Benefice of Harston, Hauxton and Newton

  • The Vicarage
  • Church Street
  • Harston
  • Cambs
  • CB22 7NP

01223 873284

Sunday


17 May 2020 Sixth Sunday of Easter

Welcome

 


Opening hymn:

Ye servants of God

 

 

Prayer of Confession:

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you and against our neighbour in thought word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may serve you in newness of life to the glory of your name. Amen

Collect:

God, our redeemer, you have delivered us from the power of darkness and brought us  into the kingdom of your Son: grant that, as by his death he has called us to life, so by his continual presence in us he may raise us to eternal joy; through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever. Amen.

Psalm 66: 8 - end

Praise our God, all peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.

For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs.

You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. I will come to your temple with burnt offerings and fulfill my vows to you—vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble. Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!

Reading: 1 Peter 3: 13 - end

13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats ; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

Hymn:


1 May the mind of Christ my saviour
live in me from day to day, 
by his love and power controlling
all I do and say.

2 May the word of God enrich me
with his truth, from hour to hour;
so that all may see I triumph
only through his power. 

3 May the peace of God my Father
in my life for ever reign,
that I may be calm to comfort
those in grief and pain.

4 May the love of Jesus fill me
as the waters fill the sea,
him exalting, self abasing
this is victory!

5 May his beauty rest upon me
as I seek to make him known;
so that all may look to Jesus,
seeing him alone. 

6 May I run the race before me,
strong and brave to face the foe,
looking only unto Jesus
as I onward go.

Reading: Revelation 2: 18-29

18 “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write:These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19 I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. 20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. 24 Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you, 25 except to hold on to what you have until I come.’ 26 To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— 27 that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’—just as I have received authority from my Father. 28 I will also give that one the morning star. 29 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Sermon


Prayers

From Iris:

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ we pray to the Father. 

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. For his mercy endures forever. 

We see pictures of people in hospitals and care homes and wonder when it will end. We wonder if this is the way the world is. Our prayers seem trivial and clumsy. How can we find words to say in these situations? Then we see the wonderful people who are risking their own lives to care for the sick. Then we remember that Christ promises to be with us when we need his strength. We remember that he will stay with us every step the way. 

In Psalm 107 we remember what our Lord really means to us. 

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.  For his mercy endures forever. 

We pray for the needs of the Church throughout the world during this frightening pandemic. Strengthen all Church leaders, our own Bishops and our clergy, especially Susan who is doing so  much for our community. 

Lord hear us. Lord graciously hear us. 


Lord we give you thanks for all who are working so hard to care for the sick and those who are trying their hardest to keep us safe. 

Last week we were remembering the sacrifice of those fighting to end the war in Europe and the Far East. 

We are so fortunate still to have people who have the compassion to take on this struggle. 

Lord hear us. Lord graciously hear us.

 

Lord we give thanks for our families and friends. Although we are not able to see them closely, we are so lucky to have modern technology to see their faces and hear their voices. In previous catastrophes people did not have this comfort.

 

We pray for those who are suffering, those who are bereaved, the homeless and the lonely. May they find someone  to listen to their problems. We pray for all those in need of Your love today.

 

Lord we thank you for hearing our prayers however difficult it is for us to find the words we want to say.

 

We thank you for those people who have lived and died in holiness and whose work and prayers have helped to sustain us all. Help us to live in the light by which they lived.

 

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

Hymn: 

Let us break bread together

 

A private meditation for use while listening to the Thanksgiving prayer:

 Jesus my brother, who brought divine life out of human death, you are meeting me here and now in this place, in this moment. I pause to remember that the one thing I desire above all others is for you to be with me. Though I cannot receive you in bread and wine today, come into my heart and show me you were already there within me, by your love lighting my darkness from within. Open my eyes to your sacred presence in each thing you have created and in every moment you give. As each of your followers does their part where they are, may we all grow together in love and in richer, fuller communion. Make us one with you and with all who love you in every time and place. Help us to feel and to know that we are united as members of your body. With all your people, may I share your risen life, which renews all creation. I offer myself to you in service, as an act of spiritual worship. Amen.

Thanksgiving


Post communion prayer:

God our Father, whose Son Jesus Christ gives the water of eternal life: may we thirst for you, the spring of life and source of goodness,through him who is alive and reigns, now and for ever. Amen.

Hymn: 

Love Divine

 

 

 

 





SUNDAY

The Theme: What is 'church'?  

(Please see The Inspirational extras page.)


Notices for 3rd May


Do join in Zoom on Tuesday at 8 pm for Compline. Details and running order will be on the website.

