Weekly Online Service
21 February 2021 The First Sunday of Lent

Please find below our service for this week. You can also click on the PDF button to open and download a copy of the printed generic Service booklet.

You will find an opening hymn - words are included. This is followed by the service. Finally there is a closing hymn. Please feel free to follow along in whichever way you feel most comfortable. Words in bold are for everyone to join in.

Hymn

Hail to the Lord’s Anointed

Hail to the Lord’s Anointed,
great David’s greater Son!
hail, in the time appointed,
his reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression,
to set the captive free,
to take away transgression,
and rule in equity.

He comes with succour speedy
to those who suffer wrong;
to help the poor and needy,
and bid the weak be strong;
to give them songs for sighing,
their darkness turn to light,
whose souls, condemned and dying,
were precious in his sight.

He shall come down like showers
upon the fruitful earth,
and love, joy, hope, like flowers,
spring in his path to birth:
before him on the mountains
shall peace, the herald, go;
and righteousness in fountains
from hill to valley flow.

O’er every foe victorious,
he on his throne shall rest;
from age to age more glorious,
all-blessing and all-blest:
the tide of time shall never
his covenant remove;
his name shall stand for ever,
his changeless name of love.

Service Audio

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

All say Amen.

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

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.

Kyrie

Lord have mercy,
Lord have mercy,
Christ have mercy,
Christ have mercy,
Lord have mercy,
Lord have mercy

The Prayers of Penitence

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins, to be our advocate in heaven, and to bring us to eternal life.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments and to live in love and peace with all.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us, forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name.  Amen.

Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon you,
pardon and deliver you from all your sins,
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,
and keep you in life eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect of the Day is said or sung.

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ fasted forty days in the wilderness, and was tempted as we are, yet without sin: give us grace to discipline ourselves in obedience to your Spirit; and, as you know our weakness, so may we know your power to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Old and New Testament Readings

Genesis 9.8-17 - Read by Ken Cope

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 ‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ 12 God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’ 17 God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.’

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

1 Peter 3.18-22 - Read by Vic Harrington

For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20 who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight people, were saved through water. 21 And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Gospel

Mark 1.9-15 - Read by Pam Hagan

The Gospel reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark

All say: Glory to you, O Lord.

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11 And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’

12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15 and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’

This is the gospel of the Lord.

All say: Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon

The Milestones in Life

Milestone

At some point we all leave home. It is something we do throughout our lives. Over and over we leave home. We’ve all done it. We leave home physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We leave those places that are familiar, comfortable, and predictable. Sometimes we can’t wait to leave. We’re ready to go. Other times we would rather not leave. Sometimes we choose to leave. Other times the circumstances of life ‘push us out the door’. Regardless of how or why it happens, leaving home is a part of life. It happens in lots of different ways and times.

For children it might be the first day of school or going to summer camp. Young adults move out of their parent’s home to start college or go to work. The significant changes of life are forms of leaving home: a marriage, a divorce, the birth of a child, or the death of a loved one. New employment or the loss-of-employment are about leaving home. Moving to a new town, retirement, the loss of health all involve leaving home. The major decisions that bring us to the crossroads of life are also about leaving home.

Leaving home can be difficult, frightening, and risky. It invites us to change and opens us to new discoveries about ourselves. It challenges our understandings of where we find significance, meaning, and security. Ultimately, though, leaving home is at the heart of our spiritual journey and growth. We are more vulnerable to and in need of God when we leave home.

Leaving home is not, however, simply about the circumstances of life. It is the way of God’s people. Adam and Eve left the garden. Noah left his dry land home. God told Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you” (Gn. 12:1). Jacob ran away from home fearing for his life. Moses and the Israelites left their homes in Egypt. And in today’s gospel Jesus is leaving home.

As Mark tells it, “Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee to the Jordan River”. He left his home and now stands with John in the Jordan, the border between home and the wilderness. There he is baptized. The heavens are torn apart, the Spirit like a dove descends, and a voice declares, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” From there “the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.” Baptism may happen in the river but the baptismal life begins in the wilderness.

This story is not, however, just about Jesus. It is our story too. The Father’s words refer to Jesus in a uniquely literal way but they also apply to each one of us. By grace, gift, and the choice of God we are his beloved daughters and sons. If leaving home, getting baptized, and going to the wilderness is Jesus’s way then it is our way too. We leave behind our old identity, we are identified and claimed by God as his children, and we go to the wilderness.

That’s what this holy season of Lent is about. It is no coincident that on Wednesday we were marked with the ashes of remembrance, the dust of our creation, and today the gospel takes us to the wilderness. The two cannot be separated. Wednesday’s ashes lead us to wilderness soil. Lent is about leaving home and leaving home, in Lent and life, always takes us to the wilderness.

