Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Well hes done it Captain Tom Moore together with his new friends Michael Ball and ‘The NHS Voices Of Care Choir’ has topped the UK single charts on his 100th  birthday and has become the oldest artist to reach the top spot of BBC Radio 1’s The Official Chart.  His rendition of the timeless ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ is the fastest-selling single of 2020, with more than 80,000 copies and proceeds going to the NHS Charities Together fund.  This is on top of the £28 million + he has already raised for the charity with a sponsored walk, what a great example he is to us all.  Only a few weeks ago he would never have imagined achieving what he has and it all started with a walk round the garden! During this period of lockdown I think so many have rediscovered the joy to be found in the simple everyday things of life like taking a walk that we just take for granted.  This week in our Gospel reading we encounter some others taking a walk at a time of great personal distress in that well known story of the Walk to Emmaus which has been of great significance for the church ever since.  It is a story that describes how the church should fulfil its core responsibilities.

The two men on the walk were very sad, and many of us will be able to relate to that because we will experience sadness at various times during our lives, and many will be feeling sad or anxious at the moment.   But we should be reassured by this story because even when we are sad we know that Jesus continues to walk with us, gently holding our hands and caring for us.

So, at this time when so many are sad and even anxious it’s a great example to us all, as Christians, to walk alongside the sad, depressed, anxious and lonely.

At this time where we are striving to still be church but in a different way many of us will be really missing participating in the liturgy and sacraments of our worship and church life.  So the story, if we think about it, combines two very important aspects of the life of the church: pastoral work and the need to worship.  Part of the aim of worship is to help us understand more about God, as God is revealed to us though the worship.

The word of God (our bible reading) is an important part of that revelation, and in this story Jesus explains that he and he alone is the fulfilment of the Scriptures and the fulfilment of the prophets.  But he gives his explanation after first listening to them, he hears what they have to say – which is really what I call prayer, where we speak to God, who listens and then responds.

Prayer and the reading and studying of Scripture are both vital components of being an active Christian and whilst we are familiar with these in our normal Sunday worship they can and should also be done when alone and with others outside of church on a Sunday.  The first part of this story is Jesus talking to just two disciples.

In the second part of this story we see that Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and shared it with them, he celebrated the Eucharist which is something we do every Sunday in at least one of our Churches.  We may well be missing this real tangible act of doing just what Jesus told us to do in remembrance of him, especially as it was through this simple act that ‘their eyes were opened.’

Now at this moment I can still celebrate the Eucharist at home and alone, which is something I never imagined doing, however it is still our Eucharistic celebration on Sundays on behalf of our community of faithful disciples who are now at home behind closed doors.  But remember that you and I are not alone for Jesus is with us and through his presence he still unites us and opens our eyes to all that he is doing in the world though his people.

So today’s story invites to enter into in the here and now – wherever that may be for us – so that we may be fed and strengthened through word and sacrament so that we can then help to bring relief and hope to those who feeling the pressures of the world at this time.

Always remember as Captain Tom sings with his new friends Michael Ball and ‘The NHS Voices Of Care Choir’:

‘When you walk through a storm,
Hold your head up high,
And don’t be afraid of the dark.

At the end of a storm
There’s a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone’

With love & prayers.  Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548 mobile: 07960309005,
email: revmwoods@gmail.com

Please remember the recently departed souls of:

Ronnie Atkinson, Sheila Hodgson, John Mitchell,
Ged Clitheroe and Derek Sterland.

May they rest in the eternal peace of Christ.

 

Coronavirus Village support groups

Croston        COVID-19 Croston Village Support Group

Mawdesley    Mawdesley – Coronavirus help each other out.

Bretherton    Via Bretherton WI (01772 601495)
email bethertoonwi@btinternett.com

Facebook Pages

There will be a Worship Video on Sunday mornings at 10 am.

During the week there will be worship every day at 7 pm using the night prayer resource on the Church of England Website at:

https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer

Or you can download the ‘Daily Prayer’ App to your phone or tablet.

https://www.facebook.com/St-John-the-Baptist-Church-Bretherton-439088266487676/

https://www.facebook.com/StMichaelAllAngelsChurchCroston/

https://www.facebook.com/St-Peters-Mawdesley-w-Bispham-442669382795886/?ref=bookmarks

 

We hope in the next few days to be posting our worship videos on YouTube or some similar platform for those who have access to the internet but don’t use facebook details will be circulated once it is live.

The church of England posts on facebook and YouTube a national service of worship every Sunday at 9 am from a variety of locations.

Next week’s mailing will also will provide some ideas and resources to help us mark the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe Day).

 

Please continue to support the Food Banks
We need tinned & packet food, Tea, coffee, cereals.
We urgently need long-life (UHT) milk.
Specially needed is ‘instant’ food
– items that can be mixed with boiling water to make a meal.
(mashed potato, couscous, noodles, packet soups etc)
Many people cannot afford to pay for fuel & dare only to boil a kettle.

In Croston – please bring items to 19, Highfield Rd or 32, Westhead Rd.
The next run to the Food Bank is early morning – Monday 20th.
In Bretherton – The box will remain at the gate, 154 South Road.
Thank you to everyone for your support to date!

In Mawdesley – we have been giving donations of money rather than food which gives the foodbank flexibility to buy what they need at specific times.  Any donations can be dropped at Robin Hood Cottage, Bluestone Lane, Mawdesley, L40 2RG (opposite Nook Lane), cheques should be made payable to ‘Ormskirk Food Bank’ these will then be delivered to the Food bank on a regular basis.

Thank you to everyone who has been supporting our local food banks and all the other good causes at this time.

 

  • The 3 readings for Easter Sunday that we would have on our normal pewsheet.

The Collect
Almighty Father, who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord: give us such knowledge of his presence with us, that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life and serve you continually in righteousness and truth; 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

First Reading
Peter’s powerful and persuasive preaching results in 3,000 conversions to the faith.
Acts 2:14a. 36-41
On the day of Pentecost, Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd, ‘Let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.’  Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what should we do?’  Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.’  And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’  So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added to their number.

Second Reading
Peter instructs the exiled Christians to love one another deeply, as they have been born again of imperishable seed.
1Peter 1:17-23
If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile.  You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.  He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake.  Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God.  Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart.  You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.

The Gospel
The resurrected Jesus meets two disciples on the road to Emmaus, but their eyes are kept from recognising him.
Luke 24:13-35
On that same day, two of the disciples were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened.  While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.  And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’ They stood still, looking sad.  Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?’  Jesus asked them, ‘What things?’ They replied, ‘The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him.  But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place.  Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive.  Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see Jesus.’  Then he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared!  Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’  Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.  As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.  Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized Jesus; and he vanished from their sight.  They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’  That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together.  They were saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!’  Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Prayer after Communion

Living God, your Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: open the eyes of our faith, that we may see him in all his redeeming work;
who is alive and reigns, now and for ever. Amen

 

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