Tim Erridge Bleadon ChurchReflections - Rector's Letter

2nd Sunday of Lent

Recent warm sunshine and contrasting cold nights are a little like the experience of being in a wilderness, if less extreme! Jesus is with us amongst the contrasts of our Lent wilderness. Let’s take time to hear and see him now.

We pray together:

Holy God, our lives are laid open before you:

rescue us from the chaos of sin

and through the death and resurrection of your Son

bring us healing and make us whole

in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Bible Reading: Mark 8:31-34

Then Jesus began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Thinking together:

Jesus tells his disciples about the rejection and death he will suffer but also says “after three days he will rise again”! When Peter rebukes Jesus, I wonder what he thought Jesus was talking about? I wonder what it was that he was resisting and why?

Jesus' words contain bad news and good news! I wonder which we hear most loudly and which for us slips easily into the background or completely out of view?

Here and now, we constantly hear a stark mix of good news and bad news.

Jesus rebukes Peter for resisting the truth of the whole of what he is saying, even condemning Peter as if he were Satan!

What truths of our situation now are we resisting?

Some of us will be struggling to hear the good news and be hopeful, whilst others will struggle to hear the bad news and engage with the danger we live with just now.

All those years ago, Jesus did not shelter his disciples from the harsh realities, but he also spoke very real good news at the same time.

As we journey towards Easter, he calls us to follow him now and grow in wholeness. If we notice where we react like Peter, then we can do something about it as we pick up our cross and follow Jesus through the tough stuff, on our way to truly living his good news.

I wonder what experiences have helped you to pick up your cross like this? Please give a friend a call and share them as we work to encourage each other forward. 

As you do, know that Jesus is walking with you every step of the way. Tim.

We Pray together:

Oh merciful God, and full of grace,
as we come into your presence
may we remove, like outdoor clothes
all pretence, all show, all arrogance;
may our inner self be revealed, humble, honest, open
and longing to be changed. 

[We pause and allow our hearts to be open.

In silence or out loud we brings our longings and personal prayers to God]

Take away good Lord, the sin that has broken us.

Give us the sorrow that heals and the joy that praises,

and restore by grace your own image within us,

that we may take our place amongst your people,

through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen

Let’s pray the Lord’s prayer and the Grace together:
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. 

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, ever more. Amen.

Rev'd Tim Erridge

Parish Priest: Bleadon and Bournville

Tel: 01934 815 404