Services whilst we are closed due to Corona virus

                                

                                        

        

 

               St Clement Church Community Sunday Service

 

Good morning to you all as we celebrate our Sunday service of The Baptism of Christ.

Once again we share worship in our own homes, the current lockdown may give the provision for Sunday services to continue in church buildings, but as the Covid infection rate has reached unprecedented levels, many parishes have suspended services for January and will review the situation at the end of the month.  If you have to go out please be vigilant in keeping yourself safe.

May Christ’s love sustain you always.

Much love to you all,

Rev Di and family xx

 

Let us pray;

Almighty God, in Christ you make all things new: transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace, and in the renewal of our lives make known your heavenly glory; through Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

 

Our prayers of Penitence

In his Baptism, Christ identified himself with sinful humanity.  Through our Baptism, we are united with him, in his new Body, the Church.

Let us therefore acknowledge all that challenges us about our commitment to God:

 

 

When we have grown tired of searching for truth or seeking God’s will…

Lord, have mercy.

 

When we have strayed from the command to love and serve our neighbour…

Christ, have mercy.

 

When we have offered less than the best in our worship and service of God…

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

Heavenly Father, at the Jordan you revealed Jesus as your Son: may we recognise him as our Lord and know ourselves to be your beloved children; through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

 

Our Reading is taken from the Gospel of Mark (1. 4-11)

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

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’

 

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.’

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.  And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’

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

 

Reflection

Each of the four gospels starts off the story of Jesus in a different way.

Luke and Matthew offer familiar accounts, but from their own perspective.

Luke tells us about the annunciation to Mary, the birth at Bethlehem, the visit by the shepherds.

Matthew tells us about Joseph's dream, the gifts of the Magi, and the flight into Egypt.

John's perspective is different from both of these, his vision exceeds the boundaries of space and time as he announces that before anything was made, God's Word already was. Then he brings us down to earth again as he makes the great proclamation: ‘And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.’

But how does the remaining gospel writer; Mark, get under way?

We hear nothing about the birth of Jesus or his early years, there aren’t any declarations about the Word becoming flesh. Mark chooses instead to start with the baptism of Jesus at the hands of John, Jesus walks on to the stage of Mark's Gospel as a grown man.

But if a Christmas story is one that announces the birth of God's new plan of salvation, then Mark's Gospel contains a Christmas story in the account of the baptism of Jesus.

For Mark, what's essential is the message Jesus hears; “You are my Son, the beloved, with you I am well pleased’

If we are looking for hope, and we certainly are in these dark times, then we should remember these words, for in a sentence they contain the entire good news of the Gospel. "You are my Son, the beloved, with you I am well pleased."

Well, we might say, that's great for Jesus, but what about us?

Here's the great mystery of this day, which makes our Lord's baptism worthy of a feast - Jesus accepts baptism as an act of solidarity with the entire human race.

This is why the baptism story is also a Christmas story: it comes down to the same result as what happens on that silent night, holy night.

In a single word, EMMANUEL. God with us. God for us. God among us. God for us all, without regard to age, race, gender, or anything else. God for us all, down to the last and worst among us.

And if he stepped into the river water to be baptised for the love of you and me, the least we can do is step right in after him. That's what Christian baptism and living the baptismal life is all about. Jesus engages in a life of solidarity with us, so we can engage in the same with him.

By our baptism we hear the same voice Jesus hears, the same message from heaven is aimed at us. God speaks to us as he speaks to his Son, and says the same thing: "You are my child, the beloved; with you I am well pleased."

I'd like you to do me a favour, write that message from heaven on your heart. Write it on a piece of paper and slip it in your wallet or purse, do whatever you have to do to remember it and not forget that God says to you personally: "You are my child, the beloved, with you I am well pleased."

Better yet, listen for that message, and thankfully we don't have to be up to our waist in river water to hear it. Listen carefully, and by God's grace, that message will sound forth. It may come as a whisper, it may come as a shout, and some days it may even seem like a mumble, but that message will be there, because it’s a message to us God never withdraws or eradicates, whether or not we choose to listen.

Some people say that Christianity is a matter of believing, of course there's truth in that. Some say that Christianity is a matter of doing, and there's truth in that too.  But I want to add something else; Christianity is also a matter of listening, listening for the words Jesus heard at his baptism. Listening for the same message spoken to us day by day in the cracks and crevices of our lives: "You are my child, the beloved, with you I am well pleased."

Discipleship is more than a matter of belief and practice; it’s knowing how to listen, and we should encourage others to listen too.

To share our faith with others means helping them to listen and hear the comfort of the message that God speaks to them: "You are my child, the beloved, with you I am well pleased."  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 Helen Dunbar

Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus is affirmed at his Baptism as God’s beloved Son, and we too are given the Spirit of God, which affirms us as God’s adopted daughters and sons.

 

Let the Spirit of God in our hearts plead for the Church and for the world.

Great God of all time and space, fill our world with such joy in believing that all Christians overflow with love, compassion, generosity and humility. Let us walk your way and live your life.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

Dear Lord, as we face the start of 2021 we pray for our clergy for Archbishop Justin, Suffragen Bishop Hugh and at St Clement for our own dear Revd Di, Ken, May and all the family. Please bless and guide all clergy as they go about their duties.

Lord, we ask for your compassion and blessing on everyone, as they try to find ways of coping with the upheaval of another lockdown due to high levels of Covid infection everywhere; give strength and patience to all who now have to juggle work with home schooling and those who have great financial worries and feel in despair; for all coping with mental health issues and difficulties in relationships made much worse by the different way in which we now have to live.

Please give them a patient faith in their troubles, and the knowledge that you share their sufferings with them.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

Dear God, in these testing times give all who govern and hold positions of power and leadership a sense of justice and may they have courage and conviction to carry out wise decisions.

Let the star of justice always shine in the hearts of those who are in authority. We pray that your loving kindness and peace may be known and honoured in every land. We give thanks for the gift of children in our lives and pray for children who live in difficult circumstances.

Lord in your mercy: hear our prayer

 

 

 

 

Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen and bless all the royal family and keep them safe. We pray for all people suffering with the covid virus; dear Lord lay your hands on them to bring relief and healing, courage for the sick and also not forgetting their relatives who are going through this dark time with them and please help them maintain the inner strength which only you can give.

We bring to you all those we know who are suffering with prolonged illness, debilitating pain and emotional distress; those undergoing surgery and the added stresses they have to deal with at present. 

We especially remember Terry, Martin, Sue, Kate, and all those people who have no one to pray for them.

We also pray for Barney, a much loved family dog and thank you for the skill of the vets who are caring for him.

We pray for all who have left this earthly life and who are now safe with you in glory, remembering especially our much loved Renee Fensome whose funeral service will take place next week. 

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer.

 

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

 

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

Our Saviour Christ is the Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end.

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

 

Blessing

May Christ the Son of God perfect in us the image of his glory and gladden our hearts with the good news of his kingdom; 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: 7th January 2021 3:52 PM