Sunday 7th March 2021 3rd Sunday of Lent (1st Sunday)
8:00 am BCP Holy Communion Mawdesley
9:00 am Family Worship, Bretherton
9:15 am Holy Communion – Croston
Wednesday 10am Holy Communion, Croston
** Friday 9am Morning Prayer at Mawdesley **
** cancelled until further notice **
Worship at Bretherton & Mawdesley will continue to be on alternate Sundays.
On Sunday evening in America Oprah Winfrey’s interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be broadcast and we been fed snippets of the interview in the build up that suggest it is going to be controversial. Millions across the US will watch and no doubt it will then feature in our News for some time to come as the couple rock the boat for the royal family and the traditions that surround them. Sometimes it can be good to shake things up a bit, especially when people become complacent and the system and the way we do things become more important that why we do them in the first place and the impact upon the people involved.
The Temple in Jerusalem was a truly magnificent place, dedicated to worship, and reminding God’s people of their special relationship with him. But something had gone wrong, rules began to take precedence over the Spirit of the place. Some people were exploiting others in this sacred space that housed the commandments, given by God so that his people could rightly order their lives. The contrast between the life envisaged by these commandments, a life of love and respect for God and neighbour, and the life being demonstrated by the money changers quite rightly shocked Jesus. He knew his religion should be life-giving and liberating, not bound up by rules that gave easy opportunities for exploiting people. Later in John’s gospel (4:21) he meets the Samaritan woman at the well and tells her, “the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem”. Jesus knew that true faith was about a living loving relationship with God deep within our hearts, a relationship that was possible through the Spirit of God. The Temple that Jesus cleanses would be destroyed a few years later, but the temple of God within the human soul will not, and cannot be destroyed.
As we journey through our own lives, we probably get shaken up several times, experiencing death and new life, it’s all part of being human. Sometimes it’s hard to believe but we all have the same potential for hate, fear and a lust for power that possessed the people who crucified Jesus. These are the human characteristics that always distance us from God, but with God there is always the hope of reconcilliation. We find this supremely in the resurrection where darkness and death are put behind us as we see Christ, risen from the cross, calling us to follow him. St Paul says in Romans (6:8): “But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.”
Whilst our sacred buildings are special places, steeped in the prayers of those who have gone before us, they do not provide exclusive acess to God. Jesus showed that even death could not contain God, whatever we try to do to God, he rises again and he lives in human hearts. This is the power of the Easter story that we are beginning to look forward to once again, the events of Holy Week, the crucifixion and the glory of Easter show that people may abuse and kill one another; they may even try to kill God, but ultimately they will fail.
We know what devastation we can cause with weapons of mass destruction, but we can never destroy God. God continues to pour love into the world; we can’t destroy the hope that love brings.
In the sanctuary of our souls, our inner temples, he lives and will never die, for we are the living stones of God, we are the body of Christ where Gods love dwells and we must all take that love to others.
Wishing you every blessing this lent.
With love & prayers. Michael (Rector)
Tel: 01772 600548 mobile:07960309005, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources – 3rd Sunday of Lent
1) The 3 bible readings set for this week.
2) Prayer and worship at home for the 3rd Sunday of Lent
3) Young Church Mag activity and colouring sheets
Sunday 14th March 2021 Mothering Sunday (2nd Sunday)
9:15 am Family Worship – Croston
11:00 am Holy Communion, Mawdesley
No Worship at Bretherton this Sunday
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Please pray for the families and friends of the recently departed:
Kate Flaxman, Stanley Hill, Lillian Sandiford, Alan Silcock
Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord may light perpetual shine upon them, may they rest in peace and rise in glory.
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- It is not an obligation to attend church,
you can worship at home.
- If you join us for Public worship you must not socialise with people who are not from your household or bubble.
- People should stay at home as much as possible
- You cannot meet other people indoors or in your garden, unless you live with them or they are part of your support bubble.
- You can meet with one person not in your household or support bubble in a public space for exercise.
Coronavirus Village support groups
Croston COVID-19 Croston Village Support Group
Mawdesley Mawdesley – Coronavirus help each other out.
Bretherton Via Bretherton WI (01772 601495)
John McDougal 4x4x48: Run
4 Miles every 4 Hrs for 48 Hrs for MNDA
Johns mum Carol McDougal was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2019, she is amazing and just gets on with life, never complains, and with the help of John regularly attends worship at Croston (up to the latest lockdown). This weekend John is attempting to run 4 miles every 4 hours (including through the night) for 48 hours for the charity Motor Neuron Disease Association (MNDA), should you wish to make a personal donation please follow the link below:
- I hope you have been able to join in with the Lenten daily reflections ‘Read Mark and Learn’ all our booklets have been distributed.
national cam#LiveLent paign
It is based on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent book for 2021, Living His Story by Hannah Steele, published by SPCK
- You can engage with this online by signing up at: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/livelent-2021-church-resources-gods-story-our-story
You can also download the free app #LiveLent from your app store or use the daily hope phone number 0800 804 8044.
