Welcome to this short time of worship and reflection for
Sunday 28 February 2021
The Second Sunday in Lent
Prepared by Rev Richard
The Lenten collect
Almighty and everlasting God, You hate nothing that You have made and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent: create and make in us new and contrite hearts that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may receive from You, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness;
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. Amen.
The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Remember that lovely
“When I survey the wondrous cross”? (Do sing or hum it to yourself)
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God:
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down:
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of Nature mine,
That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all!
Mark 8: 31-38
Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’
Something to think about?
Jesus rebuked Peter saying:- “Get behind me, Satan !” (Mark 8; 34b)
From the words of another Hymn: “God moves in a mysterious way” – and that is so true. As we read our Bibles and seek to understand how God is trying to save the world, we note how different God's ways are from our own. Remember God's promise to Abraham (aged 99) that his wife (aged 9 would bear a son – Isaac (Gen 17;3); The crossing of the red sea (Exodus 14;26); the calling of the twelve disciples – men who would carry the word of God to the whole world – yet were only ordinary working men with little or no education. (Matt 4;18). People applying for far less important jobs are nowadays interviewed and selected very carefully. But God's ways are not the same as ours.
In our reading from Mark's Gospel we have the situation where Jesus is telling the disciples of the events of the future. But Peter, the impetuous one, cannot believe what Jesus is saying. “NO way!” says Peter, “this can not be allowed to happen!” (My words). You can imagine Peter getting uptight, as we would say, and responding so emphatically. Jesus, the one they had come to follow, given up every thing for, seen Him work miracles and all that teaching! The one they were coming to believe was going to save the world.
Just like us, isn't it? Just how we would react, isn't it? My Way! (Who used to sing that song ?) Where is His army? I wonder what the other disciples were thinking? Imagine you were there. After several years of being close to Jesus as your leader, hearing Him explain the scriptures and argue with the Jewish leaders, and now saying it will all end in His death.
Peter must have been very forthright in his response to Jesus for Jesus to have made such a strong reply. “Get behind Me, Satan !” Jesus likening Peter to Satan – the one who opposes all that God wants to do. Jesus knew the way forward was God's plan to cleanse the word of sin, the way of the Cross as we often call it. Jesus had to suffer crucifixion before being born again and then ascending to heaven.
It is so important to keep the Easter Events in our minds, not just in Lent or even just at Easter, but all the year round. Not how we would do it perhaps, but God's ways are not of mankind!
“God so Loved the world....” (John 3;16)
Keep a moment of silence and reflect on these thoughts
A prayer to round off our time with The Lord
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
You are the God of my salvation;
In you I hope all the day long.
O my God, in You I trust.
Remember, Lord, Your compassion and love,
for they are from everlasting.
To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
O my God, in You I trust.
Psalm 22: 23-end
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him;
stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
For he did not despise or abhor
the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me,
but heard when I cried to him.
From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the Lord.
May your hearts live for ever!
All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before him.
For dominion belongs to the Lord,
and he rules over the nations.
To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
and I shall live for him.
Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord,
and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
saying that he has done it.
Genesis 17: 1-7,15-16
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty;* walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.’ Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, ‘As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram,* but your name shall be Abraham;* for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring* after you.
God said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.’
Romans 4: 13-end
For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.
For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, ‘I have made you the father of many nations’)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become ‘the father of many nations’, according to what was said, ‘So numerous shall your descendants be.’ He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Therefore his faith ‘was reckoned to him as righteousness.’ Now the words, ‘it was reckoned to him’, were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.