Cross Inspirational Images


– All the ends of the earth shall turn to you, O Lord



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

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 our 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


O God, you see that we lack the strength to help ourselves: protect us both inwardly and outwardly; that our bodies may be guarded from adversity, and our minds might be defended from such thoughts as assault and harm the soul; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen



GENESIS 17: 1-7 and 15,16 read by Liz Ballard

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.”

GENESIS 17:1-27 The Covenant Of Circumcision NIV Female Narration - copied from a YouTube video

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.
…and continuing at vs 15
God said to Abraham, “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.”


Romans 4: 13-25 read by Kay Solaja

For 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.

Romans 4:20-22 | Free Christian Images

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



MARK 8: 31-38 read by Reverend James Clark Maxwell

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St Mark chapter 8 beginning at verse 31

PPT - MARK 8:35-36 PowerPoint Presentation, free download - ID:8861079

Then he began to teach them 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.

Earth Sunrise Mark 8:36 Phone Wallpaper - FREE - Bible Verses To GoBut 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.”

Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious gospel.

Praise to Christ our Lord


In our culture we use many animal phrases like “a bull in a china shop”; “a cat among the pigeons”; “the lion’s share”, “hold your horses”; “one trick pony”; “weasel out of something”,” let sleeping dogs lie”; “the elephant in the room” and so on. “The elephant in the room” addresses our human tendency to avoid the obvious. The plain fact is that there are some realities that are so painful and difficult that we go to great lengths to deny their importance.

Stock Images: Free Images Elephant In The Room

Jesus never shirked from confronting reality and he had an uncanny ability to name “the Elephant in the Room.” Last week Jesus experienced a high point in his life in his baptism followed by low point in his wilderness experience. Today we see Peter, experience a high point in his faith journey when he pronounces Jesus as the Messiah, followed immediately by a low point when Jesus rebukes him with the firm words: “Get behind me Satan”.

Satan is still tempting Jesus. This time his disciple Peter, is the tempter, encouraging Jesus to take the easy way. Jesus recognized the voice of the tempter, who had come to him in the desert. Jesus did not want to suffer and die. He knew that he possessed the strength and power from God to bring down the angelic hosts and destroy Israel’s enemies once for all. In the concerned words of his friend Peter, Jesus recognized the temptation of the devil. The devil was tempting him again to fall down and worship him, to take the road of least resistance rather than God’s way.

This, then, is how you should pray…' [10] “…lead us not into temptation” –  JesuitReflections

Isn’t it interesting how the devil tries to persuade us through the words of a well-meaning friend to play it safe in our lives? Sometimes, an opportunity for Christian service, or an opportunity to stand up for justice and peace comes our way. In our hearts we are absolutely convinced that this is from God, and that he is calling us to obey His will. We know that it will cost us a lot in terms of “losing” some of the comforts that we have grown used to. However, we are at peace with our decision, knowing that it is God’s will. As we share our decision with family and friends, they raise one red flag after another. Has this ever happened to you?

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You see, the Devil is very clever. Without our knowledge he uses the people who are closest to us to break our spirits and our obedience to God. Peter was that special friend, who just a little while earlier had received a revelation from God when he confessed, “You are Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter’s good intentions and his dedication to his Master kept him from seeing God’s divine plan of salvation for humankind. Jesus saw through the well-meaning words of his disciple. He caught the devil in the act, and quickly said so.

Jesus was fully focused on God’s agenda, not his own. Jesus named the “elephant in the room”- he was the suffering Messiah. Like others in Israel, Peter was expecting a mighty leader from the line of David to overthrow the Romans and restore Israel politically. With hindsight, it is easy to see that error. The reality is, that we are uncomfortable with a Suffering Messiah. We all want a strong God. When we are hurt in life, when we suffer loss, when we have to put up with thoughtless words from others, when we are sick or dying, we want a strong God. We want a God who will heal us or justify us or turn our darkness into light. We want a strong God. However, the problem is that we see strength from a very purely human perspective and not from a divine perspective. We understand strength to be the same thing as power and to be the same thing as vindication in the eyes of others. We understand strength to be victory. However, that is seeing things from a human perspective. In the eyes of God, strength looks very different.

30 Take up your cross daily ideas | cross, god, luke 9

For God, strength is measured in vulnerability, in sacrifice and by our willingness to endure all things in the name of God. It was this example Jesus – the Suffering Messiah – was about to show for his disciples, and that is how he wants us to live our lives too. We know this for he communicates this not just to his disciples but to the gathered crowd. Jesus utters those words that are hard for us to take in. “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

Some truth we seek to avoid no matter how difficult it is to do this. The elephant can be large and grey and fill the room, but if we do not want to see it, we will not. So it was with the disciples. I wonder if Peter felt let down at this point: I suspect so, up until then, there was a certain glamour in following Jesus: he was hanging out with the coolest superhero in Israel, the crowds flocked to them, the miracles never stopped coming, the teaching was amazing, and no doubt Peter enjoyed bathing in the reflected glory of Jesus. But now, that all changes. The glamour is gone and Peter is left with the cold, stark reality of the pain of discipleship and the agony of realising that if he truly wants to follow Jesus, he can’t have it all on his own terms. There is a real cost to discipleship. It is as Dietrich Bonhoeffer said “costly discipleship.” We can’t have God on our terms. We can’t create a cosy religion or a comfortable way of being. There is a real cost to discipleship: and it hurts. It is as Dietrich Bonhoeffer said “when we are called to Christ we are called to die.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy - Womenary Winterlude -  The Smith Slant

Jesus was calling Peter into a place of self-reflection: to reflect deeply on whether he wanted Christ or whether he wanted his own idea of Christ. Does he want to be a disciple of Israel’s superhero? Or does he want to be a disciple of the Suffering Messiah? We too are called into that same process of self-reflection throughout the period of Lent. What does it mean for us to die to self? What does it mean for us to die to our own ego? What does it mean for us to lay down our comfortable images of Christ and the church for the sake of Christ and for the sake of the gospel?

