21st February – 1st Sunday of Lent

 Collect

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ fasted forty days in the wilderness, and was tempted as we are, yet without sin: give us grace to discipline ourselves in obedience to your Spirit; and, as you know our weakness, so may we know your power to save; 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.

 Readings

Old Testament                        Genesis 9. 8-17

New Testament                      1 Peter 3. 18-end.

Gospel                                      Mark 1. 9-15

 

This extract from Genesis Ch. 9 is about a mythical character and his relationship with the Creator- God. The story of Noah, his family, the Ark and a floating zoo, is one of a number of stories told throughout the various civilizations of the Middle East to explain how their ancestors fell from a state of perfection to the suffering and sadness now common to humanity. They mostly follow the same pattern of an outraged creator-deity and the annihilation of every life-form except an outstanding human who is considered worthy to survive. The Greek poet Hesiod around 700B.C., tells of Pandora, a human look-alike created from mud at the orders of Zeus, who has her box of evil essences which are released when she opens the box. But Hope gets stuck on the lid. A bitter quarrel among the gods brings suffering to humanity because it is no more than a pawn in their bitter disputes. The cause of the deity’s wrath varies according to the culture concerned and the various angry deities exercised their own particular understanding of what punishment to inflict. But in every case, although the human element is to suffer, all creation must suffer also. So, the reasons for of the Flood and its consequences is one variant upon a common universal social problem being addressed throughout the Middle East-how do disease, murder and death arise? Oddly, the only ancient civilization which does not have a Flood legend, is Egypt. So, there are a number of legends which tell the same sort of story about how evil entered the world. But for modern Rabbis and their predecessors, the Pharisees, the story of Noah offers a major challenge. It effectively divides them into two camps. For the one, the only legally-binding covenant between man and God was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai and that is what the Jewish people understand by “The Law”. The liberal teachers, with whom we can associate St. Paul on the other hand point to the previous covenant between the Creator-God and Noah that he would never again destroy the life of the descendants of Noah and his zoo as together they repopulated the Earth. Historically, the eternal covenant between God and Noah is a Christian community willing to welcome all humanity aboard its ark, to care for living creatures and to love the Earth.                             Brian

 

Services Next Sunday – 21st February – 1st Sunday of Lent                         

Weston-under-Penyard ARICONIUM BENEFICE

ZOOM

SERVICE

10.30 a.m.
The Lea
Hope Mansel
Aston Ingham
Linton
Upton Bishop

Forthcoming Services & Events

Up to and including 14th MARCH, ALL SERVICES WILL NOW BE ZOOM ONLY!! Every Sunday @ 10.30 a.m.  &

Evensong Monday to Thursday @ 5.30 p.m.

ZOOM Services through the following link,
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/6974222801?pwd=YS9KR3puZVpGbk9LQ0dTQXlvSFJ1QT09   Meeting ID: 697 422 2801    Passcode: 1662

ADDITIONAL ZOOM SERVICES through above link are as follows:

Pancake Zoom and Ash Wednesday both at 7pm.

LENT ZOOM, starting weekly on 24th Feb at 2pm.

Please be aware that if you have any events you would like to advertise here, do please contact Debs directly (details below) and she will be pleased to include them.                                                 

Please pray for all who are sick,

Please pray for all who have died, Brian Morgan (Lea), Myrna Powles (WuP)

Rev David Howell 01989 568736    email:   revdavidhowell@btinternet.com

If you would like to receive this pew sheet via email please email Debs debsparishsecretary@btinternet.com


14th February

Sunday next before Lent

 

Collect

Almighty Father, whose Son was revealed in majesty before he suffered death upon the cross: give us grace to perceive his glory, that we may be strengthened to suffer with him and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Readings

Old Testament                        2 Kings 2. 1-12

New Testament                      2 Corinthians 4. 3-6

Gospel                                      Mark 9. 2-9

One of the most precious things we can hope for in life is a good perspective – it helps us know what is true and what isn’t, and where we should go. Someone lost in a jungle may climb a tree to get a perspective and see their way out, people lost in a wilderness may climb a mountain. Someone by a fence will climb up to see what’s on the other side. But height is not the only thing that gives perspective – anything which takes us out of our usual surroundings, either physically or in our hearts or minds, can give us perspective. After a bereavement or shock, people will often say: “It puts everything in perspective,” and for a time we are reminded of what’s really important in our lives. But it rarely lasts for long – eventually things return to normal and we forget that clear vision. It’s a bit like a person who gets a new prescription for their spectacles. When they put on the new glasses for the first time, everything looks incredibly sharp and bright and clear and colourful. But it doesn’t last – after only a few minutes the world looks normal again. Yet for those few minutes the world was revealed in a new way.