- ‘Looking Out in Lent’ our new weekly online Lent course based on Marks Gospel continues on Wed. 10th March at 7 pm when we reflect on our relationship with God and one another.
This weeks video talk is from Archdeacon David who uses
Mark 5, 1-20 The healing of a demon-possessed man, looking at Tending to human need (Service) you can watch the Video here https://bit.ly/30daDFh if you get chance before the meeting.
We use Zoom for this and it will last for no more than 40 mins to join the meeting use this link: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/73115381598?pwd=N2ZCMUk0RjJjeFVOMnVNeVd4K0FYUT09
Meeting ID: 731 1538 1598, Passcode: 28Ueqs
- Thursday 7 pm Lent talks at Blackburn Cathedral
Each Thursday during Lent at Blackburn Cathedral there will be a brief talk from one of the Cathedral clergy on the theme of ‘God’s story, our story’ followed by a chance for questions and conversation. The whole session will last no more than 30 minutes. The event will be on Zoom, and the ‘talk’ part will be uploaded to YouTube afterwards. Please email: email@example.com for the Zoom link.
- How Deep the Father’s Love. Bishop Philip will lead a Quiet Morning for Lent on Saturday March 27th from 9.30am until 1pm. Each half hour will be dedicated to one of the Seven Last Words from the Cross which means people can leave and join on the half hour as they wish.
To book email firstname.lastname@example.org
- We hope to start confirmation preparation leading to a service in early July. Due to restrictions this will begin online using Zoom. Children must be in year 6 or above at School, but I hope there will also be a group for older candidates.
If anyone is interested please contact the Rector.
If you are isolating at home this resource may be helpful especially if you do not access the services online
This resource may be helpful for those who are unable to return to church services at the moment, or for anyone who is feeling isolated or lonely and who doesn’t have access to the internet.
There are also the daily prayer resources on the Church of England Website where you can download apps at:
Church of England Daily Prayer
Facebook & YouTube Online Worship
This week’s Diocesan worship comes from Blackburn St Stephen and St James and is led by Rev Sarah Gill, it can be accessed via: https://bit.ly/2ZW1rFg
This weeks Church of England worship led by Rev Canon Chris Russell is filmed in the Crypt Chapel at Lambeth Palace, the online service will explore ‘overturning the tables’and can be watched from 9 am: https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland
or via YouTube: https://youtu.be/-MS841fLV5A
Please do continue to support the Food Banks
The Food Banks all net-work with each other to reach all parts, including small villages and outlying houses. We now have a small store of supplies in Croston (Contact the COVID-19 Croston Village Support Group if you know of someone in need.)
The ‘main’ Foodbank is in need of items such as;
Food: Long life milk, Long life juice, tinned meat, Sugar (especially the small bags), Coffee (small jars), Tinned veg., Instant mash, Teabags, Tinned fruit
Personal & domestic cleaning: W – up liquid, detergent pods, Kitchen/bathroom spray, Loo Rolls, Toothbrushes & paste, Shampoo, Shaving foam, Razors, deodorant (M & F), Soap, Nappies.
Please continue to bring items to any of our churches (all are open on Sundays & Wednesdays) or:
In Croston – You can leave donations in St. Michael’s Parish Church on Wednesdays & Sundays from 10 to 4pm or bring them to 32, Westhead Road or to 19, Highfield Road.
In Bretherton – You can leave donations in St. John the Baptist Church on Wednesdays & Sundays from 9:30 to 3:30 pm or in the box at the gate at 154 South Road.
In Mawdesley – You can leave donations in St. Peters Church on Wednesdays & Sundays from 10:30 to 4:30 pm or monetary gifts in sealed envelopes please to Robin Hood Cottage, Blue Stone Lane (Opposite Nook Lane).
Please donate if you can.
Thank you to everyone who has been supporting the food banks
Eternal God, give us insight to discern your will for us, to give up what harms us, and to seek the perfection we are promised in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
The people are given the Ten Commandments, God has rescued them from slavery in Egypt and God now gives the instructions by which the people must live.
Then God spoke all these words:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name. Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work.
But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.
Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour. You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.
Paul states the contradictory nature of the Gospel, what seems like foolishness to the unconvinced is new life and hope to the ones who have been transformed by its power.
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
Jesus disrupts the trading that takes place in the temple courts, Jesus’ actions shadow the great change and disruption his death and resurrection will bring.
The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, ‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’ His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ The Jews then said to him, ‘What sign can you show us for doing this?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews then said, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
Prayer after Communion
Merciful Lord, grant your people grace to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil, and with pure hearts and minds to follow you, the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen