Thursday, 18 February 2021

Lent 1 -- February 21, 2021

 




Acknowledgement of the Land (An act towards reconciliation)

For thousands of years Indigenous people have walked in this land, on their own country.
Their relationship with the land is at the centre of their lives.
We acknowledge the Indigenous People of Canada and their stewardship
of this land and its resources throughout the ages.

St. Paul’s is a safe place for all people to worship regardless of race, creed, age, cultural background or sexual orientation


Welcome

Here, among our every day places,
here, among our ordinary lives
is the emerging of grace.

Watch, watch for the signs of the Holy.
In this time, in every time we hold our breath in awe for the wonder of Christ


Welcome to our time of worship here at St. Paul Fort Garry,

 Gathering Hymn    WAYFARING STRANGER

I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger a traveling through the world of woe.
But there’s no sickness toil or danger in that bright land to which I go.
I’m going there to see my father I’m going there no more to roam.
I’m just a goin’ over Jordan I’m just a goin’ over home.

I know dark clouds will gather ‘round me I know my way is rough and steep.
Yet golden fields lie just before me Where God’s redeemed shall ever sleep.
I’m going there to see my mother She said she’ll meet me when I come.
I’m just a goin’ over Jordan I’m just a goin’ over home.

I want to wear a crown of glory When I get home to that good land.
I want to shout salvation’s story In concert with the blood washed band.
I’m going there to meet my Saviour, To sing God’s praise forever more.
I’m just a goin’ over Jordan I’m just a goin’ over home.


Gathering


As darkness gives way to light and winter sleep to fresh beginnings,
We come today to be reminded of God's love for us.

Like the green shoots of renewed life, stirring beneath the soil,
We welcome an awakening of God's word in our lives.

In this time of reflection and repentance,
We affirm our identity, we claim our security, as children of God.

~ written by Gill Le Fevre

Prayer for the Start of Lent
God of revelation, unveil your Kingdom in our midst.
Show us who we truly are in you: expose the illusions that distort our vision,
deliver us from temptations that contort our living, open our eyes in this time of trial –
that resistance may be the secret of our joy and our joy a sign of your shalom. Amen.

~ posted on the Monthly Prayers page of the Christian Aid website.
 http://www.christianaid.org.uk/


Lenten Cross Liturgy

(Five purple candles, pink candle and Christ candle are lit prior to worship)

We are people of the Covenant. During this new Season of Lent we will be looking at the promises God has made to each one of us - promises of love and forgiveness; promises of wholeness for all creation; promises of life beyond death. We will also look at the promises we have made, in response to God's great love for us. On this first Sunday of Lent, we reflect upon the covenant God has made with the whole creation of which we are a part.

We put out the first candle today as we remember the beauty of God's creation and how we continue to do things that hurt our world. (1st candle is extinguished)

We think today especially of God's promise to Noah and to all creation. With sadness we acknowledge that creation is threatened by pollution and our mismanagement of the earth's resources. Our choices have not always been wise ones. Let us pray:

Creator God, we come before you as creatures within your creation. We confess that we have fallen into the way of ease, and lack of concern for future generations. We have not been good stewards of your world. Gracious God, forgive our weakness. Strengthen and encourage us during this Lenten Season.

Song     THE LONE WILD BIRD

The lone wild bird in lofty flight is still with thee, nor leaves thy sight,
And I am thine, I rest in thee, Great spirit come and rest in me

The ends of the Earth are in thy hand, the sea’s dark deep and far off land,
And I am thine, I rest in thee, Great spirit come and rest in me

The lone wild bird in lofty flight is still with thee, nor leaves thy sight,
And I am thine, I rest in thee, Great spirit come and rest in me

Each secret thought is known to you, the path I walk my whole life through,
My days my deeds my hopes my fears my deepest joys my silent tears.

The Proclamation of the Word

A Reading from the book Genesis (9.8–17) 

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church                              R: Thanks be to God

Psalm 25.1–9 
Refrain: The paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness to those who keep covenant.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; my God, I put my trust in you; let me not be humiliated, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
The paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness to those who keep covenant

Let none who look to you be put to shame; let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes. Show me your ways, O Lord, and teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all the day long.
The paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness to those who keep covenant

Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love, for they are from everlasting. Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; remember me according to your love and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.
The paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness to those who keep covenant

Gracious and upright are you, O Lord; therefore you teach sinners in your way. You guide the humble in doing right and teach your way to the lowly.
The paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness to those who keep covenant

A Reading from the first letter of Peter (3.18–22)

For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water.

And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church                      R: Thanks be to God

Gradual Hymn  I WILL SET MY BOW IN THE CLOUDS

I will set my bow in the clouds as a sign of my love for you;
as a sign of my promise to all the earth
Visible where gray sky meets blue.

I will place a child in your womb as a sign of my love to you;
When you laugh at the wonder remember this:
Abraham and Sarah did too

I will give to Moses my law as a sign of my love for you;
Be a part of my justice in all the earth;
Covenant to do what is true.

I will offer pardon to all as a sign of my love for you;
When the vow has been broken and trust destroyed,
I will offer pardon to you.

I will write my law in your heart as a sign of my love for you;
Love compels us to follow the Christ, my child:
Covenant restored and renewed.



