This week’s Worship

2nd Sunday of Epiphany – 16th January (3rd Sun.)
              9:15 am       Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am      Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am      Holy Communion, Mawdesley

Wednesday 10 am    Holy Communion Croston
Friday        9 am     Morning prayer, Mawdesley

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
This week’s passage from John’s Gospel is the well known account of the first miracle of Jesus which took place at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee.   But it is an event that causes some debate, not about the question of whether this was a party or a work meeting for Jesus, but over the fact that Jesus makes wine and lots of it, more than anybody needed.   Some say it is way over the top and very wasteful, and God surely isn’t like that!  But what is God is like? Well we can best answer that question by looking at the ministry of Jesus, because it is through the lens of Jesus that we can see what God is like.
Jesus is God in human form, and this incident is one of those extravagant moments when Jesus gives us a glimpse of the nature of God’s abundant provision for us.
In the Old Testament, the Law was given for the nation of Israel and it was bad news for everybody else, God had shown grace and mercy to individuals like Abraham, but the God the Jews worshipped was a quiet terrifying figure who demanded that innocent animals be sacrificed to atone for the sins of people.  It was pretty gruesome stuff when you think about it, and even then it was only these special people, the Jews who enjoyed God’s covenant relationship.
This first miracle of Jesus miracle shows just how different things are going to be with the coming of Jesus when compared to the days of the Old Testament Covenant.
So perhaps Jesus really needed to start his ministry with a really big, grand, extravagant miracle, to show everybody that things had now changed.  Now the love of God was to be extended to all people, he would go to the gentiles too, and there was enough of God’s grace and mercy  to go round, enough for everybody  –  just like with the wine at the wedding feast.
We are continuing to live with the great uncertainty of the pandemic and now we also what will happen with the leadership of our nation.
It is so difficult to predict how the next few days let alone weeks will pan out.  Perhaps we should pray for a miracle – but what would be the miracle you would pray for?  At the time of Jesus the nation was in a mess also but a different sort of mess.
This extravagant miracle of turning water into wine shows the extent of Gods love.  Perhaps our leaders at No:10 need to show something of that same sort of grace, mercy and love to one another and the people of our nation.

With love & prayers.                   Michael   (Rector)

Tel: 01772 600548, email: revmwoods@gmail.com

Next Sunday – 3rd Sunday of Epiphany 23rd January (4th Sun.)

9:15 am       Holy Communion, Croston

9:15 am       Family Worship, Mawdesley
11:00 am      Holy Communion, Bretherton

Covid Guidance in church – please do remember:

We are following the Government & Church of England Advise

  • Do not come to church if you are feeling unwell or have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the past seven days
  • Take regular Lateral Flow tests to protect yourself and others
  • Be mindful of those who may be less confident.
  • Don’t forget the Hands, Face Space guidance
  • Unless exempt you must wear a face mask when attending worship in Church (Please leave your mask on whilst singing)

Faith reference cards for School Applications
The new faith reference cards for the spring term should be available in church, don’t forget to return your card for the Autumn term.

Facebook & YouTube Online Worship
An Act of Worship from Blackburn Cathedral will be available every Sunday from 9am.  You can view this on the Cathedral YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4GsctW6SLc or on their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BlackburnCathedral
This week Church of England worship is led by Rev Canon Tiffer Robinson, Rector of the Benefice of Rattlesden.  This service has been manually subtitled and has BSL interpretation.  Watch the service from 9am on Sunday at https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland or via
https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dbj6CjnQAKg

St. Michaels Church Burns Night Celidh Saturday January 22nd
Due to the continuing very high levels of covid we have decided to cancel the Burns night ceilidh that was to be held at the community centre in Croston on Saturday 22 January.

 

Please do continue your support of the Food Bank
Thank you for your support throughout 2021 but as we begin the New Year financial pressures are increasing, and the pandemic shows no sign of easing more families are struggle with the basic necessities, your donations are so important and will make a real difference to people’s lives.

 

 

 

Could you make a donation to support Church?
All our churches rely upon the generous donations of our parishioners to provide the financial support that both maintain our buildings and provide care and support to all those in the local community.  Although some use standing orders or other methods of online giving, many donors use cash, either on the plate or in weekly planned giving envelopes.

Any donations you could make will be greatly received and one off donations or regular giving can be made by using ‘Online banking’ facilities, the bank details you will require to do this for each church are:

Bretherton – St. John the Baptist
St. Johns Bretherton PCC Account,
No: 10031333, Sort code: 16 17 41

 

Croston – St. Michael & All Angels
St. Michaels PCC Account,
No. 11215462, Sort Code 16-17-41

Also if you have no facility to transfer funds electronically, envelopes can be dropped off with our Treasurer Derek Alty,
12 Lostock Road, Croston.

Mawdesley w Bispham St. Peter
Mawdesley PCC Account,
No 87032805, Sort code 60 24 02.

If you decide to make a donation electronically you may be given the opportunity to set up a standing order, which would greatly help support our regular income.


The Collect
Eternal Lord, our beginning and our end: bring us with the whole creation to your glory, hidden through past ages and made known in Jesus Christ our Lord.                      Amen

First Reading
The prophet tells the desolate and exiled people that God promises good things. Although their situation is desperate, the time is coming when they will rejoice.
Isaiah 62.1-5
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,            and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch.  The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give.  You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married.  For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.

Second Reading
Within the church community there are different sorts of gifts. No one person can embody them all, so we are called to discern the Spirit’s gifts in each other.
1 Corinthians 12.1-11
Concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.  You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak.  Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Let Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.  To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

The Gospel
Jesus takes an unpromising situation and transforms it into a joyful party. His first miracle is one of abundance.
John 2.1-11
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.  When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
“Dear woman, why do you involve me?”
Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realise where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew.
Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee.
He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

Prayer after Communion
Almighty Father, whose Son our Saviour Jesus Christ is the light of the world: may your people, illumined by your word and sacraments, shine with the radiance of his glory, that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.          Amen

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