St Clement Church Community Service Christmas 1 27.12.20

                                

                                        

        

 

         St Clement Church Community Christmas 1 Service

 

Good morning to you all as we celebrate our Sunday service of Christmas 1 whether in our own homes or church building.  

I shall be reading this service in church on the 27th, at the earlier time of 10am. I hope you continue to have a blessed and happy Christmas.  Because of rising Covid numbers Cornwall is now in tier 2, so please be vigilant if/when you have to go out.

May Christ’s love sustain you always.

Much love to you all,

Rev Di and family xx

 

Let us pray;

God in Trinity, eternal unity of perfect love: gather the nations to be one family, and draw us into your holy life through the birth of Emmanuel, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

 

Our prayers of Penitence

Hear the words of the angel to Joseph: ‘You shall call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their sins.’ Therefore let us seek forgiveness from God through Jesus the Saviour of the world:

 

Jesus, Emmanuel, God-with-us, forgive our unwelcoming hearts…

Lord, have mercy.

 

 

Jesus, Son of God, Servant of humanity, forgive our self-centred lives…

Christ, have mercy.

 

Jesus, Prince of Peace, Hope of the nations, forgive our bitter conflicts…

Lord, have mercy.

 

May our 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

Almighty God, who wonderfully created us in your own image and yet more wonderfully restored us through your Son Jesus Christ: grant that, as he came to share in our humanity, so may we share the life of his divinity; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

 

                                                                                           

Our Reading is taken from the Gospel of Luke (2.15-21)

 

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

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’

 

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

 

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

 

Reflection

What’s in a name?  There’s a thought for the day!

In Luke’s gospel he’s very specific about how Jesus got his name, as we heard; “the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”

So we know it wasn’t chosen because his parents liked it, or because it ran in the family, but rather, as the name Jesus means “Saviour,” or “Deliverer,” in Hebrew, it says something about who Jesus was, and what he was to accomplish in the world, as set forth by God.

There’s a lot, it seems, in a name, there was in the times of Jesus, and there still is in our society today.

Every year the top ten most popular baby names for boys and girls are released—honestly, someone keeps track of this, I think they should get out more! And there’s stacks of books parents-to-be can buy, listing first names and what they mean.

Actually, I like learning what people’s names mean, or whether they were named for a reason, for instance, after a certain person, or if there’s a story behind their name.  Sometimes a name can tell you a lot about a person, or about their family, or what’s important to them.

Names can also shape how we perceive ourselves, and how we present ourselves to the world, because before people know anything else about us, they probably know our name.  And that’s just our given name, the name on our birth certificate.

But there’s scores of other names too, good or bad, that form us in profound ways, for instance, names that we call ourselves, or that other people know us by, nicknames even, as a child mine was ‘Noggles’, you’ll have to ask mum why, but my Dad seldom called me anything else.

Zelda, an Israeli poet, published a poem called “Each of us has a name.”  The original poem was written in Hebrew, but translated into English the poem reads:

Each of us has a name given by God, and given by our parents.

Each of us has a name given by our stature and our smile,

and given by what we wear.

Each of us has a name given by the mountains, and given by our walls.

Each of us has a name given by the stars, and given by our neighbours.

Each of us has a name given by our sins, and given by our longing.

Each of us has a name given by our enemies, and given by our love.

Each of us has a name given by our celebrations, and given by our work.

Each of us has a name given by the seasons, and given by our blindness.

Each of us has a name given by the sea, and given by our death.

What Zelda’s poem points to, is that each of us, throughout our lives, are known, and know ourselves, by a variety of names, both good and bad, true and untrue, and these names shape who we are, how we perceive ourselves, or how the world perceives us.

So I invite each of us to think about the different names that we bear.  What are the names that we’re proud of, that we want to keep, that we want the world to know us by?

As a hard worker? A loving parent? A generous soul? A faithful person?

And what are the names that we know aren’t who we truly are, or aren’t how we wish to be known?

As an anxious person? An angry or judgmental person?

As someone who is resentful, or unhappy?

Some of these names we have control over, others we don’t.  But as the New Year approaches, this is the perfect time to try to live into the names that we wish for ourselves, and to let go of the names we don’t.

And whilst thinking about the names that we bear, how we can change them or let them go, it might evoke in us this question; ‘what name does God know me by?’ And what does that name say about me, and my place in the world?

Because, while it’s clear that God gave Jesus a special name, for a special purpose, it’s difficult for us to believe that God gives each of us a special name and place in the world. But trust me, God most certainly does.

Our second reading from Galatians today describes this special name and place beautifully:

“Because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.”

In other words, we are beloved children of God, just as Jesus was.

And if that’s how God names us and knows us, as a beloved child, then that says a lot about our place in the world.  We are more than simply children, but also heirs, participants and inheritors of God’s work in the world.

While we’re certainly not the saviours of the world—that’s the purpose of Jesus, we do have a part to play, and that’s to show the love of God, to make it seen, known and felt in the world.

There’s a lot in this name, a beloved child of God.

So much in fact, that all the other names we bear, the other ways we know ourselves, or are known by others, they take second place to this special name of ours, and our special way of being in the world.

So, as we celebrate The Holy Name of Jesus, and through him, the Holy Name we ourselves bear; ‘Beloved Child of God’, as the New Year approaches, let us make a resolution to show God’s love in the world not only throughout the year, but throughout our whole lives.  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 taken from the book: Times and Seasons

Let us pray to our incarnate Lord, who has brought us out of darkness and into his own marvellous light.

Christ born for us, Son of God given for us: help us to know you, to worship and to serve you…

Lord in your mercy.  Hear our prayer.

 

Wonderful counsellor, you order all things with your wisdom: help the Church to reveal the mystery of your love and fill her with the Spirit of truth…

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

 

Mighty God, the government is on your shoulders: guide the leaders of the nations and bring in your kingdom of justice and righteousness…

Lord in your mercy.  Hear our prayer.

 

Everlasting Father: you call us to live together in unity: protect by your mercy all your children, bless our families and renew our communities…

Lord in your mercy.  Hear our prayer.

 

Prince of peace, you bring reconciliation through the cross: by your healing power give to all who suffer your gift of wholeness and peace…

Lord in your mercy.  Hear our prayer.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, full of the Spirit, hear our prayer, receive our praises, and fill our lives.  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

Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and his name shall be called the Prince of Peace.

May the peace of God be always with us.  Amen.

 

 

Blessing

May Christ the Son of God, born of Mary, fill us with his grace to trust his promises and obey his will;  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: 26th December 2020 9:45 AM