St Clement Church Community Service 2nd Sunday of Lent 28.2.21





               St Clement Church Community Sunday Service


Good morning to you all as we celebrate our service of the 2nd Sunday of Lent, and yes, my chocolate withdrawal symptoms are beginning to kick in……..

We return to worship in our church building on March 14th (Mothering Sunday) but for the time being a Service of the Word will continue to be emailed in case you are unable to attend.

May Christ’s love sustain you always.

Much love to you all,

Rev Di and family xx


Let us pray;

Almighty God, by the prayer and discipline of Lent 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. 




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.



Let us pray our Collect for today

Almighty God, you show to those who are in error the light of your truth, that they may return to the way of righteousness: grant to all those who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ’s religion, that they may reject those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.



Old Testament Reading: Genesis. 17. 1-7, 15-16

New Testament Reading: Romans 4. 13-25

Gospel: Mark 8. 31-38

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

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’)


The Gospel According to


The Word Became Flesh

Jesus began to teach his disciples that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 

He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 

For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 

For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 

Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’


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


The expression, ‘The Elephant in the Room’ has become something of a common cliché, but before we write the expression off, let’s remember that profound wisdom is often to be found in such clichés.

 ‘The Elephant in the Room’ addresses our human tendency to avoid the obvious, that there are some realities so painful and difficult we’ll go to great lengths to deny them.
Jesus is an expert at naming; ‘The Elephant in the Room.’ 

In our Gospel reading for today, the second Sunday in Lent, Jesus is no longer in the wilderness, but he’s being tempted nonetheless.

This time Peter, one of his own followers, is the tempter, encouraging Jesus to take the easy way.

In the early part of his Gospel Mark portrays all that Jesus did to reveal his purpose for coming into the world, leading up to the critical moment when Jesus asked his followers if they understood who he was.

After most of the disciples acted as if they didn’t understand the question, Peter blurted out: ‘You are the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.’

So Jesus decided it was time to explain what would happen when he challenged the great powers of their time; the religious establishment and the Roman governmental authority.

He spoke of confrontation, resistance, crucifixion and death, but this wasn’t what the disciples wanted to hear, and Peter’s response was immediate: No, no, Jesus, no suffering and death, what are you thinking? You’re the Messiah, the promised deliverer of God’s people, Israel!

The elephant can be large and grey and fill the room, but if we don’t want to see it, we won’t, so it was with the disciples.

They liked the crowds, they liked the healings, they liked the warm welcomes, the free meals, and the traveling. They liked the words of liberation and hope, so they had no desire to hear predictions of conflict, humiliation, and death.

We all have things we like to hear and things we don’t, and Lent is a time when we are challenged to face what it means to be a disciple, to follow Jesus in the world today.  For this reason, the Lenten season encourages us to face our elephants, the truths that we would prefer to avoid.  

We rightly shudder when we hear Jesus address those harsh words to Peter: ‘Get behind me, Satan!’  Our Lord wants his followers to understand the hard truth, he wants to prepare them for the future and Peter’s bravado is clearly not helpful.

We live in a society where so much in our culture is designed to make us think that the only things that will bring us peace, security, and happiness, are looking out for ourselves and gratifying our immediate desires.
Certainly there are legions of lovely things we can buy and enjoy, but none of these commodities has the power to make us feel complete, or more adequate, or more acceptable, or more loved.

They can’t deliver the promises they make, the only thing that can complete us is a relationship with our Lord, our connection to others, and the community such connections create.

At a critical point in our Gospel lesson Jesus called his hearers to follow him. In fact, on more than twenty occasions in the four Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry he asked the people, individually or in groups, to leave what they were doing and follow him.

This question; ‘who is willing to follow Jesus Christ?’ is the defining question for Christian people today.  In a way it’s the ultimate; ‘Elephant in the Room.’
One of the most powerful statements in our Gospel lesson is Jesus’ challenge; ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.’

When I hear those words I must acknowledge that ‘deny yourselves’ has always been a difficult concept for me and, I expect, for most well-meaning Christians.

