Transcript of on-line Service for Kilrenny Parish Church. Sunday 7th March 2021.

Thursday 11 March 2021

Order of Service for Sunday 7th March 2021

Online worship: 3rd Sunday in Lent

You Tube link:




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.

Just before I begin our worship, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of you who have been so supportive of these services, either those of you using the videos or the transcripts. It really makes a difference to me knowing that I’m not just talking to myself when I put these services together. Thank you!


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 522    The Church is wherever God’s people are praising

Opening Prayer & Lord’s Prayer


Let us pray:

Loving God,

We take time out of our busy lives

to come before You this day

and to offer You praise and thanks.

We thank You for this day

and all the days of our lives.


We thank You for the world in which we live

and do not always fully appreciate or care for properly.


We thank You for the ability to gather

physically or digitally to praise You

and learn from Your word.

Lord, You love us so much.

You do not leave us to wander this world

aimlessly and without boundaries.


We thank You that You love us so much

that You gave Your people commandments

in the name of love, harmony and respect,

commandments that have stood the test of time

and remain as valuable today as they did when given at Sinai.



Lord, You love us so much

that You sent Your son, Jesus

to teach us how to live and to love.

Not only that, You demonstrated that love

through the death and resurrection of Your only son.


Thank You, Lord.


Good and gracious God,

There are times when we choose not to follow the rules

there are times when we stray off course

there are times when we choose the path of sin.


In a time of quiet, we bring before You those times

when we have failed to keep Your commandments

when we have decided that we know better.




The Psalmist writes:

“Clear me from hidden faults.

Keep back your servant also from the insolent;

do not let them have dominion over me.

Then I shall be blameless,

and innocent of great transgression.



Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

be acceptable to you,

O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”


Forgiven, loved and free

We enter this time of worship with gratitude.

Open our ears to hear,

our mouths to speak truth and justice

and our hearts to love and care for Your people.


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: John 2: 13 – 22

It was almost time for the Passover Festival, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. There in the Temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and pigeons, and also the moneychangers sitting at their tables. So he made a whip from cords and drove all the animals out of the Temple, both the sheep and the cattle; he overturned the tables of the moneychangers and scattered their coins; and he ordered those who sold the pigeons, “Take them out of here! Stop making my Father's house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that the scripture says, “My devotion to your house, O God, burns in me like a fire.”


The Jewish authorities came back at him with a question, “What miracle can you perform to show us that you have the right to do this?”

Jesus answered, “Tear down this Temple, and in three days I will build it again.”

“Are you going to build it again in three days?” they asked him. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple!”

But the temple Jesus was speaking about was his body. So when he was raised from death, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and what Jesus had said.


Amen. The word of God for the people of God.





Reflection: “Jesus and the Temple”

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


Today we turn to the Gospel of John. In doing so, you might imagine that we’d lose some of the energy and action of Mark’s Gospel but look where we land: straight into the cleansing of the Temple! There isn’t a more dynamic scene in all the Gospels until we come to the last supper and the crucifixion itself.


Jesus marches into the Temple precincts and chases the traders out, scattering their goods, overturning their tables, chasing the sacrificial animals from their pens.


You can imagine the chaos, people and animals running everywhere, and in the middle of it this wild man shouting and ranting that this was his Father’s House, not a den of thieves!


This is all very dramatic, and makes for great theatre, but there is more to it than a moment of madness or an act of desperation by a man despairing of the state of the world. There are deeper things at play here, influences and ideas that Jesus would have been very conscious of, as well as those who witnessed that moment of cleansing.



So, let’s take a step back and see that day in context. Jesus was angry, there’s no doubt about that. He had been to the Temple and seen the corruption of the traders, cheating the worshipers with an exorbitant exchange rate for the Temple coinage, scamming them over the price of the sacrificial animals, treating them with contempt. But His anger was going to be displayed in the classic manner of the Prophets of the Old Testament. This was cold, clear, thought through and deliberate anger, not the blind rage of someone who has had the red mist descend and is lashing out without any reason.


