The following is intended to help you all with what Easter is really about. I have included a simple act of worship for Palm Sunday
Don't forget that there is a daily Evening Compine Service from Mary every day at 8.00pm. This is uploaded on the Whitton facebook page.
Growing in Depth
A few Resources to continue to maintain a rhythm of prayer both individually and with others during these times of challenge.
Daily Prayer: https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer
Available as an app or through the Church of England Website. This gives you access to prayers throughout the day, the Daily Collect and suggested readings according to the lectionary.
Lectio 365: https://www.24-7prayer.com/dailydevotional - Available for iOS and Android.
A simple app with daily prayer and meditation on scripture. It begins with a centring prayer, a reading from the Psalms, then a Bible passage that has some thought/comment afterwards. There is an option to read through it yourself slowly, or use the audio guide, which uses different voices and takes approx. 10 minutes.
Prayermate: https://www.prayermate.net/ - Available for iOS and Android.
Allows you to pull together different themes and prayer points into a virtual prayer diary, with prompts and reminders to set a daily rhythm. Also allows access to additional materials like the C of E Collect for the Day, prayer material from mission agencies and the ability to upload PDFs – so any prayer requests that come through on your usual email address from prayer partners or church communications can also be added into your rhythm.
Contemplative at Home: http://contemplativeathome.com/ - Reflections and guided prayer with scripture.
A large back-catalogue of podcast recordings – approximately 20 minutes long. Each offers a time of stillness, a piece of scripture to reflect up, some thoughts from Lissy Clarke and some guided prayer to explore what God might be saying to us through the passage.
Sacred Space: www.sacredspace.ie (also as an app for iOS and Android)
This website contains thought for the day, guided reflections, and a daily Bible passage. It is also home to “Pray as you Go”- an app to help maintain rhythms of daily prayer at times to suit you.
Reflections For Holy Week
Monday of Holy Week John chapter 12 versus 1 to 11
‘With eyes opened’
There are for all of us moments of vivid insight, moments when our eyes are opened. Such moments can bring a variety of responses and feelings. Today we see the two opposite responses, the responses were born of different motives. We find love, and fear. The event was a Thanksgiving supper hosted by Mary and Martha and their brother Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the tomb.
The raising of Lazarus was, for Jesus, a turning point from which there was no going back. It was the point at which the eyes of the Chief Priests and Pharisees were opened, opened to the fact that here was the Messiah, opened in fear, fear of the revolt against the Roman Empire. in fear they cannot see beyond this to a Jesus who came with love not war, they too had the assumed that the Messiah would be a warrior king. Many people had believed in Jesus as the Messiah when he raised Lazarus from the dead this would mean trouble and The Chief Priests and Pharisees would get the blame this must not happen, and fear drive them to plot.
At supper Mary‘s eyes were opened too, she knew who Jesus was and that something had changed, he is different, this is a solemn moment but her eyes are opened in love and she annoints her Lord’s feet beautifully, lovingly. She comes to this moment with her eyes opened in love.
So we see the contrast the chief priests and Pharisees gathered in groups of 30, fearful, whispering, and plotting. But Mary comes in love and gratitude kneeling gently at his feet looking up lovingly at her Lord finding acceptance and love.
What do we see when our eyes are opened? In the quietness picture the room the disciples gathered round chatting, what is their mood? See Mary kneeling and the tenderness in her eyes as she anoints our Lord’s feet. Smell the sweetness of the nard. Feel the irritation of Judas critical of Mary and of Jesus. Notice the frustration and the busyness of Martha, she is too busy serving to stop and gaze at our Lord. Become aware of the whispers of the furtive groups plotting outside on street corners. The grateful friendliness of Lazarus.
How do you meet our Lord today is it in the busyness of Martha, the furtiveness of the Pharisees, the gratitude and friendship of Lazarus, the irritation of Judas, the love of Mary? How do you meet our Lord today? Take a moment to imagine looking into our Lord’s eyes, see how he meets your gaze hear the words he has for you, feel his love what does this open your eyes to?
Finish by being thankful for his presence.
Tuesday of Holy Week, John chapter 12 verse 20 to 36
Sir we wish to see Jesus
‘Sir we wish to see Jesus’, here we have a group of Greek tourists they have come up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, very likely Greek convert to a form of Judaism, but not full Jews. The are there for what they expected to be a time of piety and prayer for ‘The Passover’. But what do they find- mayhem, talk of the Messiah, plotting, excitement, fear, confusion. They hear Jesus has turned out the money lenders from the Temple and made it once more a place of prayer. What choice are they left with?, it’s no good they simply must see Jesus for themselves, they must encounter the apparent cause of all this mayhem so instead of bustling and pushing through the crowds they do what seems to be the most British of things they find an intermediary in the form of Philip also a Greek, and ask in the most frightfully polite way ‘Sir we wish to see Jesus’, they want more than to just see him they want to encounter him, meet him, get to know who he really is, so they ask someone to introduce them.
