This week’s Worship

3rd Sunday before Lent 13th February (2nd 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
I can’t believe we are at half term already, the first 6 weeks of 2022 have passed so quickly, but I do hope all involved with our schools will be able to enjoy a good break.  But whilst our teachers take a well-earned break the teaching of Jesus continues as it always has done and always will.  That teaching has been passed on down through the ages from one generation to another and it is amazing just how adaptable it is, always being so relevant to whatever is happening at the time. But it isn’t easy for us to accept because it is so counter cultural to the ways of the world, it can’t be the poor who are blessed can it?  We would be forgiven for thinking that this week’s teaching of the blessings and woes, the beatitudes, just doesn’t make sense, we all know that mourning follows death and even Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend Lazarus.   When Jesus turned the world upside down it was not what people wanted or expected but this week’s Gospel is a summary of this world turned upside down.  The people who will find the blessing they need are not the ones already blessed by good fortune in life – those who are rich, who have plenty to eat, who are satisfied with their lot; those with high status and a good reputation. The shock of Jesus’ message is that God’s blessing is for the others – the ones who seem to have had such a hard time that we could imagine them throwing up their hands and asking: “What have I done to deserve this?”  Jesus tells us that the ones who are poor, hungry, sad, hated, excluded, or who have a bad reputation, are the very folk that God will bless.  The blessing comes, not because they are worthy or righteous, but because God chooses to bless the unblessed, the unloved and the unlovely.
So where are you putting your trust today?  Are you one of those who feel that life has turned out pretty well, because you’ve made smart choices, you work long hours and have enough money in the bank?
Do you feel fortunate to be so comfortable?  If so, then you already know blessing in life, although perhaps you have yet to go deeper into the Gospel, deeper into scripture, to see that your task is to care for those “who are hungry”, or hated, or “who weep”.  Relying simply on your own strength and good connections will not save you from despair or loss.   Those who have plenty should learn that all things are provided by God’s grace and are to be shared, those who give generously and sacrificially will truly be blessed through their gifts. Those who have little should must also learn that all things are provided by God’s grace and are to be shared, and that the receiver is also blessed through those gifts.  A true Gift comes without any strings attached, so the giver has no hold over the person who receives who has no debt to the giver.
This will be very challenging for many to accept because we here so often that we all “get what we deserve”.  Jesus speaks about the God who will bless the people who seem to have so little blessing in their lives, because God is known and to be trusted as the one who blesses.
Thank God that none of us gets what we really deserve because of God’s grace and blessing and as people who know God we need to be people who can give and receive so that we can demonstrate God’s love and blessing to the world today.

 

With love & prayers.                   Michael   (Rector)

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

 

 

 

 

 

Next Sunday – 2nd Sunday before Lent 20th February (3rd Sun.)

9:15 am       Holy Communion, Croston
11:00 am               Holy Communion, Bretherton
11:00 am               Holy Communion, Mawdesley

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Please pray for the family and friends of the recently departed:
Doreen Grisedale
Rest eternal grant unto her O Lord may light perpetual
shine upon her, may she rest in peace and rise in glory. 

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Covid Guidance; we are still experiencing high infection rates
so please:

  • Do not come to church if you are feeling unwell or have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the past seven days
  • We are no longer required to wear face masks but please be mindful of those who may be less confident and choose to wear a mask.

 

 

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 can be viewed from 9am on Sunday at https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland or via
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJUZWqaNCjQ

Confirmations 2022 at St. Michael’s Church, Croston
Saturday evening 14th May with Bishop Jill of Lancaster
Young people must be year 6 or above – no upper age limit!
Lists at back of Church or contact the Rector for further details

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Mawdesley Tea Party 9th July 2022 open meeting
Tuesday February 15th at 7.00pm in the Parish Room
This year we are hopeful that we will be able to organise this ever popular village event once again but we must begin preparations soon to make it happen.  All welcome to join us, new ideas and new suggestions are always welcome.  As our Queen celebrates her Platinum Jubilee let’s make this year’s Tea Party a great celebration for all in our community.

 

Please do continue your support of the Food Bank
Thank you for your support throughout 2021 but as we all hear in the news financial pressures are increasing and more families are struggle with the basic necessities, your donations are so important and will continue to make a real difference to people’s lives

 

 

Mawdesley Prayer Group, Tues. 15th Feb. 10:45 for 11am start.
Meet at Robin Hood Cottage (Bluestone Lane, opposite Nook Lane) We will continue to discuss “Who is the Holy Spirit?’ before our prayer time, so bring Bibles to help us consider.  Hope you can come and pray alongside us for our community.

Exciting News at St. Michael & All Angels!

Starting again on Sunday 6th March is our Childrens Sunday Club. Please see the below poster for more details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Collect
Eternal God, whose Son went among the crowds and brought healing with his touch: help us to show his love, in your Church as we gather together, and by our lives as they are transformed into the image of Christ our Lord.   Amen

First Reading
God says just trust me and you will find that you and your community will flourish.
Jeremiah 17:5-10
Thus says the Lord: Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals and make mere flesh their strength, whose hearts turn away from the Lord.   They shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when relief comes.  They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.
Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.  They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream.  It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.  The heart is devious above all else; it is perverse – who can understand it?
I the Lord test the mind and search the heart, to give to all according to their ways, according to the fruit of their doings.

Second Reading
Paul is passionate in his trust that God raised Christ from the dead because without that trust his whole understanding of what God is doing collapses.
1 Corinthians 15:12-20
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead?  If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain.  We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.  For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised.  If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have died in Christ have perished.  If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.

The Gospel
Jesus turns everyone’s expectations upside down about where blessing is to be found in life.
Luke 6:17-26
He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon.  They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured.   And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.
Then he looked up at his disciples and said:

‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man.  Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.

Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.
Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.’

Prayer after Communion
Merciful Father, who gave Jesus Christ to be for us the bread of life, that those who come to him should never hunger: draw us to the Lord in faith and love, that we may eat and drink with him at his table in the kingdom, where he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.  Amen

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