Newsletter – 7 March 2021

Sunday Letter

Benefice of Padstow & Trevone,

St. Merryn, & St Issey with Little Petherick

Collect and Reflection for Sunday March 7th 2021 The Third Sunday of Lent

Collect

Almighty God,

whose most dear Son went not up to joy

but first he suffered pain,
and entered not into glory before he was crucified:
mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross,
may find it none other than the way of life and peace;
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

Lectionary Readings

First Reading                  Exodus 20: 1-17

Second Reading            1 Corinthaians 1: 18-25

Gospel                              John 2: 13-22

REFLECTION

Good Shepherd

Read John 10.1-18

Take a moment to look around your room and house. How many doors do you have? Why are they there? Are they just decorative or do they serve a purpose?

Doors are practical, they shut you in and others out. They create a sense of cosiness and security. They also prevent the world from getting in, whether it is a wild storm or an unwanted guest (person or animal!). Doors are integral to a home and our security.

Jesus describes himself as a door (or gate) at least four times in this passage. It is a well-known passage and we often focus on a mild, gentle, lamb carrying shepherd; but if you read all Jesus is saying it is more than the soft-focussed picture in our minds. Jesus is saying I am the door that let’s some in and shuts others out. I am here to ensure only the right sheep are in the fold and the wolves stay out.

Listening and letting in

In Middle Eastern culture the shepherd was an outcast in society, they would literally live outside the village and were considered the lowest of the low. They slept rough, they smelt bad and they spoke more to animals than humans! So why did Jesus use the shepherd imagery if he was trying to encourage people to come to him?

One interesting aspect of being a shepherd is that they would know every sheep and possibly their character- the one who is shy, the one who wants to be at the centre of the flock, the one who is always getting lost, the one who likes to wander away. Yet, the sheep know the shepherd’s voice and they grow to trust and follow that one voice. He is (very clearly) describing you and I as sheep!

Jesus emphasises the necessity of listening, following and remaining. When he calls the sheep they step past him into the safety of shelter and then he lies down over the gap to act as the door. He calls and lets them in and then guards them. He wants them to thrive, grow up and be strong together. This is an intriguing picture of a God who loves. Jesus (divine and the Father’s Son) is telling us that he is calling us and laying his body in the gap for you and me.

Jesus goes further and says “I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” (v16) The heart of the Father and the Son is to bring others into the fold. He expects his flock to make space for others.

So there are several challenges to us as we journey to the cross.

  • Are we listening to his voice alone?
  • As the Good Shepherd calls others into the fold, are we willing to let them in too?
  • Will we honour the Good Shepherd for laying his body in the gap for us?
  • Do join us as we go on this journey through Lent together; a time of ensuring he is King and leading us.

For daily Lent readings and reflections, we are following ‘The Glory of the Cross’ by Tim Chester [www.thegoodbook.co.uk/the-glory-of-the-cross and Amazon, Eden.co.uk]

We will have a weekly Tuesday evening Lent reflection led by Ian (7pm), please join in.

Every blessing for the week ahead.

Ian

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)  

Facebook page:

United Benefice of Padstow, St Merryn St Issey

Zoom events this week:

Tuesday Lent Reflections 7.00pm

Wednesday Morning Prayer 9.00am

Wednesday 3rdMarch 6.30pm Taize Service

Sunday Morning Worship 10.00am

Sunday Teatime Service 28thFebruary 4.00pm

Links for all of these are in the weekly email

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, 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s