Sunday 7th Feb 2021: In Him All Things Hold Together
Welcome to all. This is St Paul’s church during coronavirus lockdown part 3.
This Sunday is the 2nd before Lent. Can you believe we are nearly there already? It has been 12 months since the new virus was named officially as covid 19. This is a sobering moment. Over 2 million have died world wide and over 107,000 here in UK. Every death is a tragedy and we must remember the people who we have lost and also those who are still fighting this virus.
Over the last year some familiar scriptures have taken on a different level of meaning and power in my life. Let me share one:
‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ Philippians 4:13
It is very helpful and powerful to meditate on God’s words and allow his truths to penetrate our hearts and minds. This aids our own mental fight and is transformative. So may I encourage you to do just this.
Welcome to everyone wherever you are watching from. It’s great that you are with us. We are solely online at the moment. I want to say hello to everyone in Woking homes but I don’t know if you are gathering again yet. So hello anyway. Bible readings are Proverbs 8.1,22-31 and Colossians 1.15-20
This is the Sunday that marks the approaching of Lent, which will begin on ash wednesday, 17th February. We will be having an online ash wednesday service this year and I will show you how to make the ashes to ash yourself if you would like to. Look out for a separate video on that.
Jesus Christ rose from the grave. Death could not hold him. He has the final word and so we have a living hope in him for the here and now and also for the life to come.
Through it all we can still proclaim that Jesus is Lord and the Lord reigns.
Words for the Service
We pray the prayer of preparation together:
Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord.
Seek the Lord while he may be found,
All: call upon him while he is near.
Let the wicked abandon their ways
All: and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Turn back to the Lord, who will have mercy;
All: to our God who will richly pardon.
A time of silence and self-examination may be kept.
All: Lord God, we have sinned against you; we have done evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us according to your love.
Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin.
Renew a right spirit within us and restore us to the joy of your salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
May the Father of all mercies cleanse us from our sins, and restore us in his image to the praise and glory of his name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect 2 Before Lent
Almighty God, give us reverence for all creation and respect for every person, that we may mirror your likeness in Jesus Christ our Lord.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
The Lord is here.
His Spirit is with us.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.
It is right to praise you, Father, Lord of all creation;
in your love you made us for yourself.
When we turned away
you did not reject us,
but came to meet us in your Son.
You embraced us as your children
and welcomed us to sit and eat with you.
In Christ you shared our life
that we might live in him and he in us.
He opened his arms of love upon the cross and made for all the perfect sacrifice for sin.
On the night he was betrayed, at supper with his friends
he took bread, and gave you thanks; he broke it and gave it to them, saying: Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.
Father, we do this in remembrance of him:
his body is the bread of life.
At the end of supper, taking the cup of wine, he gave you thanks, and said: Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins;
do this in remembrance of me.
Father, we do this in remembrance of him: his blood is shed for all.
As we proclaim his death and celebrate his rising in glory,
send your Holy Spirit that this bread and this wine
may be to us the body and blood of your dear Son.
As we eat and drink these holy gifts make us one in Christ, our risen Lord.
With your whole Church throughout the world we offer you this sacrifice of praise
and lift our voice to join the eternal song of heaven:
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and forever. Amen
We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
Though we are many we are one body as we all share in one bread.
God’s holy gifts
for God’s holy people.
All: Jesus Christ is holy, Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Post communion prayer:
We thank and praise you heavenly father that you have fed us with the body, blood and word of your beloved son, make us watchful and keep us faithful as we await the coming of your Son our Lord; that, when he shall appear, he may not find us sleeping in sin but active in his service and joyful in his praise; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you and keep you.
We go into the world
To share God’s love and grow as God’s people
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord
In the name of Christ,
1 Doth not wisdom cry, And understanding put forth her voice?
22 Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of his way, Before his works of old.
23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, Before the earth was.
24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth, When there were no fountains abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills was I brought forth;
26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, Nor the beginning of the dust of the world.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there: When he set a circle upon the face of the deep,
28 When he made firm the skies above, When the fountains of the deep became strong,
29 When he gave to the sea its bound, That the waters should not transgress his commandment, When he marked out the foundations of the earth;
30 Then I was by him, as a master workman; And I was daily his delight, Rejoicing always before him,
31 Rejoicing in his habitable earth; And my delight was with the sons of men.
15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;
16 for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him;
17 and he is before all things, and in him all things consist.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19 For it was the good pleasure of the Father that in him should all the fulness dwell;
20 and through him to reconcile all things unto himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross; through him, I say, whether things upon the earth, or things in the heavens.
Nick is the vicar of St Paul’s Church, Woking. He studied Jewish History and Hebrew, Theology and also trained as a history teacher before spending many years in children’s, youth and student ministry prior to becoming a vicar. He is married to Aisha and they have 2 young children.