The transfiguration is one of the most important events of the Gospels, yet it is only witnessed by three disciples. The contrast with the breathless, earthy narrative of the rest of Mark’s Gospel is striking. This transcendent Jesus seems quite different from the man the disciples have been following. Yet this event is of vital importance to ensure that they do not miss the divinity at the heart of the humanity. It is a remarkable truth, but one which only a few are able to perceive. The writer of the Gospel makes it clear that this is a special insight, one that only those who have the potential to perceive the truth may grasp – those who are especially close to Jesus (and able to “listen to him”). Even then, they need to be taken out of their usual context to see something that has been right before their eyes – the truth of who Jesus is.

So why does Jesus tell them not to tell anyone? The “Messianic secret” in Mark’s Gospel has bewildered many, but is generally thought to indicate Jesus’ unwillingness to draw attention to himself in an inappropriate way – he came to serve and ultimately to die, not to be a celebrity. His true and transcendent nature needs to be understood (and followed) in the light of the passion and resurrection. However, it is important that we never forget his true identity as the Son of God, the Messiah – and that perspective transforms everything else. Jesus must take priority in all our thinking, our seeing, our action in the world.                                                          David

 

Services Next Sunday – 21st February – 1st Sunday of Lent                         

Weston-under-Penyard ARICONIUM BENEFICE

ZOOM

SERVICE

10.30 a.m.
The Lea
Hope Mansel
Aston Ingham
Linton
Upton Bishop

Forthcoming Services & Events

Until the end of FEBRUARY ALL SERVICES WILL NOW BE ZOOM ONLY!! Every Sunday @ 10.30 a.m.  &

Evensong Monday to Thursday @ 5.30 p.m.

ZOOM Services through the following link,
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/6974222801?pwd=YS9KR3puZVpGbk9LQ0dTQXlvSFJ1QT09   Meeting ID: 697 422 2801    Passcode: 1662

Hope Mansell  I’m very pleased to say that “A Parcel of Time” is now available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video in the UK and the USA. You don’t have to be a Prime subscriber to rent or buy it.                                                           UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08VGBD9NK/                     USA link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08VGBTPG6/

Please be aware that if you have any events you would like to advertise here, do please contact Debs directly (details below) and she will be pleased to include them.                                                 

Please pray for all who are sick,

Please pray for all who have died, Brian Morgan (Lea), Myrna Powles (WuP)

Rev David Howell 01989 568736    email:   revdavidhowell@btinternet.com

If you would like to receive this pew sheet via email please email Debs debsparishsecretary@btinternet.com


07th February

2nd Sunday before Lent

 

Collect

Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image: teach us to discern your hand in all your works and your likeness in all your children; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things, now and for ever.

 

Readings

Old Testament                        Proverbs 8. 1, 22-31

New Testament                      Colossians 1. 15-20

Gospel                                      John 1 1-14

 

Today’s Gospel takes us back to Christmas and to the carol services where this passage is read year on year. The words are like poetry, trying to find the way to say that God became flesh. The words also take us right back to the very beginning of the Bible, to the first verse of the first chapter of Genesis, when God spoke words into the dark formlessness – and light, shape, sky, sea, land and life all came into being. God’s word made life possible. “All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.” God’s word makes life.

 

It is Jesus Christ who shows us what God is like. Our minds are too small to comprehend God, and our language is never big enough to describe God. That’s why we need to be cautious when we talk about God, because our human understanding is always partial. But we can begin to comprehend Jesus, God made flesh. We can comprehend him because he looks like one of us. And in all that he did, said and was, perfectly reflected God.

 

The Gospel goes on to tell us that to all who received him, he gave power to become children of God. What sort of power is that? It is the power to be God’s child, to know ourselves loved, cherished, brought into being. Psalm 139 tells us that God knitted us together in our mothers’ wombs – with the sense of each stitch being lovingly connected to the others. We are not thrown together randomly, but shaped and made out of love. Each one of us is extraordinary and unique. Yet so often people live almost in the darkness, not knowing how wonderful they are, nor how much light and life they hold. Much of that is our fault – we can keep each other trapped by words that bind and limit, and by our actions, which often contradict our words.                                                                                       David

 

Services Next Sunday – 14th February – Sunday next before Lent                         

Weston-under-Penyard ARICONIUM BENEFICE

ZOOM

SERVICE

10.30 a.m.
The Lea
Hope Mansel
Aston Ingham
Linton
Upton Bishop

 

Forthcoming Services & Events

Until the end of FEBRUARY ALL SERVICES WILL NOW BE ZOOM ONLY!! Every Sunday @ 10.30 a.m.  &

Evensong Monday to Thursday @ 5.30 p.m.

