Newsletter – 20 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 20th  

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Collect

God our redeemer,

who prepared the Blessed Virgin Mary

to be the mother of your Son:

grant that, as she looked for his coming as our saviour,

so we may be ready to greet him

when he comes again as our judge;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

TODAY’S READINGS

First Reading                    2 Samuel 7. 1-11

Nathan the prophet proclaims God’s word that the Kingdom of David would be established in peace forever.

Second Reading            Romans 16. 25-27

Paul concludes his letter to the Church at Rome with a burst of praise to the glory of God.

Gospel                             St. Luke 1. 26-38

Gabriel appears to Mary and reveals that she has been chosen to become the mother of the Son of God. Mary ponders, questions her call –  and obeys.

Reflection

‘Let it be with me according to your word.’

Luke 1: 38

During these still uncertain and difficult days of a global pandemic, albeit with the wonderful news of the start of a vaccination programme, I have found the presence of the Advent wreath in our churches profoundly moving and encouraging.  A beacon of light and hope growing ever brighter week by week, it leads us gently but steadily away from the darkness into radiant light.

On the First Sunday of Advent, our churches sadly were still closed as we were still two days away from the end of our second national lockdown. Yet we could light the first candle of the Advent wreath in our hearts, giving thanks for the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the fathers of the people of Israel, who brought the hope of a new dawn.  The following Sunday, thankfully back in church, we lit the second candle on the wreath, reminding us of the peace foretold by the prophets, among them Isaiah.  The Third Sunday is traditionally known as Gaudete {Rejoice!) Sunday, and last Sunday marked the midpoint of Advent, as our solemn preparation was bringing us ever closer to the joy of Christmas. The rose pink candle on our Advent wreath reminded us of that joy, as our thoughts turned to John the Baptist, both prophet and forerunner of Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

Today, as we light the fourth candle, we give thanks for the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of our Lord.  In our Gospel, we hear how the visit of the angel Gabriel turns Mary’s world upside down.  She is plunged into a situation completely outside her comfort zone.  Yet such is her faith that, in total obedience and love, she says ‘Yes’ to God’s awesome call on her life.  ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’

In a year when all our lives have, to a degree, been turned upside down, may we, too, say ‘Yes’, as he calls each one of us to reflect his love in the world; may we, too, wait in joyful expectation to greet the Christ Child – the one who is infinite and unconditional Love; and may we, as Christmas dawns, light with thankful hearts the final candle on our Advent wreath – the white candle in the centre which reminds us of the wondrous news of the birth of Christ anew in our midst. He is the One who brings hope, peace, joy and, above all, Love.

Post Communion Prayer

Heavenly Father,

who chose the Blessed Virgin Mary

to be the mother of the promised saviour:

fill us your servants with your grace,

that in all things we may embrace your holy will

and with her rejoice in your salvation;

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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