Jesus uses the symbol of cleansing the Temple in the same way that Jeremiah did when he predicted the destruction of the first Temple and the exile to Babylon. Professor Tom Wright highlights this connection as a symbolism that many in the Temple the day Jesus cleansed would recognise. And if we follow our reading through to its conclusion, we can see the questioning and dialogue Jesus and the Temple Elders have: not a comfortable dialogue, nor an easy one, but one they all understand has a depth of meaning far beyond the obvious acts of destruction everyone had just witnessed.


Professor Willie Barclay also makes these connections and highlights another aspect: that the worship of the Temple had become stale. There was a great deal of going through the motions, of the performance of worship, of what Barclay describes as ‘hollow faith’. Jesus had seen all of this and despaired of the state of His people and their relationship with God.


Jesus was angry, but His anger was not that of the madman, it was the anger of justification because the world had gone mad, their worship had become sour, God’s people had lost their sense of being created by God.


Jesus was using motifs that the people going to the Temple would recognise: those of the Old Testament Prophets bring them back to the reality of God in their lives. Moreover, He then states that the rebuilding of the Temple would be done directly through Him: He would become the Temple! This was too much for those He had accused of empty faith, they now had a focus for their anger and that would result in the events of the crucifixion, leading to the glory of the resurrection.


For us, the Temple cleansing needs to be seen in that context. We should also be questioning ourselves to ask if we have lost that connection with God: has our worship now become more routine and performance than real feeling for our love of God and God’s undoubted love for us.


The last year has been tough for everyone, whither they are believers or not. For some, they have re-established their relationship with God, but I suspect many others might have lost that connection. The break from going to Church on a Sunday morning will have broken a routine going back decades and they may have lost that sense of faith that the Church community gave them.



Now the time of lent and the opportunity to reflect that lent gives us, ought to become a time when we re-connect with God and ask Him to forgive us for our failings, our mistakes, our limitations. None of us is perfect, we have all failed at times in our relationships, both with God and with each other.


So now, let’s use these days until we can return to worshiping in a Church building as a community, to re-establish those connections: firstly with God, and then with all those we value as family, friends and fellow believers. Others will be attracted to our worship because they can see the genuine love for God and each other coming through our worship. Now is a time to prepare ourselves for our response to God’s glory, so that when we come together once again, we can share in that glory and we can show the world that our faith is not empty, it is filled with God’s love and that love is available for everyone.


Amen, and may God add His blessing to these words.









Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

Blessed are you, Lord our God, Creator of the world,

Bringing all out of chaos.

We thank you for the guidance of the Scriptures

And for the Commandments.

We remember all who influence the lives of others

Through their example or through the media.


We pray that young people

May be given good guidance as they grow,

That they may move with confidence and freedom.

In its rules may the Church show love and compassion,

And the rules are for our freedom and not to restrict life.

May all who teach and preach lead us

Towards the glorious freedom of the children of God.




Lord, your kingdom come,

Your will be done.



We look for the time when the kingdoms of this world

Will be the kingdom of God.

We long for the time when God’s rule

Will be what guides us all.

We remember all who are suffering from injustice –

People robbed of their homes or their living.

We remember all who are caught up in unrest or political turmoil,

May they receive fairness and justice.




Lord, your kingdom come,

Your will be done.


Teach us, Lord, to live in love and harmony with those around us.

Let there be peace in our dealings, in our homes and in our hearts.

May we never oppress or hurt anyone through word or deed.




Lord, your kingdom come,

Your will be done.

We are sorry for all the harm done to the Earth

By the greed and insensitivity

Of powerful groups or individuals.

We pray for all who seek to clean up our rivers

And the air that we breathe,

All who work in conservation.

We remember before you all who are ill

Or in trouble at this time.


We pray for those whose lives have been impacted by Covid:

Those who have been ill, those who have lost loved ones,

those who have lost livelihoods, those feeling trapped by the restrictions.

We remember all who have been impacted in other ways,

because they have left things too late

or haven’t been able to access the treatments they need.


Now, in the silence of our hearts, we bring before you all those

We know of in need of your care, comfort and compassion



Lord, your kingdom come,

Your will be done.

We give thanks that you are ever with us

And offer us life eternal.

We remember friends and loved ones departed from us.

May they rejoice with saints in glory.



Merciful Father.

Accept these prayers

For the sake of your Son,

Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.



Hymn CH 362                       Heaven shall not wait



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.