We too want to see Jesus perhaps this year more than any other year as we find ourselves in these strange times, oh how good it would be to SEE Jesus now. But the focus of that encounter, the place that we seek that encounter week by week is the church. Church is not simply a place we come to sing hymns, read the Bible or meet our friends, smiling cheerily at whoever greets us, feeling free to cry quietly in our moments of pain and distress, to light a candle as a sign of His presence, and perhaps most of all being present in a place where ‘prayer has been valid’ for centuries, maybe a ‘thin place for su between heaven and earth.
It is the place we come to encounter our risen Lord at a personal , a place we come to find him in the words, music, fellowship and community and of course The Eucharist, every time we gather we should expect to encounter, to meet, and to see Jesus. We encounter him especially in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. But of course, this year is so different this Eastertide we cannot gather together to encounter our Lord, and we have no idea when this will next be possible. So we this year we must seek a new discipline for we can still encounter him In our daily lives and may be this difficult and strange time will bring us to a point of deeper encounter, for that encounter is primarily in our hearts and the risen Christ is not limited either to a body or a building. We can and should seek to encounter Christ every day, each day, our prayer this year especially will be ‘Sir we wish to see Jesus’. I pray that in these days you will indeed see and encounter the living Jesus.
Wednesday in Holy Week John 13. 21-32
Looking to Jesus
And it was night.... Just picture the upper room, bathed in soft light, disciples reclining at the table with our Lord, a special meal but the Jesus is not his usual serene self, he is troubled. Then he tells them someone, no, not just someone, one of them will betray him. They look at each other is it to you? Or you? They are bewildered, who does he mean what does he mean? Peter is the one to make the move ask him who, he says to John the beloved disciple, who is closest to our Lord. Then unfolds the extra ordinary scene it is the Custom for the host to choose the best morsel from the table, dip it in the dish and offer it into the most honoured guest.
Jesus offers it to Judas the last plea not to turn away from him? Does Judas look into Jesus eyes to take the bread or does he avoid them? I know I avoid them when I cause him pain. Perhaps Judas cannot bear to see those eyes of love looking at him, Eyes he was to cause to be filled with sorrow, after all it’s one thing being betrayed by an enemy but by a friend - that wounds the soul deeply. But the last unspoken plea fails Judas is lost, He’s irritated this, this is not his Messiah who talks of death, not what he had imagined there is no fight in this Jesus only stupid surrender.
Judas fails to see that the way of God is not the way of violence and fighting, but the way of love and in his impatience Juda fleas from the light of the upper room into the darkness of the night where he swallowed up. He goes of his own free will from the presence of the ‘light of the world ‘, into the darkness of sin. He could have looked to Jesus he chose to look to the world.
Life throws many Temptations at us and many times we too betray Jesus times and we act in ways that are not ways of love, many times we find that we are offered the choice to stay in the light looking to Jesus or to go out into the darkness and turn away from him looking to the world. At this strange time, we are all under much stress and we can be tempted to be irritable and lose patience and to wonder what the point of Jesus is and so walk away.
But the door is not locked, it never is, through his death and resurrection Jesus has left it open for us, just as he did for Judas that fateful night. Perhaps the only sin Judas committed and the way he wounded our Lord so deeply was so much in going into the darkness but in not choosing to return to the light. He could have turned back to the light, and been welcomed, we always have the chance to turn again and go back to Jesus. After all Peter also betrayed Jesus that same night but Peter turned back, returned to the light and became the rock in which the church was built. Judas chose not to turn back and in his despair took his own life even before the life of the one who betrayed was taken.
In some measure we have all turned away from that light and that love, but we too can always return. Perhaps take time now to turn to walk along the path in the darkness towards the crack of light in the doorway. Gently push the door to be greeted by radiant splendour, see our Lord standing there arms open Joy on his face, you, his beloved have returned stand in his presence, look to him feel his embrace hear his words of love and forgiveness. Amen
Pew Sheet From Sunday 5th April 2020
Almighty and everlasting God,
who in your tender love towards the human race
sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ
to take upon him our flesh
and to suffer death upon the cross:
grant that we may follow the example
of his patience and humility,
and also be made partakers of his resurrection;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
Liturgy Of Psalms
When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” 4 This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
5 “Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7 they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 50. 4-9a. Psalm118.1-2,19-29
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7 but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8 he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Matthew Chapter 26.verse1to Chapter2 verse.66
Please use your Bible.
