Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Morning Prayer

If you want to encourage some audience participation in Morning Prayer durring the week without forking out for multiple copies of Daily Prayer, you might want some kind of card with something like this printed on it:

O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

The response to the Psalm and canticles:

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah):

1  Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel,
    who has come to his people and set them free.

2  He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour,
    born of the house of his servant David.

3  Through his holy prophets God promised of old
    to save us from our enemies,
    from the hands of all that hate us,

4  To show mercy to our ancestors,
    and to remember his holy covenant.

5  This was the oath God swore to our father
     to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

6  Free to worship him without fear,
    holy and righteous in his sight
   all the days of our life.

7  And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the
    Most High,
    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

8  To give his people knowledge of salvation
   by the forgiveness of all their sins.

9  In the tender compassion of our God
    the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

10 To shine on those who dwell in darkness and   
      the shadow of death,
      and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Luke 1.68-79

These responses may be used in the prayers:

Lord, in your mercy  Or, Lord, hear us
hear our prayer                                Lord, graciously hear us.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lord bless us, and preserve us from all evil,
and keep us in eternal life.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Big Questions

From The Urban Pastor, The Rev'd Richard Perkins:

  • What if the hokey cokey is what it’s all about?
  • Is there another word for synonym?
  • What was the best thing before sliced bread?
  • Why are your keys always in the last place that you look?
Surely some of the great unanswered questions of our time.
  • There are some questions that we can never answer like, why is there an expiry date on sour cream?
  • There are some questions that deserve an answer like, who framed Roger Rabbit?
  • There are some questions that we ought to answer like, if the ‘black box’ flight recorder is never damaged during a plane crash, why isn’t the whole airplane made of that stuff?
There is one question to which I’d love to know the answer. I hope you don’t mind if I ask it. I don’t mean to be rude or intrusive. It’s just that the answer fascinates me. It won’t be a question that everyone can answer. But the question is simply, ‘why aren’t you a Christian?’
I don’t know how you respond to that
  • You may think, ‘I already am, stop bugging me!’
  • You may think, ‘are you kidding me, do I look like an idiot?’
  • You may think, ‘I haven’t got a clue; it’s never really crossed my mind’.
  • You may think, ‘I didn’t realise I had to be, I thought it was optional!’
  • You may think, ‘it was a conclusion I reached after a long and agonised exploration of the facts’.

Warbleton church on Facebook

Warbleton Parish church now has a page on Facebook that you may like - and you can "Like it" too!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Pet Service Sermon Notes

Reading: John 10

My advice is keep it brief!

Here are my notes, which may or may not make any sense:

Lots of animals in the Bible, no pets

Our dog: Caleb – voice – Basset hound

I know Caleb & Caleb knows he
Caleb recognises my voice, but he doesn’t always listen & obey it, sometimes he wont follow me, follow someone else just as happily

Do you recognise Jesus’ voice? (Bible)
Do you do what he says? Do you follow him?
Are you one of his sheep?

Stupid, disobedient dog
I kind of love Caleb and care for him, but I love myself more!
Though we are often stupid and disobedient, Jesus cares for us enough to die for us
Jesus is the perfect Owner

Friday, June 03, 2011

Asension - some jottings

Although it may have passed you by, Thursday was ascension day, the day 40 days after the resurrection of Easter Sunday and 10 days before Petecost or Whit Sunday, Whitsun, when the disciples received the Holy Spirit.
Ascension day is the day when we remember that the risen Lord Jesus was taken up to the glory of heaven.
It might seem like cartoon-land fairy-story kind of stuff: Jesus taking off into heaven like a human rocket.
(I don’t know how fast he went).
But the ascension is charged with theological significance.
Although we rather neglect it, in the Bible, the ascension is a really big deal.

What I want to do in the next few minutes is not to expound one particular Biblical text (as I normally would) but give something of a biblical and systematic theological account of the ascension, or, less grandly, at least some reflections on it.

