THE SUNDAY BEFORE LENT

SUNDAY 11TH FEBRUARY 2024

Jesus' Counter-Cultural Message – Crossings Community Church

OPENING SENTENCE OF SCRIPTURE –

Our God will come and not keep silence

HYMN

GREETING

Grace and peace to you from God our Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

COLLECT FOR PURITY

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. Amen.

SUMMARY OF THE LAW

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this:

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these. Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Description: Description: Description: Confession under section 67 NDPS Act to be admitted or not, yet to ...

CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION

God is love and we are God’s children. There is no room for fear in love. We love because God loved us first.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.

SILENCE

God our Father,

we confess to you

and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ

that we have sinned in thought, word and deed,

and in what we have failed to do.

We are truly sorry.

Forgive us our sins,

and deliver us from the power of evil,

for the sake of your Son who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

ABSOLUTION

God, who is both power and love,

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by the Holy Spirit,

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

GLORIA sung by Douglas Byers

COLLECT

Hear the prayers of your people O Lord,

that we, who are weighed down by our sins,

may be delivered for the glory of your Name;

through Jesus Christ, our Lord

who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, world without end. Amen

PROCLAIMING & RECEIVING GOD’S WORD

FIRST READING: 2 KINGS 2:1-12 read by David Kerr

Elijah Ascends to Heaven

Now 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; keep 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, and the two of them crossed on dry ground.

Passing the Mantle – Israel My Glory

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 (NRSV) - 2 Kings 2:1–12 NRSV - Now when the LORD was… |  Biblia

SILENCE

SECOND READING 2 CORINTHIANS 4:3-6 read by Simon Lidwell

And 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 clearly 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’s sake. For it is the God who said, “Light will 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 Christ.

Christ Family on Instagram: "For God, who said, "Let light shine out of  darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the  knowledge of God's glory

GRADUAL HYMN

GOSPEL READING Mark 9: 2-9 read by Rev Ann Wren

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St Mark chapter 9 beginning at verse 2

Glory to Christ our Saviour

The Transfiguration

Sermon and Worship Resources

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 bright, such as no one on earth could brighten 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 set up three tents: 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 anymore, but only Jesus.

The Coming of Elijah

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.

Listen to Him « livingtheword

Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious Gospel

Praise to Christ our Lord.

SERMON

Funny Sign Engage Brain Before Starting Mouth - Etsy UK

You will be familiar with the phrase “Be sure your brain is in gear before engaging your mouth” for failure to do so can end up in some awkward, embarrassing and at times hilarious moments. Some examples of this can be found in church notices. Here are some for your interest-

“The low self -esteem support group will meet on Thursday at 7pm- please use the back door!

Weight watchers will meet at 7pm at the Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

The sermon this morning “Jesus walks on water.” The sermon tonight “Searching for Jesus.”

“Don’t let worries kill you- let the church help!”

Think before you speak. Today in our Gospel, Peter is so overcome by events that he puts his mouth in gear before engaging his brain. His suggestion of building booths is ludicrous, but Peter is so caught up in the moment that he speaks without thinking. What is foremost in Peter’s mind is that this encounter is such a hallowed moment that he simply must cling on to it. Certainly, this moment would play a pivotal role in his life and future ministry. As N.T. Wright said: “Those who have seen the glory can never be the same again.”

What was this hallowed moment? What did they see and witness? They saw with their own eyes their heroes of the faith in Moses and Elijah, those esteemed prophets, conversing with Jesus. During their encounter with Jesus, Jesus is transfigured and the splendour and glory of Jesus is revealed and his identity as the Son of God is clarified.

This encounter on the mountain is called the Transfiguration, and it is a fitting climatic ending to our season of Epiphany. Each Sunday throughout Epiphany we have seen a different aspect of Jesus’ character has been revealed. We have been struck by Jesus’ authority and wisdom in teaching. We have rejoiced in his miraculous powers of healing and in his ability to control demons. Like the disciples we have exclaimed “Who is this? and today at the end of this Epiphany season we are told in no uncertain terms that Jesus is the Messiah, and we behold his glory.

He Transfigured Before Them | Mike Moyers Fine Art

In Mark’s telling of the transfiguration, the main point of the whole event is to emphasize Jesus’ true identity and to instruct the disciples, and us, to listen to Jesus. It is a moment of God’s glory revealed. It’s such a significant moment, that it found its way into all of the synoptic gospels. We see accounts of the transfiguration of Christ in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Some Bible scholars think that it didn’t make it into the Gospel of John because the entire gospel of John is a gospel of glory. In other words, Jesus is always a transfigured Jesus in the Gospel of John. He is even introduced in terms of glory in the opening words in John’s Gospel when John writes “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.”

