Weekly newsletter: March 7th 2021

The Parish Church of St. John the Evangelist, Wingates

 

 7 March  2021

The Third Sunday of Lent


                        
 Service of the Word

 

1 Corinthians 1: 18-25
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ 20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

John 2: 13-22
13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, ‘Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!’ 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ 18 The Jews then responded to him, ‘What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?’ 19 Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’ 20 They replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?’ 21 But the temple he had 
spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

Collect for the Third Sunday of Lent
Eternal God, give us insight to discern your will for us, to give up what harms us,and to seek the perfection we are promised in Jesus Christ our Lord.

****************************************************************
Homily for 7 March   by Elaine Simkin
Give us grace O lord not only to hear your words with our ears, but also to receive it into our hearts, and show it forth in our lives. Amen.

What makes you mad?  How many times have you lost your temper and done something you might later regret?  I have to confess I very rarely lose my temper now a days.  It’s a wasted emotion and usually gains nothing.  However, when I was a working full time, single mum with three teenage daughters at home, it became a regular event.  I wanted my girls to grow up having boundaries, to be good people, to care, to work hard, to love others and when they crossed the line, as they did, pushing the boundaries, I sometimes saw red. I lost my temper, raised the roof and shouted a lot.

Todays bible reading is exactly what happened to Jesus on that day.  Jesus gets really mad.  He starts throwing the table about, shouting, driving people and animals out of the temple.  This always reminds me of a phrase “Jesus divine and yet human.”  In some ways he was just like us humans.  The important thing here is not that he got mad, it is why he got mad.  Why?  What made him lose his temper that day?

I think, he had been travelling up to Jerusalem, he was tired, but it was the sight of Gods temple being used as a marketplace, selling animals, money changing hands, people making a profit out of other people’s misfortune.  Gods house being used as a flea market.  I wonder if Jesus may have regretted his actions later, but, and this is a big but, he wanted them to realise what the temple should be used for.  It was a place that represents the presence of God.

God knows that we, as limited human beings, need something solid to hold onto in-order to connect with the real God. The temple was that place for the Jews. It was holy ground where people were supposed to come to set their eyes on God and put their priorities in order. 

Instead, the temple leaders saw the Passover feast as a means to cash in on the poor and those who had travelled great distances. These people could not bring their own animals to the temple for sacrifice, so the temple leaders charged vast amounts of money in-order to make themselves and the temple great profit.
This violated God’s sensors, and Jesus got mad and did something about it.  It is OK to get mad sometimes if we are getting mad for the right reasons.

I wonder does this story surprise you?  We think of God and especially Jesus as peace makers, forgivers, friends, carers, helpers, never angry and violent, and yet throughout the bible we see Gods anger, and it can be scary.  God is the loving parent who wants the best for us, his children. A good parent sets up boundaries to protect their children. When the children disobey and do something that the parent knows will harm them, the parent becomes angry. (As I did often back then.)

Anger is, what psychologists call, a secondary emotion. It is like physical pain. Pain is a good thing because it alerts us to the fact that there is an injury, or that something is not right.  Anger is like that. When we become angry it is a sign that something has been violated. A line crossed, it’s like a sensor going off. 
Getting angry isn’t all bad. It’s what you do with anger that makes it wrong.
 
Most parents have these sensors for their children. Just mess with my child and you will see this mummy bear get incredibly angry. Just disobey the boundaries and I will get angry.  God gave us these boundaries, his commandments.  It is up to us all to see his rules and boundaries are set firm.

Its okay to get mad if it is for the right reasons and in God’s boundaries of love, care, protection, forgiveness, and respect.  So, when you get angry, think, am I behaving like this for all the right reasons.  Amen.
 
*************************************************************
LENT COURSE
Faith Pictures – a fresh way to talk about things that matter
Faith Pictures is a short course designed to help Christians talk naturally to friends, neighbours and colleagues about what they believe. The heart of the course is about helping people to identify a single picture or image that embodies something of their faith. This is because the kinds of communication which best stick in the mind are concrete and rooted in story.
The course aims to be accessible and light-hearted, without jargon or inflexible methods. Each session contains a short video and encourages discussion.
ON ZOOM.
Every Tuesday at 7.00p.m.  for 6 weeks.
Every Thursday at 2.00p.m.for 6 weeks.

Please email Carol, Angela or Malcolm to let us know you want to join us and we will send you the link and more details.  Thank you.
*************************************************

Zoom Coffee mornings
On Sunday mornings at 11.30 we hold a coffee morning on Zoom to which members of all churches in the Team are invited. For  access codes, please email Carol. Come along and join us!

 

Advice for parents with children of school age.

There is new guidance in place and we are now asked to monitor attendance (or your ‘intention’ to attend church) for school admission purposes.  Sadly, we can't fit everyone into our churches at the moment, St Thomas' Church is still closed and we have less services than normal.  We also know some of you have concerns about coming back to church.  So, we are not monitoring attendance or ‘intention’ using the usual signing in methods.  Instead, if you come to church or would ‘intend’ to come if it wasn’t for COVID-19 restrictions or concerns, please email us each week on the following dedicated email address.  bdhww.churchattendance@gmail.com

Please give both your name / your child or children’s names and the church you would usually attend.  Please do NOT use any other email address to register church attendance as these will not be included.

 If, when restrictions ease, we decide on another method of recording church attendance, we will publish details of the new process.      

Thank you, Carol & Angela

UPDATE

Governors at Canon Slade have recently issued a statement saying that they are not asking churches to record the attendance of children and young people at worship services for the purposes of supporting future applications to Canon Slade School until all churches are fully open. For the time being, for all other schools, parents are asked to continue to email their attendance or 'intention to attend' to our dedicated email address

 

FOOD COLLECTIONS   Urban Outreach say thank you for your support. 

You can bring your donations with you when you come to a Sunday Service in any of our churches. Just place your donations in the Grub Tubs provided.  You can also bring donations to St John’s, Wingates between 10 – 11 am on the first and third Saturdays of every month. (Next collection day Saturday  20  March 2021)

You might find it easier to make a financial donation to Urban Outreach.  You can do this via their website  https://www.urbanoutreach.co.uk/

*************************************************************