Transcript of on-line Service for Kilrenny Parish Church Sunday 28th February 2021.
Friday 05 March 2021
Order of Service for Sunday 28th February 2021
Online worship: 2nd Sunday in Lent
You Tube link:- https://youtu.be/IDXuUHHacpk
Welcome to worship with the community of Kilrenny Parish Church. We may not be able to worship in the Church building at this time, but we can still come together as a worshiping community to give thanks and praise God.
Call to Worship
Let us come to worship God.
Lord Jesus, you call us to be your people in this place. Give us a sense of your power in our lives, your love in our hearts, and your joy in all we do. Join with us now as we worship you this day.
Hymn CH 268 O God of Bethel! By whose hand
Opening Prayer & Lord’s Prayer
Our prayers of approach today reflect the promises God has made to His followers throughout history, thinking especially today of the promises Jesus made to those who would follow Him.
Let us pray:
God of grace,
You come along side and make us promises,
the kind of promises that touch our hearts and very being,
that offer hope and renewal in our lives.
Glad we are,
because You have given us strength and hope.
Surprised we are,
because this was Your idea and not ours.
Relieved we are,
because we see grace sufficient for all that the days bring.
You promise to be with Your disciples until the fulfilment of all things.
Thank You that there is nowhere we could be
where You are not.
that wherever two or three gather in Your name
there You are among them;
we celebrate fellowship shared in Your company,
wherever we may be.
You invite all that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens,
promising that with You we would find rest.
You promised to all who are thirsty
water that would become in them a spring
gushing up to eternal life.
In Your presence our souls are refreshed
and we are given renewed purpose.
You have made it known that “If we confess our sins,
He who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins
and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.
Hear us as we confess before You and our sisters and brothers
that we have sinned in what we have done or did not do,
in our thoughts and with our words.
Help us to receive the forgiveness You promise
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
And we dare to believe that You have plans for us,
plans for our welfare and not for harm,
to give us a future with hope.
Reminded of Your promises,
may we live this day in the joy You bring,
may we worship You with all that is within us
and may we serve You as You deserve.
Help us Holy Spirit, so to do and be,
that many may know the God
who, in Jesus, came among us
full of grace and truth.
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,
Reading: Mark 8: 31 - 38
Then Jesus began to teach his disciples: “The Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law. He will be put to death, but three days later he will rise to life.” He made this very clear to them. So Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But Jesus turned around, looked at his disciples, and rebuked Peter. “Get away from me, Satan,” he said. “Your thoughts don't come from God but from human nature!”
Then Jesus called the crowd and his disciples to him. “If any of you want to come with me,” he told them, “you must forget yourself, carry your cross, and follow me. For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for me and for the gospel, you will save it. Do you gain anything if you win the whole world but lose your life? Of course not! There is nothing you can give to regain your life. If you are ashamed of me and of my teaching in this godless and wicked day, then the Son of Man will be ashamed of you when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
The word of God for the people of God.
Reflection: “Peter’s mistake and a lesson to us all!”
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of each of our hearts be acceptable in your sight Lord, amen.
Today, we turn our eyes to the Cross and Jesus’ destiny on the hill of Golgotha. Mark’s Gospel doesn’t sugar coat things: it is blunt and direct.
“The Son of Man must suffer much… He will be put to death, but three days later he will rise to life.”
Poor Peter, just moments earlier, he had declared Jesus the Messiah. He had felt a certain pride in getting that right, and through that identifying the long-awaited hope for the future of Israel. Then he hears Jesus say these words, and it must have felt like a punch in the guts! It was a bit like setting up for a football match only to have your captain take a nail and puncture the ball before the game’s even begun!
So, Peter takes Jesus to one side and asks the natural question: “what are you saying? What’s all this nonsense about being put to death?”
Again, poor Peter! Jesus turns on him and accuses him of being the devil! It must have felt like a slap in the face for the man so recently seen as Jesus’ right-hand man. One of the features of Mark’s Gospel is that it is unflinching when it comes to highlighting the mistakes of the disciples. So what’s happening here?
Last week we read of Jesus’ time in the wilderness, where He was tempted by the devil and had to bring all His resolve to begin His mission. But there were other times when He faced similar temptations to change His mind and follow the easier path rather than the hard road that had only one conclusion: a cross on a hill and days of pain. Into that moment, Peter’s words were like snake oil, slipping into His consciousness and tempting Him to take the path of least resistance. Jesus’ harsh rebuke probably reflects the turmoil He was experiencing within His own heart and mind. He probably didn’t mean to be so harsh to Peter, but in that moment, Jesus knew He had to expunge any doubts He might have felt: remember, although He was the Son of God, He was also a fully human being, prone to all the emotions and weaknesses each one of us has experienced at times in our own lives.
Jesus then takes those around Him into His confidence to explain what He means in predicting His own death, as well as what it will mean for any who follow Him. He promises that life will be tough, there will be rough times ahead, and it may mean losing everything you have: family, earthly possessions and even your life. But the ultimate reward is to be with Jesus for eternity in heaven. Those expecting to gain money, fame or power need not apply to become a follower of Jesus! You might call it a ‘reality check’ for the disciples. If you follow me, Jesus says, you give up everything else.
Professor Barclay highlights this as the moment when Jesus clarifies for all those wishing to follow Jesus, exactly what that would mean for them. Barclay mentions other great leaders who promised their people nothing but ‘blood, toil, tears and sweat’ in the words of Churchill during World War 2, or Garibaldi’s great speech to his men during the Italian wars of independence when he declared:
“I offer neither pay, nor quarters, nor provisions; I offer hunger, thirst, forced marches, battles and death. Let him who loves his country in his heart, and not with his lips only, follow me.”
Likewise, Jesus was telling His followers straightforwardly that to follow Him meant walking into trouble, ignoring the voices of common sense and advocates of the easy life, and picking up their cross to follow in His footsteps.
The mark of great leadership is to be honest with those who follow you and only promise what you can actually deliver, even if that is not the expected rewards they might hope for. Peter was still to understand that message, and in so many ways he represents all of us even today, as we try to navigate the challenges that being a follower of Jesus presents for us.
I have a lot of time for Peter, just as Jesus did. Remember that even after the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus had the capacity to forgive him despite everything that had happened and make Peter the leader of His disciples.
For us, Peter is the everyman of the Gospels, sometimes blundering into situations without thinking, opening his mouth before he has engaged his brain, but also having those moments of insight to be the first to recognise Jesus’ divinity and express his loyalty, a loyalty that led him all the way to a Cross in Rome all those years later.
In so many ways, we are Peter and Peter is all of us, making mistakes, but finding ways to make it better, an honest trier rather than a great thinker. His response to Jesus’ prediction is probably the same as any of us would have given to a friend we’d just heard talking in negative terms, but sometimes we have to recognise when we are going to have to hear hard messages rather than easy words that lack meaning.
Peter’s mistake comes as a lesson to us all that life is not always going to be easy, especially if we count ourselves as Disciples of Jesus. We will make mistakes, we will get it wrong, but if our hearts are in the right place, and our faith is strong, we will be given the courage to follow Jesus, no matter where He leads us.
Amen, and may God add His blessing to these words.
Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession
we thank You because You are true,
You are light and in You there is no darkness at all,
You are ever to be trusted, and constant is Your love.
As we remember how the path Jesus took
brought Him into conflict with those who were thirled to other ways,
we are thankful that He never gave up,
nor allowed Himself to be diverted from His purpose.
Jesus remained true to His mission, proclaiming Your kingdom had come, with good news for the poor, release for the captives,
recovery of sight for the blind and freedom for the oppressed.
From our hearts we thank You
for the height and depth,
the length and breadth of Christ’s love,
when on a cross with outstretched arms
He embraced us all.
Thank You for the great hope we have
that because Christ is risen,
one day there will be no more death, or crying or pain,
that nations shall beat their swords into ploughshares
and not learn war any more.
God of grace,
trusting in Your promises, confident of Your love,
we bring our prayers for others to You today.
Crucified, Risen and Ascended Lord Jesus,
You bring before the throne of God our prayers and concerns.
There You are our advocate and that of our sisters and brothers.
Let us think about people in various situations
and in the silence that follows pray for them:
People who are hungry,
remembering the increased use of food banks and the rise of food poverty in our country,
giving thanks for initiatives that ensure meals are provided for children.
Some people are homeless,
without shelter or adequate clothing.
We think of how varied their circumstances have been during this time of Coronavirus.
We remember the work of care vans, shelters, charities
and all who help people out of homelessness.
Many people face times of hardship in these days:
people whose jobs have gone, businesses facing collapse,
families worried about paying the rent or mortgage.
We think of initiatives designed to offer support
and remember those in government, local and national,
whose decisions affect the lives of many.
People are unwell or mentally distressed at this time
because of coronavirus or other illnesses,
whether at home or in hospital.
Let us also remember all who care giving thanks for their dedication and skills, thankful for the work of scientists
and those in charge of the logistics as they make vaccines available,
remembering especially people in poorer nations.
Let us also take some moments to bring the private prayers of our hearts,
letting our cry come to God,
knowing that God is listening.
These prayers we offer to You,
God of Grace, God of Promises kept.
By the strength Your Spirit gives, may we journey with Jesus into life in all its fulness, that Your Kingdom of love and justice may be known all the more among us and in Your world,
and many may see Jesus in all His glory.
Hymn CH 547 What a friend we have in Jesus
Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you
These things we ask in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.