Reflection for Palm Sunday
So, no Parade of Palm Crosses, sadly they must be confined to a drawer in the vestry for another year, (I wonder what I will make the Ashes for Ash Wednesday from next year but more on that later), no singing ‘Ride on ride on in Majesty’, no Maundy Thursday washing feet, no Commemoration of the Last Supper and no vigil. So, does this mean no Holy Week and no Easter? No it does not because in spite of the fact that our rubrics and rituals our familiar patterns of gathering and worship will not be happening this year Holy Week and Easter will happen and to think it will not, would mean that we have forgotten that God is God and we are not God. Indeed, it calls us back to the constant truth that the Crucifixion and Resurrection are not a one off event bound in time and history but an ongoing living and ever present truth.
Whilst it might seem that the COVID-19 crisis has shaken the very ground on which we stand, not only in our daily lives but also in our faith and church life we only have to look and the very thing we are remembering at this time to see what happens when the ground shakes, as the Crucifixion also made the very ground shake under the feet of the people at Golgotha. Such crises shift perspectives for all time and just as the crucifixion of Jesus shifted the perspective of The Cross for all time so too may the current Covid-19 crisis bring a positive shift in the nature of the church.
Before the Crucifixion and Resurrection ‘The Cross’ was a crisis of unthinkable proportion after the Crucifixion and Resurrection it became forever a sign of life, hope, faith and love - Love so amazing so divine it demands my life, my soul my all’, our Palm Crosses remind us of this each year. A demonstration of the awesome love of God, who did not allow it to be a hopeless end but turned it into an endless hope. God has reputation for turning things upside down and bringing out of chaos and fear amazing hope, peace and previously unimaginable positive changes in perspective and priorities that are life changing and life enhancing.
But these may not ebb without pain, just like ‘The Cross’
At this time, we can have no idea what these changes may be but let us be hopeful and confident and trust that God does have a plan to bring good out of crisis and despair. This will mean a very different Easter for us and I hope that some of the resources contained with this pew sheet will enable you to find ways to celebrate a meaningful Holy Week and Easter, and please do try as best you can to keep Holy Week and the Joy of resurrection morning.
Then let us not forget when this is over to look carefully to say what amazing things our God will bring from it. Then let us be ready to have the biggest and best service of Communion and a party when we can all be back together.
Those for whom prayer has been asked:
For those on active service in places of danger.
Please remember to pray for the following friends of our
Parish who are not able to worship with us at this time
Judith and Kevin Bryan, Ray Cobb, John Davies, Ellen Rogers,
Pat Todd, Betty Tuddenham,
The Coronavirus Crisis
The Refugee Crisis
3. Roger Adamson, Callum Doe, Margaret Adams, Wendy Locke, Vera Emeny,
2. Peggy and Ken Bean. Deirdre Gandy
1. Leah Mitchel, Lesley-Ann Dotchin, Gerry Marjoram. Jeanette Budinger and those known privately to us.
Those who have died recently
We remember the anniversary of death of
Gladys Williams 6th April 2008
Jackie Mann 7th April 1989
Raymond Smith 8th April 2009
Christine Luther 13th April 2013
Readings for Holy Week
Monday Isaiah 42, 1-9; Psalm 36, 5-11; Hebrews 9, 11-15; John12, 1-11:
Tuesday Isaiah 49, 1-7; Psalm71, 1-8;
1Corinthians 1, 18-31; John12, 20-36:
Wednesday Isaiah 50, 1-9; Psalm 70; Hebrews 12,1-3;
John 13, 21-32:
Maundy Thursday Exodus12, 1-14; Psalm 116, 10-17; 1Corinthians 11, 23-26; John 13,1-17, 31-35:
Good Friday Isaiah 52,13-53,12; Psalm 22.1-11; Hebrews 10, 16-25; John 18, 1-19,42:
To Beryl Chaplin on the birth of her great grandchild Eva Grace.
Belated Birthday Wishes to Gerry & Frankie
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO
Sophie On 7th April
In the middle of winter I discovered in myself an invincible summer.
Thanks to everyone who sent cards and good wishes to Gerry on his Birthday.
The staff decorated his room, made him a cake and sang Happy Birthday.
Angela and family were able to join in on SKYPE,
North Aisle Re-ordering
572 bricks have now been donated raising £3353.75 including gift aid.
Don't forget, you can also donate by text just text “BUYBRICK 5” to 70470 to make a £5 donation
(BUYBRICK 10, 15 or 20 will also work if you are able to be more generous!). Texts will be charged at the standard rate by your service provider.
We have also received a grant of £3000 from the All Churches Trust bringing our total raised to date for the north aisle project to £20793.95
Seen in the dust on the back of a van
No Loo Rolls Kept in here overnight
Search for Parish of Whitton.