The wilderness is an in between place. It is a threshold. We are betwixt and between. Neither here, nor there. We have left behind what was and what will be is not yet clear. In the wilderness we come face to face with the reality of our lives; things we have done and left undone, our fears, our hopes and dreams, our sorrows and losses, as well as the unknown. These facts of our life are the source of our temptations.

We tend to externalize temptations and make them about behaviour. Behaviour is important but the real temptations are from within us, not around us. We are either tempted to believe that we are more than or less than the dust of God’s creation or we are tempted to not trust God’s willingness to get his hands dirty in the dust of who we are. The temptations are not finally about our behaviour, breaking rules, or being bad. God does not tempt us to see if we will pass or fail. The temptations are for our benefit, not God’s. They are a part of our salvation. We leave home and experience wilderness temptations to discover that our most authentic identity is as a beloved child of God and our only real home is with God.

The wilderness is new territory for us. In the wilderness the old structures, the ones we left behind, no longer contain, support, or define our life. It is not, however, uncharted territory. Jesus has already cleared the way. It is the way home, the way to God. We go into the wilderness with the knowledge and confidence that Christ has gone before us. Leaving home is not so much a loss for us but an opportunity for God. In the wilderness our illusions of self-sufficiency become surrender to God, our helplessness opens us to God’s grace, and our guilt is overcome by God’s compassion. That’s what happens when you leave home.

We can never escape or avoid the wilderness. Like Jesus, we must go through it. We must face the temptations of Satan and be with the wild beasts. Yet we never go alone. The angels that ministered to Jesus will be there for us. “Remember who you are,” is their message. “You are a beloved son of God. You are a beloved daughter of God. You are one with whom he is well pleased.” Over and over they tell us. They remind us. They encourage and reassure us.

With each remembrance of who we are the demons are banished. With each remembrance of who we are we overcome Satan’s temptations. With each remembrance of who we are we take another step toward God. That is the way through the wildernesses of life. Step after step with every remembrance. “I am a beloved child of God. With me he is well pleased.” Let that become our wilderness mantra. Let those words fill our minds, cross our lips, and occupy our hearts. The truth of those words is the way home, a home we will never leave. Amen.

The Rev'd Mo Lunn, St Mary Magdalene, Enfield, 21/02/2021

Service Audio

The Nicene Creed

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 Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate from the Holy Spirit
and 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 and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son
is worshipped and glorified,
who 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.

The Intercessions 

The Intercessions list has been circulated with petitions for the Church, The World, The Community, Our Keyworkers, The Sick and the Deceased. The Diocesan Cycle of Prayer is found at:

London Anglican Cycle of Prayer

This or another response may be used:

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, you promised through your Son Jesus Christ to hear us when we pray in faith.

Strengthen N our bishop(s) and all your Church in the service of Christ, that those who confess your name may be united in your truth,
live together in your love, and reveal your glory in the world.

Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen; give wisdom to all in authority;
and direct this and every nation in the ways of justice and of peace;
that we may honour one another, and seek the common good.

Give grace to us, our families and friends, and to all our neighbours,
that we may serve Christ in one another, and love as he loves us.

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit …;
give them courage and hope in their troubles; and bring them the joy of your salvation.

Hear us as we remember those who have died in the faith of Christ …; according to your promises, grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of all your saints, we commend ourselves and the whole creation to your unfailing love.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

The Peace

We are the body of Christ.
In the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.
Let us then pursue all that makes for peace and builds up our common life.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

and also with you.

A sign of peace may be exchanged.

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray.

Service Audio

The Post Communion Collect

Lord God, you have renewed us with the living bread from heaven; by it you nourish our faith, increase our hope, and strengthen our love: teach us always to hunger for him who is the true and living bread, and enable us to live by every word that proceeds from out of your mouth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Blessing

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,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

The Dismissal

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ.  Amen.

Recessional Hymn

When Jesus came to Jordan

When Jesus came to Jordan
To be baptized by John,
He did not come for pardon,
But as the sinless One.
He came to share repentance
With all who mourn their sins,
To speak the vital sentence
With which good news begins.

He came to share temptation,
Our utmost woe and loss,
For us and our salvation
To die upon the cross.
So when the Dove descended
On him, the Son of Man,
The hidden years had ended,
The age of grace began.

Come, Holy Spirit, aid us
To keep the vows we make;
This very day invade us,
And ev'ry bondage break.
Come, give our lives direction,
The gift we covet most:
To share the resurrection
That leads to Pentecost.

Material from Common Worship 2000 is included in this service and is copyright © The Central Board of Finance of the Church of England.