Denying yourself and taking up your cross is a counter cultural concept. It almost sounds like an oxymoron. In a book by Tony Campolo entitled who switched the price tags, there is a suggestion in our culture that the tags have been switched. You see, at every turn our culture screams at us: “You must be yourself! You must fulfil yourself! Be Number one and push yourself regardless of others up the success ladder.” Whereas Jesus is saying the opposite. Put God first.

C.S. Lewis says “The more we get what we now call ‘ourselves’ out of the way and surrender to God, the more truly ourselves we become. There is so much of Him that millions and millions of ‘little Christs’, all different, will still be too few to express him fully. Our real selves are all waiting for us in him, until you have given up yourself to him, you will not have a real self.” So he says coming to Jesus is what allows you to step into more fully the “you” that He designed you to be, but it requires that we let go of the “me” that we long to be.

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To be the person God designed us means denying ourselves and taking up your cross to follow him. Denying ourselves does not mean losing our personal identity. Nor does taking up your cross mean a personal hardship, like some aches and pains or suffering that we have to endure. These may well feel like taking up your cross but in Jesus’ day, the cross was the method of execution for criminals. Christ, in fact is saying, that his followers must be willing to suffer for his name’s sake.

You might ask why?  Why does Jesus make things so hard and complicated for us? We find the answer these words “What good is it for you to gain the whole world, and lose your soul? What can you give or possess in exchange for your soul? We are often tempted to fall down and worship the deceiver for a little bit of instant gratification. Sometimes we may be tempted to sacrifice our honour for personal gain or profit. We may put a higher value on material things than on spiritual growth and integrity.

We may be tempted to sacrifice our moral principles in exchange for popularity. We can save ourselves a lot of trouble if we always agree with everyone on controversial issues. Let us keep in mind that the question we will all need to face one day is not “What are the people going to think of me?” but, “What does God think of me?” It is not the verdict of public opinion, but the verdict of God that will determine our final destiny.

We may also be tempted to lower our standards and to settle for cheap rewards as long as we don’t have to work too hard to earn them. So easily we become indifferent about things that go on around us. We find it too time-consuming and too much of a hassle to get involved in social, political, and even congregational matters. It’s easier to keep our nose out of it and live with the decisions that others make for us. Consequently, we sacrifice the best that could be for a cheap substitute.

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We are also tempted to sacrifice eternity for the moment. There are many things in life – today more than ever before – that offer pleasure and success instantly. Our greatest mission in life is to have God’s things in mind and to check ourselves against the life of the suffering Christ and measure our lives according to God’s will.

God gave us life to spend and not to keep for ourselves. If we live carefully, always thinking first of our own profit, ease, comfort and security; if our sole aim is to make life as long and trouble-free as possible; if we make no effort except for ourselves, we will lose our life. But if we spend our life for others then we are making a mark for eternity. There is nothing less than our very soul at stake here. As CT Studd said: “Christ gave everything for me there is nothing I will not do for him.”

29 C.T. Studd ideas | christian quotes, missionary quotes, words

Every time we open ourselves to the needs of those around us. Every time we actually take time to love someone who desperately needs our love; every time we get out of ourselves a little and seek not what we want but what the world needs; we get a little closer to what Jesus was talking about when he spoke of taking up your cross and following him. 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, eternally begotten of the Father, 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

Praying Moms – LRPC HOME


Lord Jesus, you shocked your disciples by making them face up to your cross and their own.

Give to your church courage to emulate your sacrificial love.

May we find our true life in you!

Lord of faith and truth

Hear our prayer

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Lord Jesus, help us as your followers in your church to understand what it fully means to love and serve you.

At times of testing strengthen us, at unexpected or undeserved suffering support us, at the end of our energy revive us and teach us through it all the inexplicable peace and joy that comes from doing your will.

Lord of faith and truth

Hear our prayer

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Lord Jesus, Peter struggled to accept the danger and purpose of your actions.

Be with all who are anxious for a loved one, whose job places them in grave danger.

We think especially of soldiers and rescue workers, may they know of your presence and help.

Lord of faith and truth

Hear our prayer

don't give up. You are not alone, you matter signage on metal fence

Lord Jesus, renew our commitment to love as you loved in all your relationships.

In the hard choices give us wisdom, In the painful decisions, affirm us, and may our words speak your truth whether that is to encourage, support or challenge.

Lord of faith and truth

Hear our prayer

photo of brown wooden cross at cliff

Lord Jesus, fill us with your wisdom that we might hold to your values.

Help us not to gain the whole world and forfeit our soul, but instead enable us to nourish our hearts and minds in your ways and truth.

Lord of faith and truth

Hear our prayer

Lord Jesus, you are with us as stand staring into the darkness.

Strengthen and help us in all our sufferings.

Be near to those struggling with illness, depression, anxiety, conflict or family problems.

Hold them in your love, guide and direct their path, and meet them at their point of need with your healing touch.

Lord of faith and truth

Hear our prayer

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Lord Jesus, you hold open the door to eternity.

Strengthen all who stand on its threshold in faith and fear and bring them in due course to the loving place that you have prepared for them.

Lord of faith and truth

Hear our prayer

Lord Jesus, your love for us is so great, greater than we can imagine, accept our thanks and praise.

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 for ever. Amen.



May Christ give you grace to grow in holiness, to deny yourselves, take up your cross, and follow him; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the 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.


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

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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

3 days 12 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