Do join in Songs of Praise on Thursday at 6 pm. Send requests to me and your explanation and whether you will be able to be there ‘live’.  It’s Newton this week choosing.

Thanks v much to John for preaching this morning, and Nigel for prayers.

 

Welcome 




 Heart candle


Hymn



 

 

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord

Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word

What more can He say than to you He hath said

To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled

 

Fear not, I am with thee; oh be not dismayed

For I am thy God and will still give thee aid

I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand

Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand

 

When through the deep waters I call thee to go

The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow

For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless

And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress

 

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie

My grace all sufficient shall be thy supply

The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design

Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine

 

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose

I will not, I cannot desert to its foes

That soul, though all hell should endeavour to shake

I’ll never, leave you, no never forsake

 


Reading from Acts 2.42–end

 

During the Easter season in the Church of England, we are asked to read the account of the early church as recorded in the book of Acts.

Today’s reading is particularly pertinent to our thinking about ‘what is church?’

After church on our Zoom coffee session people brought their take on this and you can see some of the results, as indicated at the top of this page.

 

The Believers Form a Community

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.

A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

 

Song of Praise


 

Collect

Risen Christ,

faithful shepherd of your Father’s sheep:

teach us to hear your voice

and to follow your command,

that all your people may be gathered into one flock,

to the glory of God the Father.

 

Reading

John 10.1-10

 

‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

 So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

 

Sheep



Sermon:


 

Hymn



 

1. Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,

Whose trust, ever child-like, no cares can destroy,

Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,

Your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

 

2. Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,

Whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,

Be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,

Your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.

 

3. Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,

Your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,

Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,

Your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

 

4. Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,

Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm, 

Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,

Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

  

Prayers from Nigel


Based on a poem by John O’Donohue, included by Prof. Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church Oxford, in a recent Church Times diary column. The Dean stated that it offers ‘a sense of the right kind of hopeful remembering - not for what once was, but for what might and shall be, if we dare to live in hope’:

This is the time to be slow, 
Lie low to the wall 
Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let 
The wire brush of doubt 
Scrape from your heart 
All sense of yourself 
And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous, 
Time will come good; 
And you will find your feet 
Again on fresh pastures of promise, 
Where the air will be kind 
And blushed with beginning

O Lord, we thank you for all your many blessings to us. In the challenging times in which we currently live, whether we find ourselves with more time than usual to contemplate the shape and purpose of our lives, or whether we are busier than ever, helping and serving those who most need it, we pray that we may never lose our sense of gratitude for what we have. 
Lord in Your Mercy 
Hear Our Prayer

Whatever difficulties and sorrows some are currently enduring, we remember the power of Hope, both in our own lives and as a local and national community. When ‘the bitter weather passes’ and we resume parts of a more normal life, we pray that our pandemic experience may lead to ‘the air being kind and blushed with beginning’, through an increased valuing of others, more tolerance for differences of opinion, a lasting sense of how neighbours and friends can support each other, and a greater awareness of how we can all help to build a better society, ‘scraping from our hearts all sense of ourselves’ 
Lord in Your Mercy 
Hear Our Prayer

At this time of year when spring brings the awakening of nature, there are many signs around us that Time does indeed ‘become good’. We thank God for the beauty of our surroundings, and we pray that we may come to appreciate them more, using our natural resources and treating our environment responsibly and unselfishly for the benefit of future generations. 
Lord in Your Mercy 
Hear Our Prayer

Finally, we thank God for our church as a community; for the leadership of our Vicar and churchwardens, and for all who contribute to its continuing life and well-being. We pray that individually and collectively we may bear witness to what we believe, living it out in our own lives so that others too may ‘find their feet again on fresh pastures of promise’.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

 

Holy Communion


 

Post communion prayer


Merciful Father,

you gave your Son Jesus Christ to be the good shepherd,

and in his love for us to lay down his life and rise again:

keep us always under his protection,

and give us grace to follow in his steps;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Hymn




1. Now thank we all our God, 

with heart and hands and voices, 

who wondrous things has done, 

in whom this world rejoices; 

who from our mothers' arms 

has blessed us on our way 

with countless gifts of love, 

and still is ours today. 

 

2. O may this bounteous God 

through all our life be near us, 

with ever joyful hearts 

and blessed peace to cheer us; 

and keep us still in grace, 

and guide us when perplexed; 

and free us from all ills, 

in this world and the next. 

 

3. All praise and thanks to God 

the Father now be given; 

the Son, and him who reigns 

with them in highest heaven; 

the one eternal God, 

whom earth and heaven adore; 

for thus it was, is now, 

and shall be evermore.

