Newsletter – 6 December 2020

Sunday Letter

Benefice of Padstow & Trevone,

St. Merryn, & St Issey with Little Petherick

During this extraordinary time, we thought our congregations might appreciate an emailed letter with the prayers and readings for the Sunday and a short devotional piece, as a way of keeping us together and sharing any thoughts we may have.

Sunday December 6th

Second Sunday of Advent

Collect

O Lord, raise up, we pray, your power and come among us, and with great might succour us;

that whereas, through our sins and wickedness

we are grievously hindered in running the race that is set before us,

your bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit,

be honour and glory, now and for ever.  Amen

Readings

First Reading   Isaiah 40.1-11

To a people who have lost all they held dear, the news that the Lord has not abandoned them and will save them once more is good tidings indeed. They know in their hearts that God has the power to restore their nation.

Second Reading          2 Peter 3.8-15a

Waiting on the Lord’s judgement demands our full attention: we must strive to live good lives, for we cannot know when or how his decisive action will take place.

Gospel                         St. Mark 1.1-8

John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus,

foretold by the inspired prophets of old. Some

heeded his call

to repentance and prepared themselves to

receive the Lord.

“Prepare the way of the Lord.”

The whole world right now is waiting expectantly, preparing, hoping, looking for a better world to come. It’s Advent everywhere – except that for most of the world the waiting, preparing and hoping is all to do with vaccines and looking towards a return to some form of normality on the other side of the pandemic. For us, as Christians, Advent is also a time of waiting, preparing and hoping, not only looking to the celebrations marking the birth of Jesus, but also preparing ourselves for the second coming of Jesus, for the new heavens and new earth. I wonder this year if some of the secular and the Christian hopes for the future are not so totally different.

The NT reading is from 2Peter, which many believe to be the latest written book of the New Testament, probably written in the second century, and almost certainly not written by Peter. Clearly it is written to believers who are questioning the second coming and wondering why Jesus has not yet returned. They are impatient, but the writer stresses that God’s timescale is not the same as ours, even saying that the delay shows God’s patience with us. God’s wish is for all to come to repentance so that none will be lost. No wonder we are still waiting!

He talks in apocalyptic terms of the day of the Lord coming, of these times passing away and being replaced with ‘new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home’. A new world where God’s kingdom is fully realised.

And that is the question with this pandemic. Do we really want to return to life exactly as it was before? Or do we seize the opportunity to build a new world that is more just, more caring, more sensitive to the needs of every person and of the earth itself? A new world modelled on the kingdom of God.

There are some green shoots. Some steps towards recognising the value of the common good, the need to protect the environment for the sake of future generations, an understanding that the old market forces are no longer fit for purpose. I’m sure there are many people whose priorities in life have changed this year, who have hopes for a different and more caring society in the future.

So, throughout this Advent and beyond it will be my prayer that, with God’s help, we can build towards that better world where kingdom values prevail. I would also hope that we can work towards that goal alongside all like-minded people, of all faiths or none, because God’s kingdom is a work for the whole of God’s creation.

‘Prepare the way of the Lord, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’

Post Communion Prayer

Father in heaven, who sent your Son to redeem the world and will send him again to be our judge:

give us grace so to imitate him in the humility and purity of his first coming that, when he comes again, we may be ready to greet him with joyful love and firm faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

SUGGESTIONS FOR PRAYER

Workers in health and social care and emergency services, local GPs, all keyworkers.

Our Benefice with all its communities

Our new Rector – Revd Ian Gulland and his family Schools – teachers, children and parents

Those losing jobs, or facing financial difficulty

Those with mental health problems

Church – worldwide, Diocese and Benefice

World – peace, equality and justice for all

– those affected by Coronavirus                   

Suffering – all who are sick, anxious, lonely

– refugees and all who are homeless

Radio 4   8.10am   Sunday Worship

Online video services:

www.churchofengland.org 

www.trurocathedral.org 

            (Video Recorded Services page)  

www.kerdh.co.uk for readings, prayers & reflections.

Facebook pages:

United Benefice of Padstow, St Merryn St Issey

St Columb Minor & St. Colan Parish Churches

Facebook Newquay Online Church

https://www.facebook.com/groups/690831511862960/

United Benefice of West Kerrier

Wednesday Morning Prayer 9.00am by Zoom

Email Revd Fiona for link   giorlaf@outlook.com

PRAYERS FOR THIS TIME

Keep us, good Lord,

under the shadow of your mercy

in this time of uncertainty and distress.

Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low;

that we may rejoice in your comfort

knowing that nothing can separate us

from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray to Almighty God,

who alone makes us dwell in safety.

For all who are affected by coronavirus,

through illness or isolation or anxiety,

that they may find relief and recovery …

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.

For those who are guiding our nation at this time, and shaping national policies that they may make wise decisions, and that all people will be considerate of others …

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.

For doctors, nurses and medical researchers,

that through their skill and insights

many will be restored to health …

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.

For a blessing on our homes and families, and our local communities, that all who need help will be known and cared for …

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.

We commend ourselves,

and all for whom we pray,

to the mercy and protection of God.

Merciful Father,

accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

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