Printable service to use at home 6.12.20

                                

                                        

        

 

               St Clement Church Community Sunday Service

 

Good morning to you all as we celebrate our Sunday service of Advent 2 whether in our own homes or church building.  

At St Clement Church it’s super to be able to share communion again.  There’s been a suggestion from the Church of England regarding Covid guidelines that the priest can intinct the wafer before the communicant receives.  But I’m not very good at juggling, and the thought of holding both the chalice and ciborium with one hand whilst trying to intinct a wafer with the other sounds a bit daunting………albeit hilarious, so for the time being at St Clement, ‘one kind’ it is.

This Sunday will be a Eucharist service and next Sunday Liz will be leading a Service of the Word.  Thankfully it appears that a Covid vaccine will soon be available, but please continue to do all you can to keep yourselves safe when you go out and may Christ’s love sustain you always. 

Much love to you all,

Rev Di and family xx

 

 

Let us pray;

Heavenly Father, as we come before you in worship today, we ask that you send your Holy Spirit to equip us with the gifts that are needed to serve you and further the work of your church in our community and beyond.

Amen.

 

 

Our prayers of Penitence

God calls us to account for the stewardship of our lives….

 

Lord, we confess we have not always used our time and gifts wisely, creatively and unselfishly: forgive us for misusing or wasting them.

Lord, have mercy.

 

Lord, we have not always lived in your light, or reflected it into the world’s darkness: forgive us for being set in our ways or complacent.

Christ, have mercy.

 

Lord, we have sometimes ended the day in anger or hurt: forgive us for being unrepentant or unforgiving.

Lord, have mercy.

 

May our almighty and merciful Lord grant us pardon and forgiveness of all our sins, and the grace and the strength of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

 

 

Let us pray our Collect for today

Almighty God, we ask you to purify our hearts and minds, that when your Son Jesus Christ comes again as our Judge and Saviour we may be ready to receive him.  Amen.

                                                                                           

Our Reading is taken from the Gospel of Mark (1.1-8)

(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark. 

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” ’
John the baptiser appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptised by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 

Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptised you with water; but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’

(This is the Gospel of the Lord.  Response: ‘Praise to you, O, Christ’)

 

Reflection

The season of Advent is quite often described in church nowadays as a ‘mini-lent’ a time of waiting and preparation.  But, I must admit, and I’m probably sticking my head over the parapet by admitting this, I find living this comparison difficult. 

Of course the theology is there, during Advent we wait and prepare for the birth of our Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ, and during Lent we undertake the same for his death and glorious resurrection at Easter.

But being honest, there’s always so much to do in Advent isn’t there, everything kicks up a gear as Christmas approaches, and as much as we try not to get caught up in the commercialism of the festival, the pressure is on to send cards, and buy presents. 

On-line firms such as Amazon are doing well this year, Covid has certainly made our Christmas preparations even more difficult, so it’s no wonder we might not feel able to give ourselves time to prepare for the birth of Jesus with a Lenten mindset, with all that’s going on around us.

I’m not normally a ‘Bah Humbug’ person, but this year I’m struggling to get into the Christmas spirit. 

In preparing this sermon during the week, I became aware that my notes, jottings and usual ramblings were more of a Bible study than usual, not a bad thing to do in Advent. 

So here’s today’s offering to you, my thoughts on how the gospel reading might enable us to be filled with Christmas spirit, though sadly perhaps, not with the alcoholic variety…

From the reading I took the Lenten theme of waiting, humbling, listening, repentance and forgiveness.

John announced to the people of his time that the Christ, the long-awaited Saviour would be coming soon; “The one who is more powerful than I, is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals.”

By saying this, John announced to folk that their wait was nearly over, that Jesus was coming, but John also acknowledged that he himself was but a servant of God.

So, with a Lenten mindset perhaps we too should make such a humble acknowledgement that we are but servants of God.  But humility isn’t always an easy idea to grasp is it, as it needs us to come to grips with recognising we’re only human. 

But the Christmas spirit can’t enter our souls until we’re willing to humble ourselves, and learn that we are mere mortals, in need of a powerful and eternal God.

John also told people to prepare for their lives to change; and to take advantage of that opportunity they had to trust in his word. He was God’s messenger, “the voice of one crying out in the wilderness.” So, in addition to humbling themselves as servants of God, they also needed to listen.

A story….back when the telegraph was the fastest method of long-distance communication, a young man applied for a job as a Morse code operator.

When he arrived at the large, busy office it was filled with noise and clatter, including the sound of the telegraph in the background.

A sign on the counter instructed job applicants to fill out a form and wait until they were summoned to enter the inner room, so he filled out his form and sat down with the other applicants.

After a short while though, he got up and went into the inner office.

Naturally, the other applicants wondered what was going on, as they hadn’t heard any summons, so they assumed he’d made a mistake.