 

Blessing

 



All Saints' window



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Password: 048811



 

10 May 2020


Welcome 

Hymn

 

The strife is o’er the battle done


The strife is o'er, the battle done, 

the victory of life is won;

the song of triumph has begun. 

Alleluia!


The powers of death have done their worst, 
but Christ their legions hath dispersed: 
let shout of holy joy outburst. 
Alleluia!

The three sad days are quickly sped, 
he rises glorious from the dead: 
all glory to our risen Head! 
Alleluia!

He closed the yawning gates of hell, 
the bars from heaven's high portals fell; 
let hymns of praise his triumphs tell! 
Alleluia!
 

Lord! by the stripes which wounded thee, 

from death's dread sting thy servants free, 

that we may live and sing to thee. 

Alleluia!


Collect

Almighty God,

who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ

have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:

grant that, as by your grace going before us you put into our minds good desires, so by your continual help we may bring them to good effect;

through Jesus Christ our risen Lord, who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,one God, now and for ever.

Readings

Genesis 8 

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and all the domestic animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided; the fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, and the waters gradually receded from the earth. At the end of one hundred and fifty days the waters had abated; and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains appeared.

At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made and sent out the raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; but the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took it and brought it into the ark with him. He waited another seven days, and again he sent out the dove from the ark; and the dove came back to him in the evening, and there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. Then he waited another seven days, and sent out the dove; and it did not return to him any more.

In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and saw that the face of the ground was drying. In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. Then God said to Noah, ‘Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.’ So Noah went out with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. And every animal, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out of the ark by families.

Psalm 31

To the leader. A Psalm of David.

1 In you, O Lord, I seek refuge;

   do not let me ever be put to shame;

   in your righteousness deliver me. 

3 You are indeed my rock and my fortress;

   for your name’s sake lead me and guide me, 

4 take me out of the net that is hidden for me,

   for you are my refuge.  

14 But I trust in you, O Lord;

   I say, ‘You are my God.’ 

15 My times are in your hand;

16 Let your face shine upon your servant;

   save me in your steadfast love. 

Hymn


1 The Lord is King! lift up thy voice,

O earth, and all ye heavens, rejoice;

from world to world the joy shall ring,

'The Lord omnipotent is King!'

2 The Lord is King! who then shall dare

resist his will, distrust his care,

or murmur at his wise decrees,

or doubt his royal promises?

3 He reigns! ye saints, exalt your strains;

your God is King, your Father reigns;

and he is at the Father's side,

the Man of love, the Crucified. 

4 Alike pervaded by his eye

all parts of his dominion lie:

this world of ours and worlds unseen,

and thin the boundary between! 

5 One Lord one empire all secures;

he reigns, and life and death are yours;

through earth and heaven one song shall ring,

'The Lord omnipotent is King!'



Rev 2:12-19 

The Message to the Church in Pergamum

“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Pergamum. This is the message from the one with the sharp two-edged sword:

“I know that you live in the city where Satan has his throne, yet you have remained loyal to me. You refused to deny me even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred among you there in Satan’s city.


“But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching. Repent of your sin, or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it."

Sermon

Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God,

the Father Almighty,

Creator of heaven and earth,

and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died and was buried;

He descended into hell;

on the third day He rose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;

from there He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Holy Catholic Church,

the communion of Saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and life everlasting.

Amen.

Prayers


From Beth:

God, you sent us your Son to lighten our darkness, to chase away the shadows of sin. May our lives be illumined by Jesus, the Light and Life of the world. Father, we praise you with greater joy than ever in this Easter season. Christ has made us children of the light, rising to new and everlasting life. He has opened the gates of Heaven to receive his faithful people. His death is our ransom from death: His resurrection is our rising to life.

We are brothers and sisters in Christ. We live by the Word He has given us. Lord, you are the Word, the Word  whom to see is to see the Father, that Word which is the way, the truth and the life. Our baptism makes us into one family, described as a body, a building, a vine, a bride. There is community between us by virtue of that baptism, which it is so good to recognise and so wonderful to celebrate.                         

We are pilgrims in a world which is increasingly secular and materialistic, but we are pilgrims with a mandate, to preach the Word, to bring people to God that they too may be baptised. We are to be one, that the world may believe.        

All-powerful God, help us to listen for the sound of your voice. May we answer when you call, responding eagerly to do your will and proclaim  your good news.                                

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


Hymn



1. When I survey the wond'rous Cross

On which the Prince of Glory dy'd,

My richest Gain I count but Loss,

And pour Contempt on all my Pride. 

2. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,

Save in the Death of Christ my God:

All the vain things that charm me most,

I sacrifice them to his Blood. 

3. See from his Head, his Hands, his Feet,

Sorrow and Love flow mingled down!