The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Mark (1.9–15) 
Glory to You, Lord Jesus Christ

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

The Gospel of Christ                      R: Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

Homily

Offering Hymn          DRIVE US OUT

When the carpenter’s son went to Jordan, was baptised by John,
You came down in the form of a dove;
“This is my son” said a voice from above.
After you blessed him, you drove him and tested him, forty days wandering far from the town.
Would he seek power and fame? Would he just play the game?
Trusting in your word he stared temptation down.

So drive us out of our safe little spaces;
Lead us to wisdom in wilderness places. Burn like a flame in our stony cold hearts;
Blow through the walls of our fear that keep us apart.
Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh.

The he spread the good news; God’s reign approaching for Gentiles and Jews;
“Follow me” Both women and men, children and sinners and out casts his friends.
Your loved flowed out from him, healing forgiving sin,
Challenging rules that kept people apart.
Your holy fire drove him, clearing the temple den,
Making a house of true prayer would need a new start.

So drive us out of our safe little spaces;
Lead us to wisdom in wilderness places. Burn like a flame in our stony cold hearts;
Blow through the walls of our fear that keep us apart.
Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh.

When Jesus had gone, died and then risen then lifted beyond,
You came down, like a great rushing wind;
Set them a fire your church begin
Give us the words to say, here in our worked today,
Just like the twelve in Jerusalem then
Advocate for us now, guide us and show us help us to witness to love again an again.

So drive us out of our safe little spaces;
Lead us to wisdom in wilderness places. Burn like a flame in our stony cold hearts;
Blow through the walls of our fear that keep us apart.
Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh.

Offering

Let us offer our gifts as a sign of our commitment to Christ and the world

Let us praise God. O God, who calls us from death to life we give ourselves to you and with the church through all ages, we thank you for your saving love in Jesus Christ. Amen



Affirmation of Faith (Liturgies for the Journey of Life by D. McRae-McMahon)

In response to the word, let us affirm our faith together

In desert and forest, mountain and water, we see the signs that God is with us.
In grass that grows through cities of concrete, we see the signs that God is with us.
In the faces of the people whom God so loves, we see the signs that God is with us.
In our brokenness, there is the hope of wholeness.
In our emptiness, there is the hope of fullness.
In our deaths, lies the hope of resurrection life.
This is the Word in Christ to us.
The flame of the Holy Spirit lives in this place and travels with us. Amen


Prayers of Intercession (Liturgies for the Journey of Life by D. McRae- McMahon)

Let us Pray
O God, who looked upon the city of Jerusalem and wept over it, stand with us as we look at our city and our world
For we long to see a new heaven and a new earth

We see the pain and the struggle of the people bowed down by exploitation and conflict. We hear the groaning of the creation as it waits for new life and hope
Make us part of your new creation, O God

We see our city and our communities and hear its sounds around us (SILENCE)

We picture its skyline and landscape in all its beauty and feel the pulse of its life moving and stopping, despairing and hoping, laughing and crying, with all its possibilities for alienation. We love our city and our communities, gracious God.
Be with us at its heart and reveal to us the signs of your presence

We see your church, in all its humanness, standing in divided witness still, struggling to understand the gospel for this day and this place
Recreate us, O God, and send us your liberating Spirit

Each one of us, in our own place, O God, sees the need and hears the cry of humanity. Let those who will lift up their prayers for the church and the world

(Silence is observed for people to be able to pray where they are for the concerns that they have)

We see ourselves, O God, people of faith and faithlessness dancing in the sun one day and overwhelmed by our realities on the next, joyfully announcing the gospel sometimes and then trembling in our uncertainty. We see the hope that lies among us the hope that we would care and live in the community with each other and the world.
Give life to this hope in us, God of community. Bring to us a celebration of all that is, in its ambiguity, its frailty and its costliness. Amen

The Lord’s Prayer (www.rexaehuntprogressive.com)
Gathering our prayers together we pray:

God, lover of us all, most holy one.
Help us to respond to you.
To create what you want for us here on earth.

Give us today enough for our needs.
Forgive our weak and deliberate offences,
just as we must forgive others when they hurt us.

Help us to resist evil and to do what is good.
For we are yours, endowed with your power
to make our world whole. Amen.

We pray the Collect of the Day together


Almighty God, whose Son fasted forty days in the wilderness, and was tempted as we are but did not sin, give us grace to discipline ourselves in submission to your Spirit, that as you know our weakness, so we may know your power to save; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

Hymn     WHAT KING WOULD WADE

What king would wade through murky streams
And bow beneath the wave,
Ignoring how the world esteems
The powerful and the brave?

Water, River, Spirit, Grace,
Sweep over me, sweep over me!
Recarve the depths your fingers traced in sculpting me.

Christ gleams with water brown with clay
From the land the prophets trod.
Above him, while the clouds give way, descends the dove of God.

Water, River, Spirit, Grace,
Sweep over me, sweep over me!
Recarve the depths your fingers traced in sculpting me.

Come bow with Christ beneath the wave.
He stands here at your side
And raises you, as from the grave
God raised him crucified.

Water, River, Spirit, Grace,
Sweep over me, sweep over me!
Recarve the depths your fingers traced in sculpting me.

Blessing     (by Dr. Robert Vyle)

Be tender in the face of pain
Be fierce in the face of injustice
Be mischievous in the face of resistance
And may the God of love, compassion and hope journey with you in all that you do.

Dismissal
Time has now come for us to leave this sacred place. As we do, may we embrace the challenges of our lives and our world... We go out from this place to continue our daily journey through life.
As we do, may we fashion relationships of inclusion and reconciliation, and a life-style that loves and treats people and the earth gently. Amen

 






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