Sunday 22nd March 2020
Fourth Sunday in Lent and Mother’s Day
From Innerleithen, Traquair and Walkerburn Church of Scotland.
During the coming weeks when we are not able to meet together in church to worship, we will each worship in our own homes, sharing the material which is included in this worship booklet. Here you will find a reading for the day, a prayer, a meditation and a blessing. There might even be a suggestion for a hymn. Read it or, if you are feeling in good voice, sing it aloud for singing lifts our spirits.
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland has urged us at 7pm today, to light a candle in the windows of our homes as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, our source and hope in prayer.
A prayer from Lezley Stewart, the Church of Scotland’s Recruitment and Support Secretary.
Each new day
we celebrate what it is to be free –
to live our lives in fullness.
This is the eternal gift of God.
and fullness live in the simple
⁃ in each breath we take
⁃ in knowing we have a roof over our heads
⁃ in the love of family and community
⁃ all the things we might usually take for granted…
invites the gift of generosity
⁃ to continue to give where we can
⁃ to support one another as we are able and go the extra mile
⁃ to offer a welcome smile and forget the more formal handshake of yesterday
⁃ to be what we have always been called to be – human.
This is not
a Church crisis, a worship crisis, nor a financial crisis
⁃ this is about the gift of life, which is for all, irrespective of birth, status or circumstances.
As we remember the most simple of these things, may we be inspired to renew calm, peace and hope in every new day.
For in the midst of all storms a Presence is found, and freedom in Christ remains.
HYMN 14: The Lord is my shepherd
Matthew 11:28-30 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Under Siege! A reflection by Rev Brian Embleton
How long will all this last? Another generation asked the same question and Winston Churchill answered, “This is not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning” We, I suspect, are just at the beginning – however a glimmer of hope. The Chinese authorities are beginning to relax restrictions.
How did the past generation – the generation that took us through the last War, cope?
They thrived despite hardships and ration books. They developed humility and courage while we nurture celebrity. They looked after their neighbours while we claim our rights. They got on with life. As a result they had the mental and physical strength often absent today.
How then will we cope? When we lie in bed not able to fall asleep because of our many worries, too preoccupied about all the things that could go wrong, what are we supposed to do? There are as many answers as there are people with different lifestyles, personalities and external circumstances.
One simple suggestion is to recite to yourself the words of the 23rd Psalm, The Lord is my shepherd I’ll not want, he makes lie down in green pastures, or Paul’s words about love to the Corinthians, There is nothing love cannot face; it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, or St Francis’ prayer, Lord, make me an instrument of your peace …… Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love.
As you lie in bed, drive the car, walk the dog, let the words of one of these prayers go through your mind, try to listen with your whole being to what they are saying. If worries recur keep going back to the words of the prayer. As the prayer descends from your mind into the centre of your being you will discover its healing power
An Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand. Amen.
Daily worship can be found on Radio 4 at 9.45am each week day.If you require any help during the coming week-some food delivered to your doorstep, or a prescription collected or a phone call to keep you in touch with others, then please phone Sara Embleton on 01721 602157 or Ruth Kerr on 07845 122356. If you would like to receive this worship booklet by email, phone Ruth.