Did ever such Love and Sorrow meet?

Or Thorns compose so rich a Crown?

4. Were the whole Realm of Nature mine,

That were a Present far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my Soul, my Life, my All. 



Post communion

Merciful Father,

you gave your Son Jesus Christ to be the good shepherd,

and in his love for us to lay down his life and rise again:

keep us always under his protection,

and give us grace to follow in his steps;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Hymn



Blessing







'Coffee' after the service:

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26 April 2020


Welcome 



 

Welcome candle


Collect:


Risen Christ,

you filled your disciples with boldness and fresh hope:

strengthen us to proclaim your risen life

and fill us with your peace,

to the glory of God the Father.

 

Hymn:


This week included our national saint's day, St George, so our first hymn is a national hymn written by Henry Scott Holland in 1902, (Ironically sung by the Scottish festival Singers to a Welsh tune :D )



 


During Holy Week we listened to the words of Jesus to his disciples, effectively his last words to them as the incarnate human God on earth, the words we find in the Gospel of John. From Easter onwards, we are encouraged in the Church of England to read the book of Acts which tells us of the message of the early church regarding the death and resurrection of Jesus. 



Acts 2.14a, 36–41


Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd: “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!”

Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”

Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” 

Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.

 

Caravaggio

 


Gospel: 


Luke 24:13-35

 

The Walk to Emmaus

That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. But God kept them from recognizing him.

He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?”

They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”

“What things?” Jesus asked.

“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.

“Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”

Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!

They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.”

Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread.

 

Jesus walks amongst us, Jesus walks alongside us, Jesus shares our life.

 

Hymn:


Christ the Lord is Risen Today




 -sung by some of the Church world-wide 

 

We now find ourselves in the time of the beginning of the church. Last year at this time, we looked at the meaning and implication of Resurrection for us as individuals, and as a corporate group of Christians. This year, as we are isolated, I want us to think about what it is to be a corporate group of Christians together, to be part of the body of Christ, the Church, and to be the church of God the Father, the Son and The Holy Spirit in Harston, Hauxton and Newton. 

 

And a very good place to go to find out more about being church is the words of John, not in the Gospel this time, but at the beginning of Revelation. So for the next few weeks myself and John will be bringing you the seven letters written to seven of the early churches:

 

Revelation 1:4-11


This letter is from John to the seven churches in the province of Asia.

Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come; from the sevenfold Spirit before his throne; and from Jesus Christ. He is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world.

I, John, am your brother and your partner in suffering and in God’s Kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and for my testimony about Jesus. It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit. Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast. It said, “Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”

Sermon:


 

 All Saints' Church Easter light

 

Prayers from Andrew:

[These intercessions are based on David Adam's Clouds and Glory (SPCK 1998)]

Abide with us Lord, throughout this day.
Abide with us in our homes during this time of lockdown.
Abide with us in our seeking and in our longings.
Abide with us now and to eternity,
Jesus, risen Lord,
who lives and reigns with the Father
and the Holy Spirit
in glory for ever.
Amen.

Lord, we may know you at the break of day,
and now in the breaking of bread,
even if we cannot be physically present together.
Help us to know that you are risen indeed,
and that you are with us in the holy communion.
May your church ever proclaim your presence,
and know that you are with us.
Teach us, Lord, to abide in you,
that we may know you abide in us.
We pray that your church will walk with the downcast,
the seekers, the troubled in heart,
and help to reveal your love and presence.

Lord, abide with us
and we will abide in you.

We pray today for all whose lives may be in danger,
especially for all who care for the sick
in hospitals and care homes.
We pray for all pilgrims and seekers,
for refugees and homeless people,
and for all who have the care of them.

Lord, abide with us
and we will abide in you.

We give thanks that you come to us.
Make us aware of your presence in our homes.
Help us to be aware of you as our hearts burn within us.
Help us to see you, O Christ, in everyone we meet,
especially at this time of so few meetings.
We pray for the lonely,
for all those self-isolating at this time,
for all who feel rejected,
for the outcasts of society.

Lord, abide with us
and we will abide in you.

We pray for the broken-hearted,
for all who are confused by the pain and sickness in our world.
We remember all who travel by lonely paths,
all who are coming to the end of their journey in this world
and especially those who are separated from their loved ones.
We pray for the elderly,
for all who are in care,
for all who cannot cope on their own.

Lord, abide with us
and we will abide in you.

We remember all who are now delivered from the troubles of this world and are at peace,
all whose time of fear and anxiety is over
and are at rest.
Lord, your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.
And so, merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.


 

 

Post Communion Prayer:


Living God,

your Son made himself known to his disciples

in the breaking of bread:

open the eyes of our faith,

that we may see him in all his redeeming work;

who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

 

Hymn:


Christ be our light


 

 

Heart candle



Blessing:





19 April 2020 

Welcome

Thank you very much everyone joining us online this morning.

Thank you very much to John for taking this morning's service.

 


Notices

There is a fundraising meeting via zoom for Harston committee on Monday at 11.00, a link will be sent.


This week I am going to be starting a live Compline service via zoom. That will be Tuesday evening at 8 pm and i will send a link to congregation members via email.


There is a PCC meeting for Harston via zoom on Wednesday this week at 7 pm, a link will be sent. 



We meet together, virtually, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.


Candle 19 Apr 20


The Lord be with you!

 

Opening prayers


 


Hymn: This Joyful Eastertide

 


1. This joyful Eastertide, away with sin and sorrow.
My Love, the Crucified, hath sprung to life this morrow. (To refrain)

Refrain:
Had Christ, that once was slain, ne'er burst his three-day prison,
Our faith had been in vain: but now hath Christ arisen.

2. My flesh in hope shall rest, and for a season slumber:
Till trump from east to west shall wake the dead in number. (To refrain)

3. Death's flood hath lost his chill, since Jesus crossed the river:

Lover of souls, from ill my passing soul deliver. (To refrain)


Reading: Acts 2: 14a, 22-32


14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say.

 

22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 

 

23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 

 

24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

 

25 David said about him: “ ‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 

 

26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, 

 

27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay. 

 

28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’ 

 

29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 

 

30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 

 

31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay.

 

32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 





19 Apr 20


 


The Gloria

 

Glory to God in the highest
And peace to God's people on earth

Lord God, Heavenly King, Almighty God and Father
We worship You
We give You thanks
We praise You for Your glory

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father
Lord God, Lamb of God
You take away the sins of the world
Have mercy on us, have mercy on us
You are seated at the right hand of the Father
Receive our prayer, receive our prayer

For You alone are the Holy One
You alone are the Lord
You alone are the Most High
Jesus Christ
With the Holy Spirit
In the glory of God the Father. Amen

Collect:

Risen Christ,

for whom no door is locked, no entrance barred:

open the doors of our hearts,

that we may seek the good of others

and walk the joyful road of sacrifice and peace,

to the praise of God the Father.

 

Reading and sermon:



Reading: John 20: 19-end


On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”  And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”


Now Thomas (also known as Didymus ), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.  So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 


A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”  Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”


Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
 


19 April 1


19 April 2











Post Communion Prayer:

 

Lord God our Father,

through our Saviour Jesus Christ

you have assured your children of eternal life

and in baptism have made us one with him:

deliver us from the death of sin

and raise us to new life in your love,

in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Dismissal:


 

 

 

5 April 2020 Palm Sunday




Painting


Collect

True and humble king,

hailed by the crowd as Messiah:

grant us the faith to know you and love you,

that we may be found beside you

on the way of the cross,

which is the path of glory.

 

HYMN

Ride On! Ride On In Majesty


 


 

Reading

Matthew 21.1-11

 

21

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me.  If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.”  And he will send them immediately.’ …The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them.  A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

‘Hosanna to the Son of David!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest heaven!’ 

When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’  The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’

 

Crown



John 14; 1

Jesus said: "Do not let your hearts be troubled, trust in God, trust also in me.”


This next week (Holy Week) we will be working our way through Jesus’ last words to his disciples from John chapter 14.

We start today.  Jesus’ challenge to his friends, just as the going was about to get tough, was simple, “trust me.”

These are powerful words for us today.

 

Sermon:

Today is Palm Sunday, and normally we would borrow from Charles Dickens and call it the day of ‘great expectations’ . . but it’s quite difficult to think of high expectations at the moment, isn’t it?

Last year two of our children went through the process of buying their first home and we shared with them that whole process of moving, including  some of the joys of   Estate Agent Speak (in bold below) . . . and that business of expectation and reality...  let me remind you...


“Ideal for the first-time buyer or as a buy-to-let investment”
“The property’s small and in a terrible area “

 

“The property has excellent transport links”
“There’s a motorway at the end of your garden


“Tremendous scope for improvement.  A real blank canvas”
'Derelict'


“Low maintenance rear garden”
The ‘garden’ is concrete.


“Conveniently located”
-above a take-away and next to the pub


“Situated in a stamp duty exempt area”
“There were riots there last year


“Reduced!”
“Desperate!”

 

Estate Agent Speak
“Within easy reach of local schools….”
“Teenagers will congregate outside your house at lunchtime and drop litter all over your driveway “

 

 

Poem

 

Joy dances down
the street,
grabbing us by the hand, twirling us round 

and round
as glad tears and songs make a carpet
of welcome
for the one who comes. 

 

But later ...
we’ll strip the branches to weave
a cross;
stones that echoed ‘Hosanna!’
will bloody the knees of the stumbling servant; 

we’ll dust off
our cloaks
and swaddle ourselves to ward off
the cold breath
of death 

sweeping down from the Skull. 

 

And when we
look back at everything we could have
done
it will be
too late.

 

Thom Shuman

 

Creed





Prayers


From Beth:


 On this Palm Sunday, we remember how the crowds went out to meet Christ shouting out: 'Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!'  This week, may we set out to meet Christ in his passion, in those last days of his suffering.

May we go out to meet him in order to follow him.  He said to us: 'If you want to be my disciple, you must deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.'  So, in what we read in the gospel story and from our experience of life and what is going on in the world around us, the experience of the world's suffering is taken by Christ in order to sanctify it, to give it meaning and significance.

This week, may we follow Christ, hour by hour, in those moments of his passion.  Let us make this indeed a Holy Week, a different week, a week when we meet Christ in his passion, in order that when the resurrection is celebrated we can, after Easter Sunday, follow him more closely and witness to him- Christ who suffered, died and rose from the dead.

Lord, increase the faith of your people and listen to our prayers. Today we honour Christ our triumphant king by carrying our palm crosses. May we honour you every day by living always in him, for he is Lord for ever and ever.

Amen.

Eucharistic prayer D on page 194 of Common Worship

 

 

 


Post communion prayer 

Lord Jesus Christ,

you humbled yourself in taking the form of a servant,

and in obedience died on the cross for our salvation:

give us the mind to follow you

and to proclaim you as Lord and King,

to the glory of God the Father.

 

HYMN:

O Worship the King, All Glorious Above, 
from Manchester Cathedral 


 

 


Church window

 

 

Blessing


 




29 March 2020


Thank you to everyone who watched and took part in our online service last week (29 March 2020)!

I know it is not quite the same, but it is still good to keep a Sunday routine and if we each take part, we are still together :)



Psalm 130

1  Out of the depths have I cried to you, O Lord;

      Lord, hear my voice; •

   let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.

2  If you, Lord, were to mark what is done amiss, •

   O Lord, who could stand?

3  But there is forgiveness with you, •

   so that you shall be feared.

4  I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him; •

   in his word is my hope.

5  My soul waits for the Lord,

      more than the night watch for the morning, •

   more than the night watch for the morning.

6  O Israel, wait for the Lord, •

   for with the Lord there is mercy;

7  With him is plenteous redemption •

   and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.

 

Collect

Most merciful God,

who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ

delivered and saved the world:

grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross

we may triumph in the power of his victory;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.




Thought for the day 

Our service started today with a psalm, one of the ancient song prayers that believers in God have found comfort in from the ancient Jews to the modern church. And why shouldn’t we find comfort in it? For it expresses what we want to express:

 

1  Out of the depths have I cried to you, O Lord;

      Lord, hear my voice; 

 

If you’re anything like me at the moment you can find yourself in a normal day swinging from calm and hope, through to concern and worry... how will this situation pan out? What will the consequences be? Will I get it? Will I have enough to eat? ....and we feel ourselves less at the top of a hill looking out at glorious panorama and more like sliding down into mud and that is absolutely the time to pray:

 

1  Out of the depths have I cried to you, O Lord;

      Lord, hear my voice; 

 

because God hears. God is constantly listening. And we are called faith people, or believers when we take that on trust. When we believe that God is as the Bible and other Christian believers say God is. 

 

wait for the Lord, 

   for with the Lord there is mercy;

7  With him is plenteous redemption.

 

We may need strategies at the moment when optimism retreats. On Mothering Sunday I met my middle son on Newmarket Heath to share, at a safe distance, a dog walk. It is not difficult to stay at a safe distance there because there is so much space, and that was lovely. We felt the sun on our faces and the wind, still cold, in our hair. And we walked to the top where the trees stand, and we turned round to look at the panorama. 

 

Newmarket

 

 

The sky was blue, we could see Newmarket way below, and then beyond Newmarket more sloping fields and woods. Then I turned right and realised there in the distance was Ely Cathedral. A sight that people have seen from that very spot for a thousand years!

 

Newmarket 2

 

God knows the situation we are in now, just as God knew the situation of those who looked across the heath and land to the cathedral in the days of the plague, the days of the fire of London, the civil war, and the Great Wars. 

