St. Leonard, Clent
© Clent PCC 2022
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Saint Leonard’s Service for Second Sunday in Epiphany 16 th January Welcome to our OpenCast church service - on-line. There are prayers, readings, hymns and music; just as you would have in church. As you read through this service you may care to say aloud the bold text. To hear the music and the readings, click on each title (red, underlined text) (and remember to adjust the volume on your speakers). Let us pray: At the wedding at Cana Jesus took ordinary water and changed it into wine. We come to worship asking God to take our ordinary lives and makes them new. Jesus our Saviour, as the wedding guests came together at Cana, so we come together to celebrate your abundant love for us. Creator God, in Jesus you turn water into wine, the ordinary into the extraordinary: turn our ordinariness into something extraordinary, and change us into the people you want us to be; in Jesus’ name. Amen. Hymn: “O Perfect Love .. “ Words: Dorothy Gurney (1883) Tune: Joseph Barnby (1890) We praise the Lord God of unimaginable love, whose generosity can never be measured, we praise you with joy and thanksgiving for all that you have done for us. May your love fill our lives to overflowing, and may we share your love generously with others, through our Saviour, Jesus Christ .. .. and so we Praise You. Bible Readings: Old Testament: Psalm: New Testament: Gospel: Isaiah 62.1-5 Psalm 36.5-10 1 Corinthians 12.1-11 John 2.1-11 Text Text Text Text Click these links to read the text Audio Audio Audio Audio Click these links to hear the passages being read by Sir David Suchet CBE A Reflection for this week Epiphany is a season which is all about what God has done in coming to us in Jesus becoming known. It’s about God’s love and God’s glory being revealed, being made manifest. So what did Jesus do first to reveal his glory to the world? Did he perform some wonderful act of healing? No. Did he preach a stunning sermon? No. He went around the back of the bar at a wedding and boosted the stocks of the best wine and by very generous proportions! He got involved in a wedding reception that was going wrong, and made a huge difference. The miracle at Cana is the first of seven signs in John’s Gospel which help us understand the significance of who Jesus is, and which reveal his glory. The power of this miracle, and of the other signs, lies in what it tells us about Jesus. So what is it that’s worth noting about this story? First of all, the wedding at Cana is an event that’s characterised by joy. Jesus is always interested in meeting with and engaging with people. We can only assume that he was pleased to be there because weddings are occasions that bring people together. He would have wanted to share the joy and the fun of the occasion with his family and friends. The God who delighted in creating the world and its people, now with us in human form, would delight in being with people on a day of great celebration. That God, whose whole being is wrapped up in love, would naturally want to share the wonder of a young couple’s love by being at their wedding party. So joy is an essential part of this story. Jesus didn’t provide an amount of wine that was just enough for everyone, or of a quality that would just about do. He produced a staggering quantity of the very best wine there could be. It was a gracious outpouring of huge proportions. There was an abundance of joy that day. That in itself tells us that God wishes us to find joy, too. The life that God has given us is to be enjoyed in all its fulness, if that’s at all possible. Living a joyful life should be part and parcel of being a follower of Jesus. Secondly, the miracle at Cana shows us that Jesus is interested in the ordinary dramas of which our lives are made. He engages with people in the ordinary, everyday events and routines of life. As he does so he reaches out to people who need his help, in all manner of different ways. That says something simple, but important, about our mission as Christians. We’re called to engage with other people in the everyday business of living, helping wherever we possibly can. There were no conditions to Jesus’ helping on that day at Cana and there shouldn’t be any conditions on our reaching out to others, either. Our giving and our helping should be spontaneous and generous. Thirdly, and slightly more explicitly, this story invites us to see how Jesus needs our help in sharing his extravagant love with others. He didn’t do this miracle on his own. He needed his mother to prompt him to do it in the first place. Perhaps that says something to us about prayer? He needed the servants who were there to prepare everything for him. And at the end, Jesus has his disciples putting their faith in him so that his generous work of love can carry on, spread and grow, through them. You could say that that’s why we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit. In our New Testament reading, Paul says that everyone who comes to Jesus will be given something good, through the Spirit, to enable them to serve God in their day-by-day lives. He talks about each of us being given different gifts by the same Spirit. The prophet Isaiah, in the Old Testament reading set for today, says “As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” Those words chime with the story of the wedding at Cana a story that tells us that God, in Jesus, loves a wedding because he loves people, and he brings joy. Those words become ours when we open ourselves to God’s embrace, and embrace all that God wants to share with his children. Worship Song: “Thin Place” Lyrics and Chord sheet Written by: Adam Russell, Casey Corum & Taylor Leonhardt from the ensemble ‘Vineyard Worship’ Collect Almighty God, in Christ you make all things new: transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace, and in the renewal of our lives make known your heavenly glory; 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. Intercessions Blessed are you, Lord our God, giver of joy and life. To you be praise and glory for ever. In your presence is the fullness of joy. We come before you with our prayers. Lord God, strength of the weak and light to all who walk in darkness, help us to proclaim your saving power not only in our words but also through our lives. Help us to reveal the joy of knowing you and your life to others. Lord of life and love, renew and refresh us. We pray for the world that its resources may be used properly. We ask your blessing on those who are living with the results of natural disasters, famine, fire or flood. We pray for all who live in poverty and all who are without work or proper shelter. Lord of life and love, renew and refresh us. We give thanks for all who supply us with our daily needs, for our homes and for our loved ones. We pray for homes where there is division and violence, and for households unable to cope through debt or the fear of eviction. Lord of life and love, renew and refresh us. We pray for all who are struggling at this time. We remember those who are unwell, whether at home or in hospital, all who are fearful of the future and anxious about their loved ones. May they know your love and presence with them. Lord of life and love, renew and refresh us. We rejoice in the gift of eternal life and we remember friends and loved ones who are departed from us. - may they share in the joys of your kingdom. As water was turned into wine, come and turn our ordinary lives into extraordinary ones. Lord of life and love, renew and refresh us. Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen Closing Prayers Gracious and loving God, as I go about my work today, fill me with your love and generosity, so that in the days to come I may glorify you and share abundantly your joy with others, for Jesus’ sake. May Jesus Christ, changer of water into wine, taker of the ordinary in our lives, transform me for his glory, and make me extraordinary for his sake; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be with me and remain with me always. Let me go with God’s miraculous grace inside me, giving me his abundance of love and power, and sharing it with everyone I meet. Through everything I experience this coming week, with all its ups and downs and various emotions … … help me to hold fast to the joy and hope your resurrection brings. Amen. ____________________________________________ Postlude Lohengrin - Vorspiel 3. Akt und "Bridal Chorus" Richard Wagner Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir conducted by Janos Kovacs in Palace of Arts Budapest Nemzeti Filharmonikus Zenekar és Énekkar, vezényel Kovács János This is the original setting of the now-so-familiar ‘Wedding March’ and may come as a surprise to some.
St. Leonard
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