In Mark, though, we have a different presentation of Jesus’ story. The opening chapter of Mark includes Jesus’ baptism, when the “heavens are torn apart” and Jesus hears a voice from heaven say, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased” Notice that here, the message from God is about Jesus’ identity, but is addressed to Jesus. “You are my Son…with you I am well pleased.” Jesus is the one who sees the heavens torn apart and Jesus is the one who is told that he is God’s Son. Those around Jesus, presumably, do not see this happen. Fast forward to today’s Gospel, and now we as the audience of Mark’s Gospel hear God’s voice for the second time. This time, God’s voice is not just speaking to Jesus, but to the disciples. “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” Notice the shift from “you are my son” to “this is my son.” So, God is verifying Jesus’ identity to the disciples who have trekked up the mountain with Jesus.


This verification of Jesus’ identity happens in several ways. First, Jesus is transfigured – his clothes become brilliantly and blindingly bright. Then Elijah and Moses appear, the physical manifestations of the Law and the Prophets, hugely important chunks of the Old Testament. This is all quite terrifying to Peter, James, and John. Peter does what he usually does when he’s afraid in the gospels, he starts talking. I think here, though, the terror the disciples are feeling is one of, yes, fear, but also awe. This scene is filled with amazing images and if one of us found ourselves on a mountain with Jesus, and giants of the faith began to appear around us, I think we would be struck with fear and awe as well. One scholar notes that “the real sense of being in the presence of God is often not ecstasy and delight but a holy awe and even terror, for at such times human weakness and sin stand in sharp contrast to the holiness and omnipotence of God.”

Second look at Jesus – Verbum Bible

If all that wasn’t enough, though, a cloud overshadows them and from the cloud comes God’s voice declaring Jesus’ identity clearly and unmistakably to the disciples. We might have a question for the Bible here – why is this all needed? We’re nine chapters into this gospel, the disciples have seen Jesus’ miracles and heard his teachings, don’t they know who Jesus is at this point? Well, the answer is no. A few short verses ago, in, it seems like Peter knows who Jesus is. When Jesus asks the disciples who they say that he is, Peter answers, “You are the Messiah.” But, just a few short verses after that, when Jesus begins talking about the suffering he must undergo on the cross, Peter rebukes him. Peter clearly misunderstands who Jesus is and what he must do. Jesus responds, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”


So, clearly, the disciples need to hear the words, “Listen to him!” But, can I just say that we often need these words too? We can be so stubborn and set in our ways about many things and think of ourselves as experts on a plethora of subjects- Politics, how to coach a football or rugby team better than the coach, how our neighbour or friend is messing up their life and if they would just listen to us, then they would be better off. The truth is, though, that we often have things to learn ourselves, and even if someone else really does need our help and advice, the best way to actually get through to them is to listen intently to them.

The primary vocation of a disciple, of a Christian, is to listen to Jesus – otherwise how can we even know what it means to be a Christian. But, like the disciples, like Peter, we can often unknowingly refuse to listen to the words of God, to listen to the Son of God even when he’s standing right before us. We may find ourselves listening to the voices of worry and fear, rather than the Word of God. I have found myself in this situation many times, afraid of the unknown, worried about the future, and telling God all the things He should do to resolve that. It is here in our Gospel reading that we, like the disciples, are instructed plainly to “Listen to Jesus!”

Luke 9:35 | Bible verses quotes inspirational, Word of god, Bible verses

When we listen to Jesus, we hear the command to love our neighbour. We hear the words of Jesus telling us that his way is a way of suffering, but also a way of life. When we listen to Jesus, we are blessed by the unexpected and are drawn into a much greater story than the one we are telling ourselves. When we listen to Jesus, we begin to recognize his voice in unexpected places.

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is only called the “Son of God” a handful of times. Twice by God and twice by demons. The only time a human recognizes Jesus as the Son of God in the whole Gospel of Mark is when the Roman centurion is watching Jesus take his last breath at the cross and responds, “Truly this was the Son of God. At no point do the disciples call Jesus the Son of God – they spend a lot of time getting it wrong, not truly recognizing Jesus for who he is or thinking Jesus should do one thing or another, setting their minds “on human things” rather than on divine things. The only human character who recognizes the Messiah-King as the Son of God is an unexpected person in an unexpected place. A Roman centurion staring at the crucified body of Christ sees Jesus as the Son of God. A villain to many in the first century sees in the great suffering of God the true identity of Jesus.

I wonder if this is a lesson to us to not only look for God where we expect to find God – at church, in our normal “spiritual activities” – but to also be “listening to Jesus” in the places and from the people we don’t expect to hear him. Jesus goes where his disciples do not want him to go and asks them to follow. When Peter rebukes Jesus, he is rebuking Jesus’ path of suffering. But, I believe, if we listen to him, we will encounter suffering, but we will also encounter the glory of God. We will come up against things in our world and society we do not wish to see or experience, people suffering wrongs that we wish didn’t exist, but we will also find God there, and we will find unexpected gifts of grace from the people and in the places we least expected to find them.

Sermon Series: Mountain Top Experiences (Part 1) – revPACman

The transfiguration of Jesus happens on the mountain and, perhaps, we have mountaintop experiences of our own in which we saw the glory of God, things that carry us through in times of trouble. But, as I continue to learn, we also see the glory of God in the suffering of God, in our own suffering, in our collision with the suffering of others. It is in these places, if we’re listening, that we find yet again God’s surprising gifts of grace. We find ourselves, if we’re listening, grateful for God’s Word that finds ways to break through and provide hope when we thought there was none to be found.. Jesus’ Transfiguration gives us another chance to gaze upon the glory of God and welcomes us into a life of listening to Jesus, wherever we may find him speaking. Amen.