ZOOM Services through the following link,
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/6974222801?pwd=YS9KR3puZVpGbk9LQ0dTQXlvSFJ1QT09   Meeting ID: 697 422 2801    Passcode: 1662

Hope Mansell Please check out the following link of a film about Hope Mansel  I’m very pleased to say that “A Parcel of Time” is now available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video in the UK and the USA. You don’t have to be a Prime subscriber to rent or buy it. It will later be available for subscribers to stream.                                                                                                          UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08VGBD9NK/                     USA link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08VGBTPG6/

Please be aware that if you have any events you would like to advertise here, do please contact Debs directly (details below) and she will be pleased to include them.                                                 

Please pray for all who are sick,

Please pray for all who have died, Tirsh Grigor, Brian Morgan (Lea),  Doreen Batt (Lea) Myrna Powles (WuP), Ken Downham (Lin)

Rev David Howell 01989 568736    email:   revdavidhowell@btinternet.com

If you would like to receive this pew sheet via email please email Debs debsparishsecretary@btinternet.com

 


31st January

The Presentation of Christ in the Temple

 

Collect

Almighty and ever-living God, clothed in majesty, whose beloved Son was this day presented in the Temple, in substance of our flesh, grant that we may be presented to you with pure clean hearts, by your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Readings

Old Testament                        Deuteronomy 18. 15-20

New Testament                      Revelation 12. 1-5a

Gospel                                      Mark 1 21-28

Today we hear how Mary and Joseph present Jesus to the Lord at the Temple in Jerusalem. So, with Simeon let us rejoice in God’s salvation for all people, and with Anna let us praise and worship the Lord.

Nearly four hundred years after Malachi’s prophesy, the Lord does indeed come to the Temple. But God comes not as a powerful king but as a tiny, vulnerable baby. God is not surrounded by a mighty army or even a protective bodyguard. Instead, God is held in the arms of his mother and his little hand grips his father’s finger. There is no grand welcome, no feasting or public celebration. The Lord is greeted in the Temple only by two elderly people who have waited such a long time for this day. Only the Lord’s parents hear Simeon’s proclamation that he has now seen in this baby God’s salvation which is for all people of all nations.

It’s hard to believe that the Lord comes to the Temple in this quiet way, but Simeon sees something of the baby’s future and knows that he will stir up controversy and face fierce opposition from his own people. He will become a man who passionately defends those who are poor and needy, who heals those who are sick, releases those held captive by others or within their own minds, protects those who are accused, accepts those considered untouchable and treats everyone with loving kindness.

Jesus’ parents sacrifice two small birds when they come to present their baby at the Temple. When he returns to Jerusalem, he will be offering himself as a sacrifice for others and that sacrifice will cause him agony of body and mind and his mother will indeed feel as if a sword has pierced her soul.

And on his return to the Temple, he will be bringing judgement with him – Malachi was right about that. But it’s not Jesus who will do the judging. He is “a light for revelation to the Gentiles”, and we bring judgement on ourselves in our reaction to that light. As John says (3:19-21): “the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light.”

We, too, may become controversial figures calling for radical changes in our society and the wider world, facing stiff opposition from those who prefer the darkness to the light. We, too, may feel that a sword is piercing our soul, but we will also know that our eyes have seen God’s salvation. Let us pray that that knowledge will bring us peace.

Services Next Sunday – 7th February – 2nd Sunday before Lent                         

Weston-under-Penyard ARICONIUM BENEFICE

ZOOM

SERVICE

10.30 a.m.
The Lea
Hope Mansel
Aston Ingham
Linton
Upton Bishop

Forthcoming Services & Events

Until the end of FEBRUARY ALL SERVICES WILL NOW BE ZOOM ONLY!! Every Sunday @ 10.30 a.m.  &

Evensong Monday to Thursday @ 5.30 p.m.

ZOOM Services through the following link,
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/6974222801?pwd=YS9KR3puZVpGbk9LQ0dTQXlvSFJ1QT09   Meeting ID: 697 422 2801    Passcode: 1662

Can you help Upton Bishop to walk to Jerusalem? Taking exercise is something we can do in lockdown. So why not join the Upton Bishop Easter Challenge. Run, cycle, swim, ride, row out of doors or on a machine: between us we need to clock up 2,886 miles by 4th April, Easter Sunday. For more details contact 780321 or oliviaboon7@gmail.com.

Please be aware that if you have any events you would like to advertise here, do please contact Debs directly (details below) and she will be pleased to include them.                                                 

Please pray for all who are sick,

Please pray for all who have died, Tirsh Grigor, Brian Morgan (Lea),  Doreen Batt (Lea) Myrna Powles (WuP), Ken Downham (Lin)

Rev David Howell 01989 568736    email:   revdavidhowell@btinternet.com

If you would like to receive this pew sheet via email please email Debs debsparishsecretary@btinternet.com

 

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