Transcript of on-line service for Kilrenny Parish Church Sunday 10th January 2021.

Monday 11 January 2021

Order of Service for Sunday 10th January 2021

Recording of this service can be viewed on-line by clicking on the following link:-



Welcome to this first online act of worship for Kilrenny Parish Church. I hope this finds you all well and can I take this opportunity to wish each of you a very happy New Year! I hope, despite everything that is going on, that you are blessed with all that is good for this New Year of 2021.


Call to Worship

Leader: God of light,

light of light

true God of true God

ALL: We bless You


Leader: God of new beginnings,

hope of hope,

as we reach for this new year

ALL: We bless You


Leader: God of joy,

delight of delight,

as we give thanks for all that is good

ALL: We bless You


Hymn 334                 On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry



Lord of Hope

we give You thanks for a new day.

We arise today

to a horizon guiding our eye beyond the everyday;

to a dawn gently lighting up the wonders of Your creation;

to a whispered dew rooting us firmly to this precious earth.

For this and more we thank You.


Lord of Hope

we give You thanks for a new year.

We arise today

to the knowledge that Your Son, our Lord, goes before us;

to the hope that through His presence all people will be transformed;

to the promise of salvation for all.

For this and more we thank You.


Lord of Hope

we give You thanks for a new start.

We arise today

turning our backs on the ways of judgement and criticism;

sloughing off narrow-minded assumptions;

reaching out to enemy and friend with generous compassionate hearts.

For the promise of a new start, a new year, a new day,

for these gifts and for so much more we thank You.


And now, we join our voices together in the Prayer 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 debts,

as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever






Reading: Mark 1: 4 - 11

So John appeared in the desert, baptizing and preaching. “Turn away from your sins and be baptized,” he told the people, “and God will forgive your sins.” Many people from the province of Judea and the city of Jerusalem went out to hear John. They confessed their sins, and he baptized them in the Jordan River.


John wore clothes made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. He announced to the people, “The man who will come after me is much greater than I am. I am not good enough even to bend down and untie his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”


Not long afterward Jesus came from Nazareth in the province of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As soon as Jesus came up out of the water, he saw heaven opening and the Spirit coming down on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my own dear Son. I am pleased with you.”



Reflection: “You are my own dear Son”

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of each of our hearts be acceptable in your sight Lord, amen.


Today’s reading will be familiar to many of you as we had it just a few weeks ago at the beginning of Advent. We will also return to this vision of Jesus being baptised in the river Jordan a third time when Lent begins, which might suggest a lack of imagination on the part of those who compiled the Lectionary. But this time I want to focus less on John the Baptiser and more on God’s validation of Jesus as His own Son.


This is the beginning of the season of Epiphany, the announcement of Jesus to the world as the Son of God. During Advent and immediately after Christmas, we read about the events in Bethlehem and at the Temple in Jerusalem. In each case Jesus was identified as the Son of God to those in the immediate surroundings, but His fame didn’t really spread much further. The world heard little about the miraculous birth beyond the stable or the palace of Herod, nor did the prophesies of Simeon and Anna cause much of a stir beyond the Temple courtyards. Important as each of these stories is to our understanding of the life of Jesus, they didn’t circulate widely during His childhood.


God had come into the world, but in order to truly understand the human condition, He needed to live a full life before making His presence felt. That is why the events on the banks of the Jordan river are so pivotable to this time of year and all three of the seasons we are working through at the moment: Advent, Epiphany and Lent. As Jesus rose back out of the waters of the Jordan, He was cleansing himself of all that had accumulated during His human life. Even for a man who had never sinned, the negativity of the world would have clung to Him like dust to His shoes.


Now Jesus was free of all of that, His rebirth was very much in the literal as well as the psychological sense. John was attracting crowds of people from Jerusalem and the surrounding region: people looking for a new beginning and a new direction in life. Jesus wasn’t seeking a new direction; He was ready for the challenge His Father had set Him and to announce His mission to the world. The babe in the manger had grown up and His mission was to change the world. Professor William Barclay calls this Jesus’ moment of decision. This is the true turning point for Jesus, for God and for the world.