The ascension completes the death and resurrection of Jesus.
In the Bible the cross, resurrection and ascension go together.
They are Jesus’ way back to his Father and the glory of heaven.
The gift of the Spirit is the consequence as the ascended Jesus asks his Father to send the Holy Spirit to be another Counsellor to the disciples.
Without Jesus’ going there would be no coming of the Spirit.

The resurrection and ascension prove that the cross worked.
When Jesus died, he paid the penalty for sin for all those who would put their trust in him.
Jesus drained the cup of God’s wrath to the dregs for us.
Hell spent all its furry on him, that there might be none left for you and me.
In John’s gospel the cross is Jesus’ glory:
The cross is Jesus’ throne: as he dies, the title above his head says “The King of the Jews” and he wears a crown of thorns.
Jesus is lifted up and glorified on the cross, but its as Jesus ascends to heaven that his glory is most clearly seen.
The ascension is the necessary conclusion to Jesus’ cross-work, the fulfilment and authentication of it.
Jesus’ resurrection and ascension are God’s seal of approval on Jesus’ life and death.
The resurrection and ascension should give us confidence that Jesus was who he claimed to be, that his work is done, that he is the Father’s beloved Son with whom he is well pleased.

When Jesus ascends to heaven he sits down.
Big deal, you might think, but in fact it really matters.
What do you do when you come in from work?
Sit down.
You collapse into your favourite armchair, you kick off your shoes, your wife brings you the paper and a single malt and your slippers and a pipe – or something like that anyway.
You sit down and sigh a sigh of deep satisfaction.
You relax in your chair, you put your feet up.
Work done.
Job finished.
Remember Jesus’ words from the cross: “It is finished!”
Not I’m finished but it’s finished.
Jesus’ work is done.
The Christian faith is all about what Christ has DONE before its about what we have to DO.
Jesus has done all things well, our doings will be a pretty mixed bag.
Jesus is seated in heaven.

But Jesus doesn’t sit down in his favourite arm chair.
Jesus sits down on his heavenly throne.

The ascension is Jesus’ enthronement.
Jesus is glorified and the Father has granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those whom the Father is pleased to give to the Son.
Jesus is glorified once again in the Father’s presence with the glory that he had with him before the world began.
The ascension shows us that Jesus is the King, the King of Kings, the world’s one true Lord.

In the 1st Century it was sometimes claimed that Roman Emperors became divine after their deaths, and for that to happen someone had to claim that they had seen them ascend to heaven.
Jesus, not the Roman Emperor, is the Son of God, the King of the world.
Jesus is always a threat to the powers that be.
Everyone must bow the knee to him.
He alone is the hope for our troubled and dysfunctional world.
Neither Cameron nor Obamah can put the world to rights, but Jesus will.

Now Jesus, the God-man, sits enthroned in heaven at the Right Hand of the Majesty of the Glory of God.
There is a man on the throne of the universe!
Which is how it was always meant to be.
Adam was meant to rule the world, under God, but he blew it.

Jesus lives in heaven to intercede for us.
He is our friend in high places.
He is the High Priest who was made like his brothers and sympathises with us in our weaknesses and temptations.

The ascension guarantees the return of the Lord Jesus as judge (Acts 1v11)
Remember that the risen Christ commissions his disciples.
Mt 28:19
For 10 days the disciples have to wait, but when the Holy Spirit comes they will have power to be Christ’s witnesses to the very ends of the earth.
And so the Gospel of King Jesus marches on in the power of the Spirit.
Everyday, more and more people bow the knee to him.
His kingdom goes on growing.
He is building his church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.


DV I'll speak about the ascension tomorrow at our camp training day and at the 8am and 9:30am on Sunday, but not (so much) at the 11am Pet Service. I'm planning to get Glen's phrase in somewhere: "Jesus, our friend in high places" and I'm also tempted to read out this from Revd Dr Steve Jeffrey.