Some form of denial, of course, has been popular during the Lenten season. (Chocolate…) Most Christians have tried, at one time or another, to give something up for Lent.

But a true Lenten denial would be to give up our personal obsessions and desires that separate us from others, and activities that may cause us to become estranged from Christian community.

Jesus’ charge isn’t a demand to deny some substance (Chocolate…..)

or casual practice, but rather it’s our Lord’s invitation for us to imagine living a life of concern for others, a life of true compassion for the suffering, a life of giving to those in need.

This is what I hope we learn from our Gospel lesson for today. Every time we respond to the needs of those around us, every time we seek not what we want but what the world needs, we get a little closer to what Jesus was talking about when he spoke of; ‘taking up our cross and following him.’

As we move deeper into the Lenten season, it’s my hope and prayer that we’ll take seriously that call and order the priorities of our lives.

I also pray that the Holy Spirit will give us the strength to face the elephants in our rooms, all those entanglements that keep us from living our destiny as children of the Living God.


I end with the prayer of St Francis, so wonderfully painted by Karen in our church building:
‘Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.





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 Daphne Hawkins

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father.

Merciful God,                                                                                                                           as we gather this Second Sunday in Lent, not in person but united in spirit by your grace, friendship and love, may we feel your divine presence in our hearts and in our homes.

Dear Lord,                                                                                                                                                  We thank you for all your gifts to us this your world of joy and beauty, for the signs of Spring, the hedgerows, Spring flowers and bird song and for giving us hope in our darkness. Please give us the strength and perseverance to overcome this pandemic has brought so much pain and suffering to us, our families and friends. We have not been able to be there in a time of need for so many dear friends. May our faith sustain us and may we that go forwards in the knowledge that you will guide us out of darkness into your light.

Lord, in your mercy:  Hear our prayer                                                                                                                    


Lord,                                                                                                                                                                 We pray for the world-wide Church. Give strength to Archbishop Justin, Bishops Philip and Hugh as they keep the Church together during the difficulties of the past year.                                                                                                We pray for Reverend Diane and her family who give her so much support. Bless and care for her as she delivers her special Christian love, care and compassion to our church and the wider community she serves.

Lord, in your mercy:   Hear our prayer                                                                                                                                    

We especially pray for Elizabeth, our Queen, and for Prince Philip who is unwell. Please be with them and all the Royal family in their days of illness and difficulties.                                                                                                                                                    We pray for our government and for world leaders especially during this pandemic. Mat they observe the findings of the medical experts and the scientific teams and make sensible decisions to bring us back to a safe environment. May we also take every responsible precaution to ensure our own safety in our community and bring us back to normality.

Lord, in your mercy:    Hear our prayer   



Lord, please be with all our brothers and sisters in pain and trouble at this time; all who are homeless, sick, hungry, cold and in poverty. We pray that all in authority and each and everyone of us will do all we can to help those in need.

Lord, in your mercy:    Hear our Prayer 



We pray for all who are suffering in body, mind or spirit and we pray for those whose troubles we are unaware of during this period of isolation.                                                 We remember Sue, Kate, Hilary, Brian, and our dear Martin and Liz.                                                         Be with all those alone and unloved with no-one who cares enough to pray for them.                                                                                                                                                                 Lord, please lay your healing hands on all, in need at this time. Bring them comfort and peace and the knowledge that no is alone as you are always with us.                                                                                                                                                               We pray for all who have recently entered your eternal kingdom, we remember especially today Ken Brand, and his family as they grieve for him.  And we think of all those who have gone before us who we hold most precious, and whose memories live and remain with us until we meet again.

Lord, in your mercy:    Hear our Prayer 


The Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you;                                                                                 May the wind be always at your back;                                                                                                        May the sun shine warm upon your face;                                                                                                And the rain fall soft upon your fields.                                                                                                     And, until we meet again                                                                                                           May God keep you in the hollow of his hand.                                                                                         

Rejoicing in the fellowship of St Andrew, St Clement and the Blessed Virgin Mary we commend ourselves and the whole creation to your unending 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.


The Peace

‘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.






































Page last updated: 26th February 2021 4:43 PM