end to the poverty and suffering that so many people in this world have to endure.
May conflicts around the world which have in turn led to people being left without shelter, medicine, freedom or food, be brought to an end. Our thoughts and prayers go to war torn Ukraine, Palestine and Israel and all places in the world where there is unrest.
Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer
Help us all to be mindful that we are all created equal in your sight and accept our deep regret that despite this there is so much inequality to be found. We pray for all who are too exhausted or overwhelmed by circumstances and pressures to be able to pray; surround all those who are troubled and heavily laden with the revitalising assurance of your presence, your understanding and your love.
Help us to use influence within our families and communities to bring peace, joy and fun into people’s lives. Help us to be reliable and honest in what we do, and friendly to all we meet in our daily lives.
Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer
We pray for Archbishop Justin, and also for our own diocese, for Bishop Hugh. We ask God’s blessing on our own Diane, for the very difficult areas of her ministry she sometimes has to deal with, and we also ask for God’s blessing on all her family.
We pray for King Charles who has been diagnosed with cancer this past week and has started a course of treatment. Our thoughts and prayers go to the King, Queen Camilla and all the Royal family as they come to terms with this news.
Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer
Holy God, we bring to you those we know who are suffering with prolonged illness, debilitating pain, and emotional distress. Lay your hands on them to bring relief and healing, courage to live through this dark time, and the inner strength which only you can give. Dear Lord we bring before you all those know to us: Ken, Revd Diane, May, Susan, Lauren, Lynda, 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, William, Callum and Elaine, Jay, Andy, and all those who have no one to pray for them.
Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer
Father, we call to mind all those we have known and loved who lived among us and now have died. We pray for all who have made that journey unnoticed and alone. We ask that they may all know your mercy and the everlasting peace and joy of heaven.
Rejoicing in the fellowship of St Andrew, St Clement and all your saints, we commend ourselves and all Christian people to your unfailing love.
Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen
Gathering our prayers and praises into one, let us pray with confidence as Jesus 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.
Hymn: ‘God is working his purpose out’
‘Where two or three are gathered together in my name’ says the Lord,
‘I am there among them’
May the peace of God be always with us. Amen.
May Christ give us grace to grow in holiness, to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him; and may the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among us, those whom we love, and remain with us always. Amen.