Welcome to Holy Communion on the 5th Sunday of Lent March 21st.

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Jesus said “32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show he kind of death he was going to die. John 12: 32-33

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

All and also with you.

Opening Prayer

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Song- Lord I lift your name on high

www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQiapzfQoq0

Saying sorry to God

Compassion and forgiveness belong to the Lord our God,

though we have rebelled against him.

Let us then renounce our wilfulness and ask his mercy

by confessing our sins in penitence and faith.


Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness

and cleanse me from my sin:

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.


Make me a clean heart, O God,

and renew a right spirit within me:

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.


Cast me not away from your presence

and take not your holy spirit from me:

cf Psalm 51

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.


Absolution

Almighty God,

who forgives all who truly repent,

have mercy upon you,

pardon and deliver you from all your sins,

confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,

and keep you in life eternal;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.


The Collect

Gracious God

You gave up your Son

Out of love for the world:

Lead us to ponder the mysteries of his passion,

That we might know eternal peace

Through the shedding of our Saviour’s blood,

Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Old Testament Reading Jeremiah 31:31-34 read by Sandeli.

31"The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. 33"This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."

Song-Goodness of God

www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f4MUUMWMV4


Gospel Reading:

Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.

The Lord is a great God, O that today you would listen to his voice.

Harden not your hearts. cf Psalm 95.3,8


Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.


Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John

Glory to you, O Lord.

Gospel read by Tope

John 12:20-33 Jesus Predicts His Death

20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.

23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.

27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”

Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.

30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.

32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show he kind of death he was going to die.


This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.


The Talk-


We are well into March now- and next week brings the clocks being put forward- heralding in the warmer summer days and promise of the new life of spring.

But this spring seems to mean so much more than any other we’ve known. This coming out of the darkness of winter- this emergence into new life, coming out from that terrible umbrella that has been Covid-19.

I do not think there is anybody who is not wanting this new start.

Making a new start, seems to be the summary of all of the stories in the bible. From both old and new testaments, there is the over- arching story- the metanarrative, of the relationship of God with his people- a people in constant need of new starts with God.

In our readings today, we have the story of new starts- one from Jeremiah and one from John’s Gospel - although that one might be more slightly hidden.

Jeremiah’s ministry was active over 40 years and he was successor to Isaiah, Hosea, Amos and Micah who all preached when there were still 2 kingdoms, Israel (northern kingdom) and Judah in the south.


Jeremiah was just one of God’s many prophets whose job it was to turn God’s people away from sin and turn them back to God again. Hear his story…

www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2bxnVX8UU4


Our reading from chap 31:31-34 talks of a new Covenant- not just between God and Judah, but is made with both Israel and Judah. It goes right back to Abraham and Moses and it re-creates or renews that covenant made so long ago.

This new covenant will not be written on stones like the 10 commandments.

This prophecy of Jeremiah, had its fulfilment in two halves. The first was a physical sign, in that the nation was brought back by God, from exile in Babylon and the city began to be rebuilt in 539 BC. But the inclusion of Israel, which had ceased to exist in Jeremiah’s time, suggested a much deeper fulfilment than that of a physical move for the nation. It was to be fulfilled in a new way and only by God’s help.

And the reading from John’s gospel tells us how…


Many people flocked to hear Jesus teach and not all of them were Jews. In today’s reading, we heard about Greeks who wanted to see Jesus.

And this moment with Jesus was quite profound because all of this teaching, points to his forthcoming death and God’s glorification through his Son’s death and resurrection.

This “moment” is in 3 parts, which seem to be in reverse chronological order. First, we have teaching on a topic which would have been so familiar to the farmers in the crowd. The idea of seeds yielding crops. Something so ordinary in their everyday lives, the seed being planted in the earth- giving of its life to bring new life and ultimately a bumper crop of many seeds. This teaching pointed to the sacrifice Jesus would be making- he had to die for the sins of the world, but he also would show that death had no ultimate power over him.

This gift of eternal life was on offer to all who believed in him.

2ndly – the crowd heard the voice of God.

the voice of the Father replying to Jesus’ request to glorify God’s name, saying

“I have glorified it, and will glorify it again”

The glorification here is the hour which fast approaches of Jesus’ death- a death which will be the ultimate sacrifice paid once and for all- literally. The sacrifice Jesus is to make will be followed by the triumph of Jesus’ resurrection which was to follow. And in all this God will be glorified.

3rdly-

Jesus’ words “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” was the specific means by which his death was to take place- death on a cross.

All three of these parts are necessary together and people were drawn into this profound moment by something as simple as seed planting.

Just as Jesus talked of seeds growing from the darkness of the earth, so we, with our faith rooted firmly in Christ, can grow from the darkness of sin towards Christ’s light. And by nourishment of that Living Water, by sharing our story- God’s story, we too can produce a harvest fit for our King. Amen


This Time Tomorrow-Lin’s Story

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.

Our Prayers led by Pauline


The Peace

Since we are justified by faith,

we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

who has given us access to his grace.

The peace of the Lord be always with you

and also with you.

Let us offer one another a sign of peace.


Song Mary did you know

www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIjD-_ETxEw

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 him thanks and praise.

And now we give you thanks

because he was tempted in every way as we are, yet did not sin.

By his grace we are able to triumph over every evil,

and to live no longer for ourselves alone,

but for him who died for us and rose again.


When we turned away

you did not reject us,

but came to meet us in your Son.

You embraced us as your children

and welcomed us to sit and eat with you.

In Christ you shared our life

that we might live in him and he in us.

He opened his arms of love upon the cross and made for all the perfect sacrifice for sin.


And so, with angels and archangels

and all the company of heaven,

we proclaim your glory

and join in their unending hymn of praise:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might,

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.


On the night he was betrayed,

at supper with his friends

he took bread, and gave you thanks;

he broke it and gave it to them, saying:

Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;

do this in remembrance of me.

Father, we do this in remembrance of him:

his body is the bread of life.


At the end of supper, taking the cup of wine,

he gave you thanks, and said:

Drink this, all of you;

this is my blood of the new covenant,

which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins;

do this in remembrance of me.

Father, we do this in remembrance of him:

his blood is shed for all.


As we proclaim his death and celebrate his rising in glory,

send your Holy Spirit that this bread and this wine

may be to us the body and blood of your dear Son.

As we eat and drink these holy gifts

make us one in Christ, our risen Lord.

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.


The Lord’s Prayer

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.


Draw near with faith.

Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ

which he gave for you,

and his blood which he shed for you.

Eat and drink

in remembrance that he died for you,

and feed on him in your hearts

by faith with thanksgiving.

Song How deep the Father’s love

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKDujmtyAVk


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

The Blessing

Christ give you grace to grow in holiness,

to deny yourselves, take up your cross, and follow him;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

Amen.

Final Song We are Marching in the Light of God www.youtube.com/watch?v=gl24_27wW1E

Notices for next week


Birthdays


Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ. Amen.




Please join your family at home for refreshments after the service



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