Mass Readings: 22-29 November, 2015 - The Southern Cross


Blessed be the God who sets his people free



Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.



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.


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.

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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.

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.


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.

sung by Sue St Joseph


Almighty and everlasting God

whose will it is to restore all things

in the kingdom of your well- beloved Son:

mercifully grant

that the peoples of the earth

now divided and enslaved by sin,

may be freed and brought together

under his most gracious rule;

through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, world without end. Amen


Jeremiah 23:1-6
read by Mark Toner

Restoration after Exile

Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord. Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord. Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall no longer fear longer or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord.

Reflection on Jeremiah 23:1-6 | New Life Narrabri

The Righteous Branch of David

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

Colossians 1: 11-20
read by Gill Swales

May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, so that you may have all endurance and patience, joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The Supremacy of Christ

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

Picture 04 - Colossians 1:20 KJV Mobile Phone Wallpaper - And, having made peace through the blood of his - Mobile Bible Verse Wallpaper


Luke 23: 33-43
read by Rev Janice Aiton

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St Luke chapter 23 beginning at verse 33

Glory to Christ our Saviour

When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by watching, but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious gospel.

Praise to Christ our Lord


Failure is a feature in blameless DevOps | Opensource.com

There is a word that is pretty much taboo in our society today and that word must never be uttered, hinted at, or alluded to. Certainly, you would never use this word in speaking of yourself-to do so might be interpreted as social suicide! What word am I referring to- Failure. Our culture encourages us never to admit to failure. We are to praise the successful and get rid of those who are the weakest link. You only need to look at football to see this. Success is the contemporary god, and it is not confined by any manner of means to the sports industry, but is to be found in every walk of business and indeed even in family lives! Success means everything and our bookshop shelves are weighed down with self-help books on how to be successful.

To be successful, you have to be someone who is strong, forceful, and tough. Your words are trenchant, admitting no contradiction: your actions are daring, accepting no defeat. You know how to get your own way: there must be nothing feeble or wimpish about you. There must be no sign of weakness or evidence of failure. How important is it to you that you are perceived as strong and successful?

Certainly, in Jesus’ time, it was important to be perceived as strong. Success was all important-the Greeks despised physical weakness of any sort. Greek heroes were never ill. They were always portrayed as specimens of bodily perfection. The cross was the ultimate sign of weakness and humiliation in the eyes of the Greeks and Jews alike. As far as they were concerned Jesus was unsuccessful –he was a failure!

Failure was so abhorrent to the people. In their view a Messiah did not hang on a cross and suffer. A messiah was meant to be a deliverer – a liberator of the people. What they failed to realise was that Jesus ironically by accepting the way of the cross, was fulfilling these very criteria- he was saving, he was delivering, he was liberating! Their taunts ‘if you are King of the Jews save yourself’ are intended to make fun of Jesus but instead speak truth which the utterers were unaware. What is striking is that Jesus’ unwillingness to save himself does not render him impotent to save others. From the cross he asks God to extend forgiveness even to those responsible for his crucifixion, then he promises salvation to one crucified with him. From the mouths of Jesus’ opponents, we hear repeatedly-what we know to be true-namely that Jesus’ royal status and role as Saviour are interconnected. Ironically in his weakness he is strong and powerful. His strength is seen in his faithfulness to save others instead of himself and to dismiss the taunts and temptations to collude with the spirit of the age for personal success and glory.

Thief on the Cross | Scandia Bible Church

Strangely the true glory and identity of Jesus is revealed by the penitent thief. The thief was a man’s man, who never really thought below the surface of life until at this moment he was brought to the moment of truth. There are two elements in this moment of truth and realisation. The first is his own death. The thought of one’s own death remarkably concentrates the mind. All temporal and transitory considerations are cut away. There was nothing left for him among those with whom he used to run. The world held nothing, and he gazed into his own death, and death was the prelude to revelation. It still is. Death cuts through the chatter and noise and distraction of our mind, and makes us focus on the things that matter. The man on the cross came to that moment. Hanging on the cross he did a review of his life. And when he looked back, what did he see? He saw a heap of rubble. He had wasted his life. A wasted opportunity is one thing but a wasted life is another! He might have made excuses or blamed others, his environment, his companions, his upbringing- but he didn’t. In effect what he was saying was: I am guilty. I am getting what I deserve. He took full responsibility for the person he had become.

What a refreshing attitude. Today there is a tendency to take responsibility away from the individual. It is common to blame someone else. According to some psychiatrists, our sins aren’t really sins at all, but accidents set in motion by forces beyond our control.

It's Not My Fault - Part I — Hal Mayer Coaching

To do what the thief did is never easy. Pride makes a person try to salvage something. How easy it would have been for the thief to try and salvage something in that atmosphere which prevailed at Calvary with the jeering of religious leaders, the mocking of the soldiers and the other disgruntled and bitter thief, but he didn’t! In any case, it was too late to clear away the rubble and start to build again.

His attitude of repentance is commendable but it would have meant little if Jesus was not there to help. But Jesus, the friend and saviour of sinners was there. The thief’s clean and humble confession went to the heart of Jesus. It won for the penitent thief not only forgiveness, but paradise itself. The good thief gives us all hope, and especially for those who come to the end of their life and have nothing that they can be proud of in their lives. Even at the 11th hour, there exists the possibility of hope and forgiveness. It is literally true that where there is life there is hope.

