Something very special is happening at dawn on Easter Sunday morning (6.30am). We are holding an outdoor communion service at Kings Hall School. This will last about 30 minutes or so, and will be followed by bacon butties. If you would like to join us for this joyful service, do sign the sheet at the back of church. Do bring your own hot drink, and if you can’t stand for 30 minutes bring a folding chair.
Service: 6:30 pm Evensong
Preacher: Peter Roe (Reader)
Readings: Jeremiah 7:1-11, Matthew 21:1-17
Date: 20 March 2016
Led by: Revd Rod Corke
Psalm 139: 7-12 – Guidance – God is with us wherever we are
Psalm 139:13-18 – Assurance – God has always been with us
Service: 10:00 am Holy Communion
Preacher: Revd Rod Corke
Readings: Philippians 2: 5-11, Luke 23: 1-49
The Reading: John 11:1-44
“Lord, he whom you love is ill” (v.3) RSV
The prayer request of Martha and Mary for their dying brother, Lazarus, was non-prescriptive. They sent messengers to Jesus with the words, “Lord, he whom you love is ill” (v.3). This plea allows the Lord to do what is right in his time, but it becomes clear that the sisters had it clearly in mind what he should do. He should come at once, lay hands on Lazarus and make him instantly better, or simply 2say the word2 from where he was. That is why when Jesus eventually turned up they each in turn accused him: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (vv. 21, 32).
Time and again we read of the accusation against Jesus that he does not care because he does not do what he is expected to do. They think that if he is loving he would do what they ask. They had faith to believe that he could heal the sick. But their faith ran out when Lazarus died. Yet Jesus was testing their faith and leading them on to greater faith. He said to them outside the tomb, “Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (v.40).
Now Jesus knew what he was going to do. He had been in prayer to his Father whilst miles away in Bethany (not the Bethany where Martha and Mary lived!). He could have said the word whilst there and Lazarus could have been healed. He could have travelled back to Bethany and laid on hands. But no, he delayed until Lazarus had died. By the time he arrived the man had been dead four days (v.39).
So when he stood outside the tomb he was not trying to bring Lazarus back to life through prayer. He prayed for the sake of those standing by (v.42), to help lift their faith. He knew that God was a God of the ‘impossible’, but others did not. In this case the faith of all was needed for such a mighty miracle to be done. This is what prayer does; it brings us into our Father’s presence so that our spirits can be instructed and we start to think and believe with the mind of Christ. Next week we shall see the result!
Lord, you walked so serenely and confidently, knowing the will of your Father. Help me to listen and learn. Amen.
1 Where else do we read the accusation that God does not care?
2 Does Jesus care for us?
We were delighted to the response to the launch of “A Note for a Note” organ pipe appeal concert held last Saturday. The music was superb and Andrew Fearn’s talk about the Father Willis informed us greatly. It is now possible to sponsor an organ pipe and full details are contained in a leaflet at the back of church. The organ appeal has taken off and we all look forward to the day when we can hear Father Willis without his whistles and coughs.
- March 10/11 – Bible Reading and Prose Reading Classes.
The Reading Group gained 2 distinctions , 5 commended , a medal and the St James’ Cup. See the April Magazine for a full report.
EASTER LILLIES IN MEMORY
You are invited once again to remember your loved ones with a Lily for Easter. We ask for a donation of £3 towards the cost.
Please put the money in an envelope clearly marked with the name to be remembered and hand it to the Parish Office or to a churchwarden.
EASTER DAY 10.00am service
Please bring flowers to church so we can decorate the Easter Cross.
Can anyone offer a Bed for the night for our guest speaker, Dr Zigmund Rogoff, who is preaching at the Maundy Thursday service?
If so, please contact either Margaret or Valerie in the Parish Office on 01823 272441 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our third 5 o’clock service will take place on Sunday 20th March at 5pm and we will be asking the question: “How does God guide us?”
Remember we begin with “coffee to go” and the service only lasts 45 minutes.
If you have not had the 5 o’clock experience yet , why not give it a try this Sunday afternoon.