Holy Communion for Racial Justice Sunday Feb 14th

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Grace, mercy and peace

from God our Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ

be with you

and also with you.


Song: Build my Life https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smrq6hc-vcU


You have all been invited at this time to this special place

We don’t just want an invitation

We want to be welcomed

You are offered a special welcome to this place at this time

We don’t just want a welcome

We want to have a voice

Welcome to this place where there will be time for listening

We don’t just want a voice

We want to be heard

Welcome to this friendly space where your story will be heard

We don’t just want to be heard

We want to be believed

Welcome to this time and place where no-one’s truth is denied

We don’t just want to be believed

We want to be trusted

Welcome to this place and time where your words are accepted

We don’t just want to be trusted

We want to be loved

Welcome to this time and place where God’s love embraces everyone

We don’t just want to be loved

We want to know we belong

Welcome, and we pray you will feel you belong among us at all times


Confession

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class,

FATHER FORGIVE

The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own,

FATHER FORGIVE

The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth,

FATHER FORGIVE

Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,

FATHER FORGIVE

Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugee,

FATHER FORGIVE

The lust which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children,

FATHER FORGIVE

The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,

FATHER FORGIVE

Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.


Song Be exalted O God https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYSyt6uOGyA



The Collect:

Holy God,

you know the disorder of our sinful lives:

set straight our crooked hearts,

and bend our wills to love your goodness

and your glory

in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


New Testament Reading 2 Cor 4:3-6


3 For if the gospel we preach is hidden, it is hidden only from those who are being lost. 4 They do not believe, because their minds have been kept in the dark by the evil god of this world. He keeps them from seeing the light shining on them, the light that comes from the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. 5 For it is not ourselves that we preach; we preach Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 The God who said, “Out of darkness the light shall shine!” is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts, to bring us the knowledge of God's glory shining in the face of Christ.


This is the word of the Lord

Thanks be to God


Gospel Reading: Mark 9:2-9

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.

Glory to you, O Lord.

Six days later Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountain, where they were alone. As they looked on, a change came over Jesus, 3 and his clothes became shining white—whiter than anyone in the world could wash them. 4 Then the three disciples saw Elijah and Moses talking with Jesus. 5 Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, “Teacher, how good it is that we are here! We will make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6 He and the others were so frightened that he did not know what to say.

7 Then a cloud appeared and covered them with its shadow, and a voice came from the cloud, “This is my own dear Son—listen to him!” 8 They took a quick look around but did not see anyone else; only Jesus was with them.

9 As they came down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Don't tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has risen from death.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.


Song Bind us together https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuhIBLp5aHM


Sermon



This week’s gospel reading is the transfiguration

It’s one of the key moments in the gospel accounts when the disciples see Jesus for who he really is. They have had other times- at his baptism when God declares “this is my beloved son”; the evidence grows through the miracles and teaching- when they are astounded by what Jesus does and by how he teaches with authority- and not like the scribes…

And now on the mountain top- these three key disciples see Jesus transformed. It’s like they see him clearly for the first time. But they’re still really confused.

Why don’t they get it straightaway?

The disciples are called from their ordinary lives and so come with their own bunch of assumptions and expectations. Some of them are zealots- revolutionaries, perhaps even what we would call terrorists…. They want the overthrow of the current political order. Kick out our oppressors and take back control!

Others might just want life to be better, fairer, or are seeking what their faith has always promised: a rescuer- someone who would come and lead their people as God wants. Actually we’re not really told much about the disciples’ motivation for following Jesus- even when we know something of their background.


They took until after the resurrection and then some time as the early church grew to recognise truly who Jesus is and what it means to be a follower; they had a limited understanding that the kingdom of God- (which Jesus spoke about all the time) was a multicultural, international movement for all people from ever race and background and language group. John proclaims it in Revelation- but that was written decades after Jesus’ death and resurrection.


SO what are the key things that the transfiguration proclaims?


Jesus is holy; he is not like another human prophet or magician or revolutionary leader. The shining white robes indicate something else. He is without fault or wrongdoing. He is holy! And God’s presence is in the cloud; Peter, James and John would have recognised that from their history. The pillar of cloud that guided the Israelites through the wilderness. God himself is specially present with Jesus. And finally- God’s voice is heard. All this affirms Jesus again and again. The voice cries out -Listen to him!


Jesus is recognised by Moses- who is the one who gave the people their law and Elijah- who is seen as chief amongst the prophets. The law and the prophets are the two essential ways that Jews discerned truth. Jesus himself affirms the greatest commandment by quoting “the law and the prophets”!

This underlines that he is the one that all the Jewish tradition is looking for. These key leaders of the Jewish people are seen at this key moment. All the evidence stacks up; so many things add together.

Jesus is the one sent from God; he is even equal with God.

So Jesus is indeed the person that God’s people have been longing for.



What does this tell us about the kingdom of God?

Jesus is the King of the kingdom. At this moment, the focus is on Jesus; affirmed by God, rooted in the history of God’s people, presented to the not-yet-understanding disciples.

But we glimpse forward into the kingdom. Peter, James, and John were almost literally blown away on the mountain top. And they were radically transformed- even if it was over a period time once they came down; they didn’t get it all at once but they came to understand that the kingdom was not just for one type of person, not one people group or background or tribe or nation but for all people in all places at all times.



We heard too in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians about how the good news was hidden by God’s enemy (the evil god of this world). People are in darkness; the good news comes as light from God.


What does that mean for us? What does it mean particularly on Racial Justice Sunday?

The disciples weren’t expecting all the consequences of following Jesus. They probably weren’t really expecting much of what then happened to them. It wasn’t comfortable; it wasn’t what they had signed up for.