The choice is ours we can be like the penitent thief and be honest about our lives and our sins and seek repentance and forgiveness. Desmond Tutu offers some good insights on forgiveness in his book entitled “No future without forgiveness.” He says that without forgiveness we will remain stuck and controlled by those who have hurt us.

So why don’t we free ourselves by forgiving? The reason is that by extending forgiveness to a perpetrator when wronged may be one of the highest, hardest callings there is. Tutu acknowledges the difficulty. He says: “Forgiving and being reconciled are not about pretending that things are other than they are. It is not patting one another on the back and turning a blind eye to the wrong. True reconciliation exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the pain, the degradation, the truth. It could even sometimes make things worse. It is a risky undertaking, but in the end, it is worthwhile, because in the end dealing with the real situation brings healing.”

The urgent truth about repentance – Teaching Humble Hearts

Aside from the difficulty and risk in either offering or asking for forgiveness, there is also the additional difficulty of feeling weak, of feeling a failure. But on the contrary, it is not weakness or failure to seek or offer forgiveness rather it is a strength. The penitent thief showed this strength, as he really looked at Jesus for the first time, and was suddenly overwhelmed. Doubtless he had heard a bit here and there about this extraordinary man who had the whole of Jerusalem in an uproar, but he had never really himself looked at Jesus. Now he looks and looks hard, and everything is blotted out as he sees the majesty, the humility and the strength of the man. The eyes of Jesus hold him. He looks at Christ and has a moment of revelation. The faith in his heart is expressed by his lips. He addresses his fellow criminal first and then Jesus. Don’t you fear God- since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong. Then in words full of faith, the thief turns to Jesus ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

The criminal anticipates the restoration and resurrection. He asks to be included. His depth of perception stands in contrast to the blindness of those who taunt. This man, despite a life full of sin, comes to Jesus, seeks forgiveness in his last mortal moments. He confesses his guilt and casts himself on Jesus’ mercy and saving power. The moment of openness becomes the moment of fulfilment. Whenever the repentant sinner turns to the merciful Father, and says ‘Remember me’ he is met with the reply ‘today you will be with me in paradise’ Jesus promises him paradise from the moment of his death.

This criminal recognised that Jesus was indeed a king, who had come to proclaim the kingdom of God. God’s kingdom is present whenever mercy and forgiveness is shown to those who need it; whenever care is offered to the needy; whenever justice is done for those who have been deprived of it.

Christ the King: A Kingdom of Justice, Love and Peace – The Spiritans

God’s kingdom is present whenever we remain faithful to the call of the gospel; whenever we hold to gospel values, even in situations where we are deemed by society as failures or our values are ridiculed because they fly in the face of what is deemed successful, powerful, and strong! We as Christ’s disciples can glimpse this kingdom in the here and now and one day we will see the kingdom more fully and dwell eternally with the King of Kings. Amen.


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

Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory

we pray week in, week out,

that your kingdom come,

and your will be done.

It’s easy to say the words,

far harder to mean them,

for they are concerned finally

not just with you but with us.

Help us to understand that

your kingdom is not just in the future,

but something that begins within us, here and now,

and so, help us to recognise our role in bringing it nearer,

through the love we show,

the care we display,

and the service we offer

to the hungry, the thirsty,

the broken hearted and the downtrodden.

Your kingdom come, your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.


Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory

we pray for the church throughout the world

asking you to forgive us for the divisions

that separate us

and to heal the wounds

that those divisions have caused.

We pray that the church, Christ’s body, may be united

and strengthened by Christ himself

who holds all things together and has first place in everything.

We lift to you the persecuted church throughout the world,

and pray for Amnesty International and other agencies

who seek to rescue those imprisoned for their faith

and negotiate better practices with political leaders.

Your kingdom come, your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven

Eastern Hills Community Church

Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory

we pray for our world

and for an end to all that frustrates your purpose.

We think of those in countries racked by conflict,

famine, disease and poverty

and pray for vision, longing and determination

to bring about justice and equity for all.

Your kingdom come, your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory,

we pray for the unemployed and homeless,

the sick and suffering,

the lonely and unloved,

the disabled and disadvantaged.

We lift to you those that we know

that are struggling with health issues, stress,

depression and anxiety in the quiet of our hearts.

Draw near to those we have named

bringing your strength, comfort and peace.

Your kingdom come, your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Mother Teresa quote: I still think that the greatest suffering is being  lonely...

Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory,

we pray for those who work,

to build a more just and loving world,

all who strive to bring help and healing to those in need,

and those who support the weak and vulnerable in society.

Your kingdom come, your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Why It's Important Helping Others Without Expectation

Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory,

We pray for agencies that help and support others,

thinking especially this morning of Christian Aid, First Base,

Bethany Christian Trust, and Aberlour Children’s Charity.

We are mindful too of pressure groups,

other charities, churches, politicians,

police and members of armed forces

these and so many others, who in different ways,

contribute to the fulfilment of your purpose.

Your kingdom come, your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

The King Of Glory

Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory

we look forward to the day,

when you will establish justice between the nations

and there will be an end to suffering, darkness and death.

Until then, help us to commit ourselves to your service

and to work for your glory,

so that we can honestly say and truly mean.

Your kingdom come, your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

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.


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The peace of God which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of His son Jesus Christ our Lord: and the blessing of God almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen


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


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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.


St John's Church

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Sunday 14th April 2024 is our Eucharistic Service at 11:00am! Tonight is our contemporary service at 6pm. Theme- on the road to Emmaus. Come and join us if you are

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