Transcript of on-line Service for Kilrenny Parish Church. Sunday 21st March 2021.

Saturday 27 March 2021

Order of Service for Sunday 21st March 2021

Online worship: 5th Sunday in Lent

You Tube link: 


                              CHURCH NEWS


I am pleased to inform you that Fife Presbytery has approved our preparations and that everything is in place for the re-opening of Kilrenny Parish Church for worship, next Sunday Palm Sunday, 28th March, 2021.

Worship will be led by Interim Moderator, Rev Michael Allardice at 0945

This is, of course, subject to the First Minister of Scotland confirming on Tuesday 23rd March that Churches can reopen for worship.

The Kirk Session very much look forward to welcoming all back for worship.

I will inform you if the First Minister does not give permission and we are not permitted to reopen.




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.


Hopefully, this time next week, we will be able to join together in person in Kilrenny and have the pleasure of experiencing communal worship for the first time since Christmas Eve. Assuming the go-ahead is given during the week, I will be delighted to see those of you able to join us in Kilrenny Church on Sunday morning. Corinne will guide us all on the processes we must follow and how many people can come into the building, so please be patient while that process moves forward.


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 189                       Be still, for the presence of the Lord


Opening Prayer & Lord’s Prayer

Let us pray:

God of all blessings,

source of all life,

giver of all grace:


We thank you for the gift of life:

for the breath

that sustains life,

for the food of this earth

that nurtures life,

for the love of family and friends

without which there would be no life.


We thank you for the mystery of creation:

for the beauty

that the eye can see,

for the joy

that the ear may hear,

for the unknown

that we cannot behold filling the universe with wonder,

for the expanse of space

that draws us beyond the definitions of our selves.


We thank you for setting us in communities:

for families

who nurture our becoming,

for friends

who love us by choice,

for companions at work,

who share our burdens and daily tasks,

for strangers

who welcome us into their midst,

for people from other lands

who call us to grow in understanding,

for children

who lighten our moments with delight,

for the unborn,

who offer us hope for the future.



We thank you for this day:

for life

and one more day to love,

for opportunity

and one more day to work for justice and peace,

for neighbours

and one more person to love

and by whom be loved,

for your grace

and one more experience of your presence,

for your promise:

to be with us,

to be our God,

and to give salvation.


For these, and all blessings,

we give you thanks, eternal, loving God,

through Jesus Christ we pray.




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




Readings:          John 12: 20 – 36


Some Greeks were among those who had gone to Jerusalem to worship during the festival. They went to Philip (he was from Bethsaida in Galilee) and said, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.”



Philip went and told Andrew, and the two of them went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has now come for the Son of Man to receive great glory. I am telling you the truth: a grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain unless it is dropped into the ground and dies. If it does die, then it produces many grains. Those who love their own life will lose it; those who hate their own life in this world will keep it for life eternal. Whoever wants to serve me must follow me, so that my servant will be with me where I am. And my Father will honour anyone who serves me.


“Now my heart is troubled—and what shall I say? Shall I say, ‘Father, do not let this hour come upon me’? But that is why I came—so that I might go through this hour of suffering. Father, bring glory to your name!”


Then a voice spoke from heaven, “I have brought glory to it, and I will do so again.”


The crowd standing there heard the voice, and some of them said it was thunder, while others said, “An angel spoke to him!” But Jesus said to them, “It was not for my sake that this voice spoke, but for yours. Now is the time for this world to be judged; now the ruler of this world will be overthrown. When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me.” (In saying this he indicated the kind of death he was going to suffer.)


The crowd answered, “Our Law tells us that the Messiah will live forever. How, then, can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?”


Jesus answered, “The light will be among you a little longer. Continue on your way while you have the light, so that the darkness will not come upon you; for the one who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Believe in the light, then, while you have it, so that you will be the people of the light.”


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






Reflection: “Live now or Live forever?”

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


In today’s reading from John’s Gospel, we are faced with a number of incidents and ideas that might not seem connected at first. We are introduced to some Greeks, then they disappear as soon as they are mentioned. Jesus seems to speak distractedly of different things and the voice of God is heard by some in the crowd.


On first reading, this is all a little confusing. Has the writer of John’s Gospel put different stories together? What is the point being made?


In order to really get a sense of what’s going on here, we need to transport ourselves back to the Temple precincts in Jerusalem 2,000 years. The place is crowded with pilgrims from across the known world and Jesus has claimed a spot against one of the walls. Forget images of classrooms or lecture theatres, this is teaching in the raw: teaching in the streets where you have to shout to be heard and people are constantly on the move. Some come for the duration to hear everything He has to say, others will only stop to listen for a few minutes. Some will crave silence to hear every word, others will offer comment and chat amongst themselves. There will be shouts, catcalls and the everyday noise of the Temple beyond this circle of the devout and the doubters.


Jesus had many followers when He arrived a few days ago, but He has gained many more after clearing the traders and money lenders out of the place at the beginning of the week. Since then, He’s been teaching those willing to listen to His message that God wants to reclaim His people from the depths of their sin and despair.


The Greek travellers make themselves known to Philip and Andrew, no doubt having heard of the teaching of this prophet and wanting to get a special word from Him or hear His teaching more clearly. The focus shifts from them back to Jesus as He begins to explain how He must die first before He can return to life and offer hope to the world. The image of the grain being buried before bursting into life is so clear to us who know what He’s about to go through, but for those listening to Jesus that day, they could not truly conceive of the pain and suffering He is about to experience.  


Jesus ties that image to the need for those who want to follow Him to be willing to give up everything to serve Him.


In this reading we are given snapshots of what might have been a whole morning or afternoon of teaching by Jesus. We see His mood swing back and forth as He articulates all that He knows will happen in the hours and days ahead. There are times it borders on the confessional; we hear Him speak of His fear:


“Now my heart is troubled—and what shall I say? Shall I say, ‘Father, do not let this hour come upon me’? But that is why I came—so that I might go through this hour of suffering. Father, bring glory to your name!”


Then a voice spoke from heaven, “I have brought glory to it, and I will do so again.”


These echo the words He speaks on the Cross: that moment of despair and realisation that no matter what He has to suffer, His Father will be with Him. And in saying these things and hearing God speak to Him, we too are reassured that God will be with us in all we go through in His name.


Those in the crowd who were familiar with the scriptures, expressed their surprise at the new teaching Jesus was giving them about what the Messiah would have to endure, but Jesus answers them with a new interpretation of the teaching of Daniel about the Son of Man. Yes, the Son of Man would come in glory, but first He must suffer at the hands of men before He can return in the light of God’s glory.


The meaning is so clear to us listening to these words which have come down to us, and it is difficult for us to imagine the shock and strangeness those who heard Jesus speak that day.


We hear these words year after year as part of our recounting of the Passion of Jesus during His final days on earth. But for those who followed Him, these were new words, new ideas, and they had no idea of what was about to happen to Him and to them. How could they know? Everything that was happening around them was different, strange and represented a first time. Nothing could possibly prepare the disciples for what would happen next.


Maybe this Easter, we have a slightly better sense of that strangeness than we’ve had before. So much of what we have been through these last twelve months has taught us that we really cannot predict the future. Jesus knew what was about to happen to Him, and He knows what we are going through.


So much of our faith has been packaged up neatly and we can be accused of taking it for granted. This past year has shown us how we must work at our faith, we must celebrate the love we receive from God and we must spread that love beyond the doors of our homes and our churches. The Jewish people thought they knew what the Messiah would look like when He appeared, but they didn’t recognise Him in the face or body of Jesus. Will we be any better at recognising Jesus if He knocked at our door or walked into our Church?




Just like those first disciples, we too must learn to believe wholeheartedly in His love, learn to walk in His light and learn to lean on His strength if we are going to serve Him effectively. We must be willing to go where He leads us, no matter how strange those paths might be.   We must be willing to give up everything in order to receive the gift of life. The choice we face is to live in the hear & now, or to live with Jesus forever in the eternal glory of God’s love.


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


Just before we bring our prayers for the world to God, this week marks a year since the first deaths from Covid-19 in Great Britain. On Tuesday 23rd March there will be a one-minute silence to remember all those who have suffered from this virus, lost loved-ones or lost their own lives. I hope you will be able to take a moment at mid-day on Tuesday to remember.


Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

Have mercy on us, O God, according to your loving kindness;

in your great compassion, hear our prayers.


We pray for the whole church,

all the people of God,

all who respond to the call of Jesus, ‘follow me’.

Wash us through and through,

And cleanse us from our sin.


We pray for our nation, for all the nations of the earth,

and for all who govern and judge.

Purge us from our sin,

And we shall be pure.


We pray for those who hunger, those who thirst,

those who cry out for justice,

those who live under the threat of terror,

and those without a place to lay their head.

May they hear of joy and gladness,

that those who are broken may rejoice.


We pray for those who are ill, those in pain,

those under stress, and those who are lonely.

Give them the joy of your saving help,

and sustain them with your bountiful Spirit.

Create in us clean hearts, O God,

and renew a right spirit within us.


We pray for those who have been bereaved

Give them your comfort and peace.

Now, in the silence of our hearts

We bring before you now those we know of in need of your care, your comfort and your compassion.




Lord Jesus,

you taught your disciples that unless a grain of wheat

falls into the earth and dies it remains just a single grain,

but if it dies it bears much fruit;

as we prepare our hearts to remember your death and resurrection,

grant us the strength and wisdom to serve and follow you,

this day and always.



Hymn 167                    Guide me, O thou great Jehovah





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.