Church of England Diocese of Chichester Shipley

Shipley Church Self-Service Sunday 21st February 2021

19 Feb 2021, 12:15 a.m.
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Shipley Church Self-Service

Sunday 21st February 2021

Thought for the Week – He was in the desert for forty days

Mark’s Gospel is very concise. It records no detail of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, but links together Jesus’ repentance at baptism, the deprivations of his being in the desert, and the nearness of the kingdom of God – the good news! This makes for an excellent start to Lent. (Mark 1: 9-15)

We’ve been dealing with the reality of Covid19 for almost a year, and so much change and uncertainty has made us ask questions such as, “When will we return to normal?” A recruitment manager for the Church Mission Society, Susann Haehnel, reflects on our desire for a return to normality with a fresh perspective: “We will not go back to how it was. Our pre-corona existence was not normal, other than we normalised greed, inequality, confusion, intolerance, division etc. We should not be longing to return there, my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. Change is needed. For us Christians, Jesus needs to be the starting point for lasting change.”

Here is an invitation to work towards a different future; in Luke.4 Jesus articulates what could, should and will be: “hope for the poor, freedom for the broken-hearted, and new eyes for the blind”. (Luke 4: 18-19) As we embark on our annual journey of remembrance towards the death and resurrection of Christ, Lent can be about seeking, and finding, the path to new life!

Hymn for today

Forty days and forty nights

Thou wast fasting in the wild,

Forty days and forty nights

Tempted and yet undefiled.

Prayer for today

Let us pray that God will help us use this season of Lent to re-orientate our lives, seek forgiveness, and restore afresh our baptismal state.

Note: The Gospel and Readings for today can be downloaded from the top right of this page.