All of this seems so far away, both in time and in space, and yet it is so relevant to our current situation. We are at a time of darkness, when it seems that God has abandoned His people, but that is not so. God has not walked away from the world; He is still with us and He offers us hope of a new life. That life may well require us to re-evaluate our relationships with each other. This crisis has seen us spend much more time at home. For many that has been a good thing, for some, not so good. We have learned to use technology to stay in contact with family and friends and we have made more conscious efforts to stay in touch with activities and organisations we value. For the Church, we have had to learn new skills as well. Today’s service is an example of our attempts to remain engaged with our members.


The crisis also means we can decide what we don’t want to do any more, people we no longer want to have in our lives or activities that have had their time and are no longer of interest to us. We too are at a turning point in our lives. We have an opportunity to discover what is truly important to us.


God has not left us, nor is God the cause of our current situation, but God is looking for us to move forward in a new way, to take the opportunity of this crisis to start anew. Jesus is ready to support us as He always has been; we need to seek Him out and ask Him how we can best respond to His bidding,


Hymn 335                             Out of the flowing river


Prayers of Intercession

Lord Jesus, we come to you humbly to ask that you give healing to our world.

As we give thanks for the hope of vaccines, we are conscious of the long road ahead before enough people will receive them to make a difference.

We give thanks for those scientists and clinicians who have applied their intellects to the challenge of Covid-19.

We give thanks for all those prepared to volunteer for the experimental testing that has been required.

And we pray for all who are administering the vaccines as quickly as they are able.


Lord Jesus, be with all those who are struggling with illness at this time. Likewise, comfort those who have lost loved ones.

Bless those who are living in fear and isolation. May they know your presence at this time.

Support those who have lost work and income due to the restrictions we all face. May they see hope for the future and better times ahead.


Lord Jesus, our focus is on Coronavirus, but there are many who continue to struggle with other illnesses, conditions and pre-existing problems, both physical and mental. Be with them and let them know that you are always there for them.


Now Lord, in the silence of our hearts we bring before you all those we know of who need your care, comfort and compassion at this time:




As we ask your blessing on these others, we also ask that you bless each of us that we may be your servants in this place.


Now Lord Jesus, give us the hope of eternal life with you and all those who have gone before us.

These things we ask in the sure and certain knowledge that your promises are for us and all who give their lives to you.





Now go in peace;

may this day, this year unfold as it should;

may you find solace in scripture and spirit;

and may your journey into this new year

be filled with the hope and promise of God

for the sake and the peace of the world.



Thanks to Allan (Wallis) for asking me to share the following prayer with all at Kilrenny.


A prayer for New Year.

(taken from January's Issue of Life and Work)


We stand at that place, betwixt and between the old and the new.

Looking back to a year now past, and forward to what is yet to be.

But this is not a normal transition between old and new.


We look back on a year in which

the normal patterns of daily life have been disrupted;

where so much has been put on hold, postponed, cancelled.


We look to the new year with dread and anxiety

with its continued uncertainty.

Lives still on hold.

So much we would want to do, would plan to do,

need to do, but afraid to look too far forward for fear of disappointment.


In all our uncertainty

we come to you. Lord for you are constant.

In the midst of uncertainty your love is sure.

In the darkness of disappointment you never fail.

In heartbreak and anguish your loving arms enfold us.


We see your constancy and love not only in our lives,

but in the world around us.

As year succeeds to year,

as day follows night,

as the seasons change,

from the new life of spring,

to summer's rosy glow,

then autumn's harvest hew

to Winter's sleepy rest.


Lord, we long for the world to awaken,

not only from winter's rest

but also from the shutdown we have endured

for so many months.


As we wait expectantly for the brighter days of spring

and for the world to live again,

so we turn to you.

Continue to walk with us through these dark days

assure us of your light,

which no darkness can ever overcome

and of your love

by which we are constantly surrounded.




Kilrenny Parish Church, Kirk Wynd,
KY10 3JJ
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