God knows it is hard for us now having suddenly to change our lives and to stay in, not to be able to shop as we normally do, not be able to see family and friends as we have done. God knows, and God stands alongside us, and gives us when we pray, spiritual resources, the ability to take a deep breath, to know peace and trust, and to look out again, with courage.

 

This is a month for courage on the 17th it was St Patrick's Day, and he was a man who knew all about taking a deep breath, stepping out into the unknown and trusting in God. Ireland was where he was taken as a teenager, when he was kidnapped by pirates and sold as a slave. But he went back because he was drawn to take the love of God to the people he had seen who struggled in their ordinary harsh lives.

Patrick composed a prayer at one of the moments when he needed the greatest courage, when he stood up to the High King of Ireland: 




And how do we know we can trust God?

Because God arrived amongst us, at a point in history, as Jesus, the most extraordinary man, because he was all the goodness of God squeezed into a human frame. And so our reading today from the letter Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome says:

 

11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

 

God was seen to work in power and in love through what Jesus did and said. -How he walked alongside people, literally and supportively. And that same Spirit of God who was in Jesus, is given to us. When we pray the Holy Spirit gives us peace, and also many other things. Paul describes these other gifts later in the letter to the church in Galatia: 

 

the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

 

I believe courage is also something God gives us, courage because we do not rely ultimately on our own resources, but on a God who has all resources, and is a God of love, that’s what Easter tells us.

 

And at this time we need extra resources, we cannot rely on our own abilities, strength and ingenuity, although they always help, we need stuff that keeps us going right deep inside ourselves. And allows us to reach out to others.

 

4  I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him; •

   in his word is my hope.

5  My soul waits for the Lord,

      more than the night watch for the morning, •

   more than the night watch for the morning.

 

Download that prayer of St Patrick song for yourselves. God is with us. 

 

Creed




Prayers from Anna:


Lord, No man is an island. This is painfully apparent at a time when our individual choices influence the life and death of others. It is apparent as, in our isolation, our sociable selves cry out that that we were not designed as island states.  We know that COVID is shining light on an interdependence that has always been present, and which will continue beyond this crisis, regardless of whether or not we choose to acknowledge it. We pray that this awareness of our unknown roles in the lives of others may continue beyond the current situation and result in a more compassionate and loving society. 

 

Lord, help us to know what is required of us at this time and to fulfil those duties to the best of our ability. Let this time of social distancing bring us together. Let isolation help us to feel part of the whole.

 

We pray for those whose reaction has been to take, may feel loved; may feel part of a bigger, hurting whole; and so may come to know that they are not alone in their fear, not alone in their isolation.

 

We pray for those who are socially isolated. For some, this may be a time of peace and reflection but many will find it a great challenge. Those who are entirely alone may crave any human contact; those who are living with others may long for time alone. Relationships will be tested, minds will be free to wander to dangerous places, the appeal of alcohol and other false comforters loom large.

 

We pray for those who must continue to leave home to work; knowing they expose themselves and their contacts to danger by doing so. There are many who long to be able to do more to actively contribute to the damage limitation, 

We all have different roles to play. All are important. Despite our isolation and our different roles, there is so much we share. Help us to recognise what we can and should do; and to accept what we cannot and should not do.

 

We pray for those who are ill; those who are grieving; those who are losing income, jobs, identity; those who are hungry.  

 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers

For the sake of your Son, our Saviour

Jesus Christ

Amen. 

 

 



Post communion

Lord Jesus Christ,

you have taught us

that what we do for the least of our brothers and sisters

we do also for you:

give us the will to be the servant of others

as you were the servant of all,

and gave up your life and died for us,

but are alive and reign, now and for ever.










22 March 2020 Mothering Sunday 



Welcome Everybody :)
On this Mothering Sunday:
 
Make us aware, dear God,
of your eye that beholds us
your hand that holds us
your heart that loves us
your Presence that enfolds us
now and always. 

Amen.
 

One of our Psalms for today from the Anglican lectionary is very familiar. I copy it here in a form apt for the strange times we find ourselves in:
  
The Lord is my Pacesetter.
I shall not rush.
He makes me to lay down my worries and rest in His love.
He provides me with images of stillness which restore my serenity.
He leads me in ways of efficiency through calmness of mind
and His guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day,
I will not fret, for His presence is with me.
His timelessness, His all-importance, will keep me in balance.
He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity by anointing my mind with His oils of tranquility.
My cup of joyous energy overflows.
Surely harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours
for I shall walk in the pace of My Lord and dwell in His house forever.
 
Perhaps you could listen to a version of psalm 23 as a hymn on YouTube? I particularly like the tune by Howard Goodall, which you may recognise:


 
 
 
Reading
Psalm 23
1  The Lord is my shepherd; •
   therefore can I lack nothing.
2  He makes me lie down in green pastures •
   and leads me beside still waters.
3  He shall refresh my soul •
   and guide me in the paths of righteousness for his names sake.
4  Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
      I will fear no evil; •
   for you are with me;
      your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5  You spread a table before me
      in the presence of those who trouble me; •
   you have anointed my head with oil
      and my cup shall be full.
6  Surely goodness and loving mercy shall follow me
      all the days of my life, •
   and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Sheep

 
Prayers
From Iris:

Those of us lucky enough to have the gift of children, give thanks for the unique privilege of caring for and bringing them up.  We feel such a responsibility and often feel overwhelmed.  Help us to rest in the knowledge that we could not be asked to do a more important thing than to love, guide, and nurture a new life.


We pray for the families of the nation upon which so much depends.  Be among us to guide and bless us, and keep us safe. Keep safe these special people, both mothers and fathers, with their love, patience, and forgiveness.

Continue to show us the way of Jesus, who had the security of a loving home in Nazareth, so that we may be able to say with Mary, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour."


On this special day, we ask your blessing on our closest relationships.  We give you thanks for the love and protection of parents for their children.  At home we are truly ourselves, and are seen at our best and our worst.  Give us grace to be able to forgive and be forgiven,and to learn the value of honesty, fairness, and gentleness.


On this special day, we give you thanks for the Church, which is always with us, nourishing and helping us to grow in the love of an extended family.  Make us able to give back love, time, and energy to make real the goodness of Jesus.


We praise you, Lord, and ask your blessing on us all.


Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.
 
 
 
Some thoughts for today
Today I want to take you on a journey through poetry and some of the wisdom of the early Christian teachers, a journey for our soul.
 
I came across Malcolm Guite's poem: First Steps. You can find it on the internet, and it starts like this:
 
This is the day to leave the dark behind you
Take the adventure, step beyond the hearth,
Shake off at last the shackles that confined you,
And find the courage for the forward path.”
 
Today is Mothering Sunday and we may be aware as mothers to children, or as mothers to our own soul, that first steps occur at all stages of our lives.
Those first steps after something that has shaken us, something has been brought to a happy conclusion, or we or somebody else has moved on.
 
This is the day to leave the dark behind you,
Take the adventure, step beyond the hearth,
Shake off at last the shackles that confined you
And find the courage for the forward path.”
 
There are many first steps in our lives, and we are now as villages and churches and individuals learning how to take first steps in this strange environment of living with Coronavirus.  And how, in these times  do we move on?
How do we mother our own soul?
 
The Desert Fathers and Mothers took themselves away from the bustle of the cities and lived a really simple life in the 4th Century AD. they left some of their sayings behind:
 
Abba Poemen said about Abba Pior that every single day he made a fresh beginning.”
 
This is a time to take each day as it comes. If we start to look too far ahead it seems too much, and we wonder if we will manage. But we know it is possible to live well in one day.
And we will have times when we get to the end of our own resources. It is at those times that we can pray.
 
An old man said: constant prayer quickly straightens out our thoughts.”
 
Prayer, a heightened consciousness of ourselves and what and who is beyond us, above us, around us, caring for us - none other than a God of love, who wants nothing more than to hold us and cheer us.
 
A brother who was living amongst other brothers asked Abba Bessarion: What should I do?The old man replied: 'be silent, and do not measure yourself against the others.
 
It is easy at the moment to be looking round and seeing how people are  behaving and wondering if we should also be doing that? Lets follow the good examples, of those who are helping others, and spreading good humour and being creative.
 
“This is the day to leave the dark behind you,
Take the adventure, step beyond the hearth,
Shake off at last the shackles that confined you
And find the courage for the forward path.”
 
Bless you in this week ahead.
 
 
A Common Prayer:  Leunig
God be with the mother as she carried her child. May she carry her soul. As her child was born so may she give birth and life and form to her own higher truth. As she nourished and protected her child, may she nourish and protect her inner life and her independence. For her soul shall be her most painful births, her most difficult child and the dearest sister to her other children.
Amen.
 
Our Collect is the prayer said across the Anglican Church today:
God of love,
passionate and strong,
tender and careful:
watch over us and hold us
all the days of our life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
Listen again to the hymn The Lords my Shepherd.
Think again of that funny series: The Vicar of Dibley and be glad that we live together in a community, with other people of faith, and a God who loves us more than we can know.
 
Blessing
May you hold us in your strong finger hands until we become a sacrament of strength to those whose hands we hold.
And the blessing of God Almighty: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with you and remain with you, now and forever.
Amen


Still waters