THE CREED

Christ The Savior Lutheran Church

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

God from God,

Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one substance with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven;

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father.

With the Father and the Son,

he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Prayer Requests – Baildon Methodist Church

PRAYERS

Jesus, Giver of love

fills us with life afresh

that as you love, so may we love

and do what you would do.

Help us to listen to your voice

and may we be prepared to encounter you

and behold your glory

in surprising places at unexpected times.

Help us Lord,

to love one another

Image result for love one another

God, love is your gift.

We praise you for the love

you revealed to us in Christ.

In Christ your love breaks through

in so many unexpected and exciting ways,

bringing freedom, hope and peace.

Help us Lord,

to love one another

Image result for love is your amrk

God, love is your mark,

-it is the standard on which

we base all our choices and decisions.

Help us by our words and deeds

to demonstrate your love and wisdom

and so draw others into your loving embrace.

Help us Lord,

to love one another

Image result for unconditional love

God, love is your sign

Your love leaves no –one untouched, especially ourselves

strengthen all that restores us in your image

and make us worthy of our calling as your sons and daughters.

Fill us with a desire to serve your people

so that by our love we may be signs

of your love, healing, and compassion.

Help us Lord,

to love one another

God, love is your name,

may the church clear away any barriers

which prevent your love flooding it.

Wash away all that is selfish and negative

and help us to build strong loving foundations.

Help us Lord,

to love one another

Image result for god is our refuge nad strenbgth

God love is your strength,

as we seek to love you with our whole hearts,

give us courage to stand up and speak

for those who have no voice,

and grant us courage too to sit down and listen,

to those who are of a different opinion and mind-set

that in all we do and say we are proclaiming your gospel of love.

Help us Lord,

to love one another

God, love is your way

Marriage is your gift.

May newly- weds grow in your love.

May those celebrating many years of marriage

know vibrant and tender love.

May those whose lives have been scarred by marriage

sense your healing.

May those longing for marriage but single

trust in your abiding love.

Empower us on this week of St Valentine’s

so that love might be our way.

Help us Lord,

to love one another

Image result for god's word is faihtful

God, love is your word

we pray for those who doubt your promises

in difficult times of bereavement

and in the hard times of unemployment and unrest.

We ask that you will enfold them in your love,

fill them with your strength and peace,

and restore their trust in your living word.

We pray for those who have this week lost a loved one

and we ask you to draw near

and remind them of your promise

that you are the resurrection and life.

In you is our rising and our hope

Help us Lord,

to love one another

Image result for God's healing

God, love is your touch-your touch of healing and grace.

We pray for those known to us

who are sick in body, mind, or spirit at this time.

May you, loving God, be present in their darkness and pain,

and as deep calls to deep, may you bring inner quiet and hope,

and may your touch of healing and grace be evident to all in need.

Help us Lord,

to love one another

God, your love is our hope.

We thank you for those who bring us hope in our lives.

We lift to you our families and those whom we hold dear

and thank you for them and for all they mean to us.

May we cherish and appreciate their love

and may we never take your gift of love O God, for granted.

Image result for hope

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ who taught us to pray together

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.

Do not bring us

to the time of trial

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power

and the glory are yours,

now and forever. Amen.

Description: Description: Description: Description: Elevation Worship - The Blessing (Lyrics) ft. Kari Jobe & Cody ...

BLESSING

Christ the Son of God gladden your hearts with the good news of his kingdom; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

HYMN

DISMISSAL

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord

In the name of Christ. Amen

Welcome

St John the Evangelist, Dumfries, is a parish of the Scottish Episcopal Church also serving Methodist parishioners locally.

Donations

You can donate to St John’s by credit or debit card by following these links.

St John’s Bellringers on Border Life video

Notices

Contemporary Service

Contemporary Service

The Contemporary Service is at 6pm, on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, followed by refreshments in the hall.

Facebook

St John's Church

3 days 14 hours ago

Everyone is very welcome to come along to St John's Church, Newall Terrace, Dumfries DG1 1LW, at 6pm this Sunday, Pentecost Day, 19th May, when the choir of St John's

St John's Church

1 week 1 day ago

Sunday 12th May 2024 is our Eucharistic Services at 11: 00am. You are most welcome to come along. Be great to see you. Contemporary Service is at 6pm on 12th

St John's Church

2 weeks 1 day ago

Everyone is very welcome to come along to St John's Church, Newall Terrace, Dumfries DG1 1LW this Sunday, 5th May, at 6pm, where the choir of St John's Church will

St John's Church

2 weeks 1 day ago

Sunday 5th May 2024 is our Eucharistic Services at 8:00am & 11: 00am. You are most welcome to come along. Be great to see you. Choral evensong is at 6pm

Author: David Kerr