28th February – 2nd Sunday in Lent

Sermon – Faithful Endurance

Readings
GENESIS 17:1-7, 15-16; PSALM 22:22-30; ROMANS 4:13-25; MARK 8:31-38 OR MARK 9:2-9

Collect
Almighty God,
whose Son was revealed in majesty
before he suffered death upon the cross,
give us faith to perceive his glory,
that being strengthened by his grace
we may be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
A READING FROM THE BOOK OF GENESIS
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. 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.”
GENESIS 17:1-7, 15-16

Psalm
PSALM
REFRAIN All the ends of the earth shall turn to the Lord.

Praise the Lord, you that fear him; stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel; all you of Jacob’s line, give glory.

For he does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty; neither does he hide his face from them; but when they cry to him he hears them. R

My praise is of him in the great assembly; I will perform my vows in the presence of those who worship him.

The poor shall eat and be satisfied, and those who seek the Lord shall praise him: “May your heart live for ever!”

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall bow before him. R

For kingship belongs to the Lord; he rules over the nations.

To him alone all who sleep in the earth bow down in worship; all who go down to the dust fall before him. R

My soul shall live for him; my descendants shall serve him; they shall be known as the Lord’s for ever.

They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn the saving deeds that he has done. R
PSALM 22:22-30

Second Reading
A READING FROM THE LETTER OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS
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.
ROMANS 4:13-25

Gospel
THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
ACCORDING TO MARK
Jesus began to teach his disciples 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.”
MARK 8:31-38

Or

THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
ACCORDING TO MARK
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
MARK 9:2-9

Prayer over the Gifts
God of wisdom,
may the light of the eternal Word,
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
guide us to your glory.
We ask this in his name.

Prayer After Communion
Creator of heaven and earth,
we thank you for these holy mysteries,
which bring us now a share in the life to come,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

21st February – 1st Sunday of Lent

Sermon – Rev Dr Carlton Turner – “Between Love and Hate”

Readings
GENESIS 9:8-17; PSALM 25:1-9; 1 PETER 3:18-22; MARK 1:9-15

Collect
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.

First Reading
A READING FROM THE BOOK OF GENESIS
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.”
GENESIS 9:8-17

Psalm
PSALM
REFRAIN The paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness to those who keep his 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.

Let none who look to you be put to shame; let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes. R

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. R

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. R

Gracious and upright is the Lord; therefore he teaches sinners in his way.

He guides the humble in doing right and teaches his way to the lowly.

All the paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. R
PSALM 25:1-9

Second Reading
A READING FROM THE FIRST LETTER OF PETER
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.
1 PETER 3:18-22

Gospel
THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
ACCORDING TO MARK
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.”
MARK 1:9-15

Prayer over the Gifts
God our refuge and our strength,
receive all we offer you this day,
and through the death and resurrection of your Son
transform us to his likeness.
We ask this in his name.

Prayer After Communion
Faithful God,
in this holy bread
you increase our faith and hope and love.
Lead us in the path of Christ
who is your Word of life.
We ask this in his name.

14th February – Transfiguration of the Lord

Sermon: the Glory of God’s Love

Readings
2 KINGS 2:1-12; PSALM 50:1-6; 2 CORINTHIANS 4:3-6; MARK 9:2-9

Collect
Almighty God,
on the holy mount you revealed to chosen witnesses
your well-beloved Son, wonderfully transfigured:
mercifully deliver us from the darkness of this world,
and change us into his likeness from glory to glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
A READING FROM THE SECOND BOOK OF KINGS
When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent.” Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here; for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know; be silent.” Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.” As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
2 KINGS 2:1-12

Psalm
PSALM
REFRAIN God reveals himself in glory.

The Lord, the God of gods, has spoken; he has called the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.

Out of Zion, perfect in its beauty, God reveals himself in glory. R

Our God will come and will not keep silence; before him there is a consuming flame, and round about him a raging storm.

He calls the heavens and the earth from above to witness the judgement of his people. R

“Gather before me my loyal followers, those who have made a covenant with me and sealed it with sacrifice.”

Let the heavens declare the rightness of his cause; for God himself is judge. R
PSALM 50:1-6

Second Reading
A READING FROM THE SECOND LETTER OF PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS
Even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2 CORINTHIANS 4:3-6

Gospel
THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO MARK
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
MARK 9:2-9

Prayer over the Gifts
Holy God,
receive all we offer you this day,
and bring us to that radiant glory
which we see in the transfigured face
of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer After Communion
Holy God,
we see your glory in the face of Jesus Christ.
May we who are partakers of his table
reflect his life in word and deed,
that all the world may know
his power to change and save.
We ask this in his name.

7th Feb – Presentation of the Lord

Sermon: Teach it to your children

FIRST READING

Reader: A reading from the book of MALACHI chapter 3, verse 1 to 4

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?

For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

Reader: The word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God.

SECOND READING

Reader: A reading from the book of
HEBREWS chapter 2, verse 14 to 18

Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.

For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters] in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people.

Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

Reader: The word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God.

THIRD READING

Reader: The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to LUKE chapter 2 verses 22 to 40

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,

“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
    according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
    and for glory to your people Israel.”

And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.

The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Reader: The Gospel of Christ.
People: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

31st January – 4th Sunday after Epiphany

Sermon: God in and beyond disruption

Readings
DEUTERONOMY 18:15-20; PSALM 111; 1 CORINTHIANS 8:1-13; MARK 1:21-28

Collect
Living 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 glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

First Reading
A READING FROM THE BOOK OF DEUTERONOMY
The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet. This is what you requested of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said: “If I hear the voice of the Lord my God any more, or ever again see this great fire, I will die.” Then the Lord replied to me: “They are right in what they have said. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command. Anyone who does not heed the words that the prophet shall speak in my name, I myself will hold accountable. But any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, or who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded the prophet to speak – that prophet shall die.”
DEUTERONOMY 18:15-20

Psalm
PSALM
REFRAIN The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Hallelujah! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, in the congregation.

Great are the deeds of the Lord! they are studied by all who delight in them. R

His work is full of majesty and splendour, and his righteousness endures for ever. He makes his marvellous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. R

He gives food to those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.

He has shown his people the power of his works in giving them the lands of the nations. R

The works of his hands are faithfulness and justice; all his commandments are sure.

They stand fast for ever and ever, because they are done in truth and equity. R

He sent redemption to his people; he commanded his covenant for ever; holy and awesome is his name.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; those who act accordingly have a good understanding; his praise endures for ever. R
PSALM 111

Second Reading
A READING FROM THE FIRST LETTER OF PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS
Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; but anyone who loves God is known by him. Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “no idol in the world really exists,” and that “there is no God but one.” Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth – as in fact there are many gods and many lords – yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. “Food will not bring us close to God.” We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall.
1 CORINTHIANS 8:1-13

Gospel
THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO MARK
They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, Jesus entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching – with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.
MARK 1:21-28

Prayer over the Gifts
God of steadfast love,
may our offering this day,
by the power of your Holy Spirit,
renew us for your service.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.

Prayer After Communion
Source of all goodness,
in this eucharist
we are nourished by the bread of heaven
and invigorated with new wine.
May these gifts renew our lives,
that we may show your glory to all the world,
in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.