Within a few minutes however, the employer escorted the young man out of the office and said to the other applicants, “Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming, but the job has been filled.”

One of the other applicants spoke up saying, “Wait a minute, we didn’t get a chance to be interviewed, that’s not fair!”

The employer said, “I’m sorry, but all the time you’ve been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message in Morse code: ‘If you can understand this message, then come right in, the job is yours.’ None of you heard it or understood it. This young man did, the job is his.”

All of the applicants presumably knew Morse code, or else they wouldn’t have bothered applying for the job – but only one of them listened to what he knew.

All of us know Christ – but sometimes because of the bustle going on around us we completely miss his message.  While we wait then this Advent, we must keep ourselves listening.

Last but not least, our lives are open to the Christmas spirit when we’re willing to change. John’s message was about repentance, and repentance means a change of direction, but we’re often stuck in one place, trapped by mistakes of the past, or because of chasing our own personal agendas.  And as a result, we’re never fulfilled or satisfied, life can become nothing more than a treadmill with no way of getting off.

But John proclaimed a “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Forgiveness enables us to move away from the past and embrace the present.

The transformation of Scrooge in the novel; ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Dickens is a classic. In the story the world of Scrooge became a better place, but one part of the story that doesn’t get as much attention is the fact that the people who knew Scrooge forgave him.

Forgiveness, like John the Baptist proclaimed, is at the heart of God’s spirit. And the Christmas spirit can become a reality to us when we accept the forgiveness of God for our past, or we are willing to forgive someone else for theirs.  Study over.

Amen.

 

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. 

Amen.

 

Our Intercessions this week are written by Liz Davies

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,

the falling of a tear,

the upward glancing of an eye,                                                                                    when none but God are nigh.

Dear Lord

On this the second Sunday in Advent, we bring before You all our innermost thoughts and concerns as we prepare to celebrate the anniversary of Your birth.

Too often we are too busy with all our preparations for Christmas and we forget to spend time preparing ourselves for the celebration of Your birth.

Too often we are too busy to set aside a quiet time each day to talk to You and to ask for Your guidance and forgiveness.

In this time of Advent may we prepare ourselves, in quiet humility, to join with those who visited the stable, so long ago, to offer our gift to You – the only gift we really have, the gift of ourselves.

Lord, hear us Lord, graciously hear us

 

Lord, may we have faith, like John the Baptist, whose faith was strong enough to believe even in a desert that your father and his kingdom were no farther away than his hands. Make our hearts strong like his, not swayed by trials or snared by false pleasures. Give us the courage to be faithful until your promises are fulfilled.

Lord, hear us Lord, graciously hear us.

 

Lord, this year churches across the world have been struggling to keep in touch and support their members and the communities in which they are. During Advent this year, please help church communities to prepare and be ready, in many imaginative ways, for the coming of the Christ Child. Help us to understand through them the different truths about God’s amazing love and Grace.

During this time, may we remember those, in our own families, communities, country, and around the world for whom Christmas this year will not be a time of celebration. We bring before You all those who are struggling to find ways to contain and beat the Covid virus; those whose families have been torn apart by the virus; those who live in poverty that makes each day an interminable struggle; those in war torn countries, for whom fear and terror are constant emotions; those who are lonely or in despair.

We pray that they may feel Your love and blessing and know that they are never alone.

Lord, hear us Lord, graciously hear us.

 

Lord, we pray for those we see and talk to everyday; for those we often argue with and misunderstand; for those who brighten our lives and make us smile; for a greater thankfulness and appreciation of those we usually take for granted.

We ask Your forgiveness for when we have fallen far short of living our lives as You would have us live them; for the unkind or thoughtless words we have said, for the unkind or thoughtless deeds we have done, for the putting of ourselves and our own wishes before the needs of others.

May we, this Advent time, think of how we can truly become Your followers living our lives and treating others as You would wish us to do.

Lord, hear us Lord, graciously hear us.

 

We bring before You all those who are suffering in body, mind or spirit. May they know that if they stretch out their hand to You, You will take it and lovingly guide and comfort them through whatever they may have to face.

We especially remember Sue, Kate, Rosemary, Alex and Beth and Martin.

We bring before you all those who have died this week, those known to us and those who have passed unnoticed. We ask that You welcome them into the eternal peace of Your kingdom and comfort their families and friends who are left behind.

Dear Lord,

O Thou by whom we come to God, 

the Life, the Truth, the Way,                                                                                

the path of prayer thyself hast trod;                                                                    

Lord, teach us how to pray.

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

 

 

 

 

The Peace

In the tender mercy of our God, the dayspring from on high shall break upon us, to give light to those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death and to guide our feet into the way of peace.  May the peace of God be always with us.  Amen.

 Amen.

 

Blessing

May Christ the Sun of Righteousness shine upon us, scatter the darkness from before our path, and make us ready to meet him when he comes in glory; 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Page last updated: 4th December 2020 11:58 AM