Newsletter – 7 February 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 February 7th 2021

The Second Sunday before Lent

Collect

Almighty God,
you have created the heavens and the earth
and made us in your own image:
teach us to discern your hand in all your works
and your likeness in all your children;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who with you and the Holy Spirit

reigns supreme over all things,
now and for ever.  Amen

TODAY’S READINGS

First Reading               Proverbs 8: 1, 22-31

When God made the world, Wisdom was with him, as his companion, and his delight and joy, working together in the creation of the world.

Second Reading          Colossians 1.15-20

The wisdom who was there before the beginning of creation is now revealed as Christ incarnate, God on earth.

Gospel                         St. John 1.1-14

John, with their sense of awe, wonder and mystery, tells of Jesus’ coming as the light of the world and of his presence with us since the beginning of time.

Reflection – Taken from the Living Word

“No, I’m not standing for that. No, we don’t want to change.”

It can be much easier to say “No”, than to say “Yes”. It takes less energy, makes fewer demands upon us. “No” closes down options and keeps us safe; “Yes” opens things up and leads us into the unknown.

Many folk find it easier to say “No” to change; “No” to taking on new challenges, to accepting new or additional responsibility; “No,” to other people’s views and suggestions.

There can be a real fear about change and new ideas. Sometimes, however, we meet those whose first response, almost as a matter of course, is to say “No”, firmly and robustly, whatever the circumstance – to the immense frustration of all those seeking to move on, and to improve things. Time to think may bring about a change of response – but sometimes people remain immovable, and cannot think or see beyond their “No”.

St John, in his own inimitable way, sets out for us – in words which create a real sense of awe, and mystery, and wonder – Jesus’ coming to us as the light of the world. He came in human form, as the baby born at Bethlehem, God-on-earth, and yet he had been in the world, of the world, indeed was creator of the world, from the beginning.

And – John tells us – those who do receive him, who do believe in him, become “children of God”. What a wonderful assurance!

John, in his poetic imagery, reminds us, too, that though Jesus was in the world, the world (or part of it) knew him not (or chose not to know him). Some did not, or would not, accept him. Some rejected him. Many, unthinkingly, despised him.

This marvellous section of John’s Gospel is so closely identified with Christmas that it comes as a surprise to find it set as our Gospel reading today. It makes us stop in our tracks. Perhaps we’re even tempted to say, “No, that can’t be the right reading, not now, in February!”

Yet here, as we turn towards Lent, it is good to have St John’s reminder that Jesus, even in all his goodness, in all his glory, was rejected and despised “ .. yet the world did not know him … and his own people did not accept him”.

Such thoughts, if we take them seriously, should challenge us – really challenge us. And how good it is to be challenged! 

Are we among those whose lives are too busy to find even a little space for him (perhaps barely an hour on Sunday morning)? 

Do we say “No” to standing out for him in the workplace, or standing out against the ways of the world? Do we miss chances to let his word and his light shine out through us? Are we too ready to say “No” when following his way tests our conscience, conflicts with our “comfortable Christianity” and the all-too-easy compass of our Christian commitment?

Do we say “No” to change, wanting our Church to be just as it has always been?

Are we among those who reject him, who say “No” to him, who wound him, who nail him to the cross? 

 Yes, this Gospel reading does indeed challenge us. It sets our minds racing, too, as we approach our Lenten journey. Shall we, like so many, find it easier to say “No”? Shall we keep ourselves safe and keep our faith contained so that it does not make too many demands upon us or force us to change our ways?

Or shall we “see the light” and really make space for Jesus Christ to come into our lives and light up our lives, as we prepare ourselves anew to greet him at Easter, the risen Christ. Shall we say “Yes” to Jesus – and open up our lives to him, daring to walk with him into the unknown, to allow him to change us and unsettle us, and to discover the fullness of what it means to be children of God? We, like the people in Nazareth some two thousand years ago, have a choice to make will we choose darkness or light? Will we give “No” or “Yes” to Jesus Christ?

Post Communion Prayer

God our creator,
by your gift
the tree of life was set at the heart of the earthly paradise,
and the bread of life at the heart of your Church:
may we who have been nourished at your table on earth
be transformed by the glory of the Saviour’s cross
and enjoy the delights of eternity;
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 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 links   giorlaf@outlook.com

PRAYERS FOR THIS TIME

Gracious God,
as we remember before you the

thousands who have died,
surround us and all who mourn with

your strong compassion.
Be gentle with us in our grief,
protect us from despair,
and give us grace to persevere
and to face the future with hope
in Jesus Christ our risen 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, in your mercy

            Hear our prayer        

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, in your mercy

            Hear our prayer        

For doctors, nurses and medical researchers,

that through their skill and insights

many will be restored to health …

Lord, in your mercy

            Hear our prayer        

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

Lord, in your mercy

            Hear our prayer        

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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