As I write, we have had one week of 2021 and what a dramatic one it has been. Another lockdown has been announced in the UK and across the Atlantic we have watched alarming scenes of events in the US capital. Whilst we have been hoping and praying for a calmer 2021, it is clear that the road ahead is going to be rocky and varied. Hope is on the horizon, not least in the form of the vaccine which I know some of you have already received and others eagerly await appointments.
We have experienced loss once again in our church family and we grieve together for friends no longer with us, and we pray for those who are most especially missing loved one.
At times like this it is important that we remind ourselves of the words of promise that we read in the Bible. When Jesus was saying farewell to his disciples he said to them, ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not let them be afraid’ (John 14 v27).
Reading these words again is a reminder that Jesus offers us something that we cannot find anywhere else. The peace which Jesus offers is a security that we are held safely in the arms of the who one created us, who came to be with us and who loves us so much that he gave everything for us. The life we live is sometimes amazing, sometimes awful, sometimes ordinary and mundane. That’s just the way it is. But what makes it beautiful and full of promise is that, through it all, we are held by a God who gives everything purpose and who redeems it all with his love.
This coming season we are going to be following the lectionary readings in our Sunday services. Some of you have said that you find it helpful to see the readings in advance, so here are the Gospel readings which will take us all the way to Easter. As you’ll see we are focussing on readings from Mark’s Gospel initially. Mark is the shortest Gospel and one that it’s very easy to read in one sitting. Why not give that a go? Let the story of the God who came to be with us in his Son wash over you. Let it remind you once more of the miracle of his presence with us on earth, of all that he taught, of his death for you and his abiding presence in our world. And don’t forget to keep alert for signs of that presence all around you.
Yours in Christ,
Sunday Services 2021
10th Jan – Mark 1 v4-11 The Baptism of Jesus
17th Jan – John 1 v43-51 Jesus and Nathanael
24th Jan – Mark 1 v14-20 Jesus calls the fishermen
31st Jan – Mark 1 v21-28 Jesus casts out an evil Spirit
7th Feb – Mark 1 v29-39 Jesus heals Simon’s mother-in-law and many others
14th Feb – Mark 9 v2-9 The Transfiguration
21st Feb – 1st Sunday in Lent, Mark 1 v9-15 Jesus is baptised, Jesus is tempted
28th Feb – Mark 8 v31-38 Take up your cross and follow
7th March – John 2 v13-22 Jesus overturns the tables in the temple
14th March – John 3 v14-21 For God so loved the world…
21st March – John 12 v20-33 Jesus predicts his death
28th March – Palm Sunday Mark 11 v1-11
4th April – Easter Sunday John 20 v1-18 The Resurrection