Newsletter – 17 January 2021

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 January 17th 2021

The Second Sunday of Epiphany

Collect

Almighty God, in Christ you make all things new:
transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace, and in the renewal of our lives
make known your heavenly glory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
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                1 Samuel 3: 1-10

God’s call to Samuel is persistent and unexpected. It is the tired old man, Eli, who recognizes what is happening and who is able to provide guidance.

Second Reading          Revelation 5: 1-10

Who is worthy to discover the mind of God? The vision speaks of those from ‘every tribe, language, people and nation’ –  no-one is left out from the call to serve God.

Gospel                         St. John l: 43-51

The selection of the apostles seems to be a haphazard affair. These very ordinary followers are to become leaders. Being with Jesus will change disciples into apostles.

Reflection

Nathanael – who was he?

Have you ever felt that you weren’t being noticed or appreciated, that in spite of your best efforts other people seem to receive all the thanks and praise for their actions? I wonder if Nathanael ever felt like that … 

He is mentioned here in the first chapter of John’s gospel as Jesus calls him and he becomes one of the twelve disciples. The only other mention he receives is in the very last chapter when John names him as one of the disciples present at the post-resurrection meeting with Jesus on the beach. It is widely believed that this Nathanael is the same disciple named as Bartholomew in the synoptic gospels. Even then, the only mention that Bartholomew gets in each of Matthew, Mark and Luke is a name-check in the list of the twelve Apostles. Similarly, he makes just one appearance in Acts, named in the eleven Apostles as they choose a replacement for Judas Iscariot.

When Nathanael was invited along by his friend Philip his first reaction wasn’t promising – “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Nathanael came from Cana, a town very close to Nazareth, so this is typical of a rivalry we might see echoed today between neighbouring villages in Cornwall.

But Jesus instantly saw in Nathanael a man of good heart, someone honest and trustworthy. Nathanael for his part was amazed at Jesus’ insight and acknowledged him instantly as the Son of God.

Jesus, as he began his ministry, was putting together his team of twelve. We hear mostly of Peter, James and John as leaders of the group, certainly the outspoken ones, the ones who had the ear of Jesus. But these three personalities were not without their faults. We know and love Peter for his impetuous nature. We see him speaking first and thinking afterwards as we so often do ourselves. James and John were known as Sons of Thunder, apparently because of their fiery nature, and then there were the rivalries between the three of them. Great Apostles as they were, a whole team of such big personalities would be an extremely volatile mix.

So Jesus called others to his team, perhaps with lesser egos. Those who were happy to be followers, ready to calm difficult situations and to get on with the task in hand without seeking personal recognition all the time. Men perhaps like Nathanael. A true and honest disciple as Jesus discerned from his first meeting. We know that he was present from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry until the very end, post-resurrection and beyond. A faithful follower of Jesus who never made the headlines.

Are you called to be part of Jesus’ team today? You may think not – if you don’t see yourself as a Peter, a James or a John. But Jesus has a role for each, and every one of us.

Every team needs its Nathanael.

Post Communion Prayer

God of glory, you nourish us with your Word
who is the bread of life:
fill us with your Holy Spirit that through us the light of your glory may shine in all the world.
We ask this in the name of 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 Recordings 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

Sunday Service of the Word 10.00am 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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