So- be prepared to be challenged.


And in the course of following Jesus, and particularly after the resurrection and when they received the Holy Spirit, they were transformed. From people who hid away frightened for their own future to those who went about loudly proclaiming in word and deed- that Jesus was the one the world was waiting for. Their priorities changed; they also had to confront their prejudices. It wasn’t good news for just one place or nation but for the whole world. And they started mixing with all sorts of people including those whom they once thought of as less worthy or their enemies. The good news is for all, not just their friends.

So be prepared to be changed.


And finally, become spreaders of God’s light. Often we’re not aware of our own faults and failings; we don’t see if we’re blind to our privileges or prejudices. We need God’s Holy Spirit to show us; we should listen to other people’s experiences and try to walk in their shoes. Then shape our actions to reflect what God’s kingdom looks like.




The Creed

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father,

from whom every family

in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,

who lives in our hearts through faith,

and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,

who strengthens us

with power from on high.

We believe in one God;

Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.



Prayer Video: Dance for Racial Justice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tra2auuG9-U&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=AnjaliNair


Our Prayers

God of love and of justice,

We pray for an end to racism.

For those who bear the legacy of centuries of discrimination,

fear, and violence.


For our Church, in all her beauty and brokenness, that we may all celebrate

and welcome the diverse faces of Christ in our community, our worship, our

ministries, and our leaders.

Let us pray to the Lord.

Lord hear our prayer


For world leaders, that they may work to end the violence perpetrated by

verbal attacks, deadly weapons, and cold indifference. May our country and

countries around the world become havens of peace.

Let us pray to the Lord.

Lord hear our prayer


For parents and educators, that we may teach our children how to resolve

differences non-violently and respectfully and have the courage to model it

in our own behaviour.

Let us pray to the Lord.

Lord hear our prayer


For solidarity in our global human family, that we may be vigilant in our protection of those who are most vulnerable and most in need.

Let us pray to the Lord.

Lord hear our prayer


For our governments, that the Spirit of Wisdom may help them strive to work for equal education, suitable housing, and equal employment opportunities for all.

Let us pray to the Lord.

Lord hear our prayer


Today, as we pray in this community of faith – keep watch over our hearts Lord, and remove from us any barriers to your grace, that may oppress and offend our brothers and sisters.


Fill our spirits Lord, that we may minister justice.

Clear our minds Lord, that we may unlearn and relearn.

Energise our words and actions, that we may be people of presence and peace.

In Jesus’ name these things we pray, Amen.


The Peace

God has made us one in Christ.

He has set his seal upon us and, as a pledge of what is to come,

has given the Spirit to dwell in our hearts. Alleluia.

The peace of the Lord be always with you

And also with you.

Let us offer another a sign of peace


Song: Great is the Darkness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQ8qe3CggWo


Holy Communion


The Lord is here.

His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

Almighty God, good Father to us all,

your face is turned towards your world.

In love you gave us Jesus your Son

to rescue us from sin and death.

Your Word goes out to call us home

to the city where angels sing your praise.

We join with them in heaven’s song:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and God of might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest


Father of all, we give you thanks

for every gift that comes from heaven.

To the darkness Jesus came as your light.

With signs of faith and words of hope

he touched untouchables with love and washed the guilty clean.

This is his story.

This is our song:

Hosanna in the highest.


The crowds came out to see your Son,

yet at the end they turned on him.

On the night he was betrayed

he came to table with his friends

to celebrate the freedom of your people.

This is his story.

This is our song:

Hosanna in the highest.


Jesus blessed you, Father, for the food;

he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and said:

This is my body, given for you all.

Jesus then gave thanks for the wine;

he took the cup, gave it and said:

This is my blood, shed for you all

for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this in remembrance of me.

This is our story.

This is our song:

Hosanna in the highest.


Therefore, Father, with this bread and this cup

we celebrate the cross

on which he died to set us free.

Defying death he rose again

and is alive with you to plead for us and all the world.

This is our story.

This is our song:

Hosanna in the highest.


Send your Spirit on us now

that by these gifts we may feed on Christ

with opened eyes and hearts on fire.

May we and all who share this food

offer ourselves to live for you

and be welcomed at your feast in heaven

where all creation worships you,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

Blessing and honour and glory and power

be yours for ever and ever. Amen.


As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.

Amen.


We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many we are one body because we all share in one bread.

Jesus, Lamb of God

have mercy on us.

Jesus bearer of our sins,

have mercy on us.

Jesus, redeemer of the world,

grant us peace.


Song: Create in me a clean, clean heart https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wveqWij0a_Y


Prayer of Spiritual Communion

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ,

for all the benefits you have given me,

for all the pains and insults you have borne for me.

Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,

I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.

O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,

may I know you more clearly,

love you more dearly,

and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen



Almighty God,

we thank you for feeding us

with the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ.

Through him we offer you our souls and bodies

to be a living sacrifice.

Send us out

in the power of your Spirit

to live and work

to your praise and glory.

Amen.


The Blessing:

Fill us, good Lord, with your Spirit of love;

and as you have fed us with the one bread

of heaven,

so make us one in heart and mind,

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

And the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

Amen.


Song: The Blessing from Uganda https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq0LWHX7odM


O God,

our suffering sigh in heaven is heard,

and faith in you will ease all pain.

We shall not give up!

O Christ Jesus,

we know that you are alive in all of us.

You strengthen us by your own journey to Calvary.

We shall not give up!

O Holy Spirit,

You give us hope and courage.

We shall not give up!

Help us in our struggles for daily bread;

help us in our struggles for justice and peace.


Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ. Amen.

















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