The festival without which there would be no festivals

Ascension Day... "that festival which confirms the grace of all the festivals together, without which the profitableness of every festival would have perished. For unless the Saviour had ascended into heaven, his nativity would have come to nothing ... and his passion would have borne no fruit for us, and his most holy resurrection would have been useless."
 Attributed to St Augustine - bonus points to anyone who has a citation
HT: Philip Robertson on The Face Book

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Daily Prayer

The C of E website is very helpful for those wanting to use an authorised form of Morning or Evening Prayer. It includes both Common Worship and The Book of Common Prayer and the appropriate seasonal material, Collects etc. and the lectionary readigs are automatically included. Instead of Daily Prayer, The Lectionary and Bible and a good deal of flicking about and bookmarks and so on, all you need is this one website. Fantastic. Now all we need is free wireless access in our churches! :)

Ascension Day

Grant, we beseech thee, almighty God,
that like as we do believe thy only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ
to have ascended into the heavens;
so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend
and with him continually dwell,
who liveth and reigneth with thee,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Jesus The True and Better...

Video with audio by Revd Dr Timothy Keller of the United States of America.

A Meal With Jesus

This new book from Tim Chester sounds really interesting: a Biblical theology of food, meals in the life of Jesus, the Lord's Supper, the Wedding Supper of the Lamb and how we might use meals in evangelism. Chester suggests that one of the great things about sharing meals with people is that it doesn't involve adding anything else to the schedule: we have 21 ready made opportunities each week to eat with people.


The principal Feasts which are to be observed in the Church of England are:

Christmas Day
the Annuniation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Easter Day
Ascension Day
Whitsunday or Pentecost
Trinity Sunday
All Saints' Day

(Canon B6.2)

The Holy Communion shall be celebrated in every parish church at least on all Sundays and principal Feast Days, and on Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday.

(Canon B14)

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Communion Card

Here's the text you need for the congregation to be able to say their bits in the Communion part of the Holy Communion service in the Common Worship version of The Book of Common Prayer service in contemporary language. The Confession is a permited variation.


Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
We have sinned against you,
Through our own fault,
In thought, and word, and deed,
And in what we have left undone.
We are heartily sorry,
And repent of all our sins.
For your Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake,
Forgive us all that is past;
And grant that we may serve you in newness of life
To the glory of your name. Amen.

Lift up your hearts
We lift them up to the Lord

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God
It is right to give him thanks and praise.

… we proclaim your great and glorious name,
for ever praising you and saying:
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.

On Morning Prayer

One of the many questions I have about life as a Vicar is the value and place of Morning Prayer.

Given that the clergy are required by the Canons to say Morning Prayer, should it be in the Parish Church, and should it be at a set time and advertised? Would anyone else come?

I've been saying Morning Prayer in the study, usually in the morning (!) and usually early on.

Today I left my seat in the study at 9:10am, I was in the Rector's stall at 9:18am, I read the liturgy and readings out loud in full and offered brief intercessions and was back in the study at 9:40am. That's about 15 mins of travel and about 15 mins of prayer. The prayers could easily have been longer, but equally some of the liturgy could be left out sometimes.

Is that a good use of my time, voice and petrol? Does using the Parish Church have symbolic importance? Should I toll a bell? Or is it just a bit silly, sentimental, romantic and wasteful to leave the warmth of the Rectory?

What time would be best? If you go for a set time in the Parish Church, should it be say 8am - 8:15am so that some local people might get to work afterwards? Should it be mid-morning, to attract the retired!? Would more people come if it were longer and more substantial?

Will it be too cold in the winter to use the Parish Church?

Here the pattern might go something like:

Monday - Warbleton Parish church

Tuesday - Dallington Parish church

Wednesday - Bodle Street Green Parish Church

Thursday - study - study day

Friday - day off

Saturday - Osbourne House / Little St Mary's, Rushlake Green

Thoughts most welcome.