Good News Sheet

 

 

ST PETER, SLINFOLD and

ST NICOLAS, ITCHINGFIELD

 

SUNDAY 5th APRIL             PALM SUNDAY

Collect for Palm Sunday

 

Almighty and everlasting God,

who in your tender love towards the human race

sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ

to take upon him our flesh

and to suffer death upon the cross:

grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility,

and also be made partakers of his resurrection;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

Bible readings for Palm Sunday

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
   his steadfast love endures for ever!

2 Let Israel say,
   ‘His steadfast love endures for ever.’
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
   that I may enter through them
   and give thanks to the Lord.

20 This is the gate of the Lord;
   the righteous shall enter through it.

21 I thank you that you have answered me
   and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
   has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing;
   it is marvellous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
   let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Save us, we beseech you, O Lord!
   O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!

26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
   We bless you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God,
   and he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
   up to the horns of the altar.

28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
   you are my God, I will extol you.

29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
   for his steadfast love endures for ever.

Matthew 21:1-11

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately.’ 4This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
5 ‘Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
   humble, and mounted on a donkey,
     and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’
6The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
‘Hosanna to the Son of David!
   Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’
10When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’ 11The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’

Reflection

Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, a week of high drama. All sorts of emotions are evidenced, great fear, great suffering, great confusion, great sorrow, and finally, great joy.

On Palm Sunday there was quite a difference in the expectation of Jesus and that of the people. The people came expecting a Messiah who would overthrow the Romans and set up the Messianic kingdom. Surely the One who could raise the dead and heal the sick could overthrow the Romans. Jesus certainly was capable of this. But Jesus came to Jerusalem to be rejected and put to death; His kingdom was very different to the one they imagined.

Jesus departed from Bethany and joined the crowds on the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Passover. Jesus sent his disciples to get him a donkey to ride on, Matthew says that this was done to fulfill the words of the Prophet. Jesus is identifying Himself as the promised King. The Jews clearly understood this claim. But they did not understand the nature of this kingship.

They show their understanding by laying their cloaks on the ground before Jesus. They also cut palm branches off the trees and waved them, hence the name “Palm Sunday.”

Jesus is escorted into the city with joy, echoing the words of the 118th Psalm. “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” The 118th Psalm talks about rejection as well. The stone the builders were about to reject was to become the chief cornerstone. This psalm testifies to Jesus’ sacrificial death. He was indeed a king, just not the one they expected.

The people in Jerusalem asked who was this man coming into the city. The crowd answered back that it was Jesus the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee. There was much joy in the city, but not from everyone. The Roman cohort looked down upon this with alarm. The Jewish leaders also were alarmed. Rome did not look kindly to insurrection. If the Jewish leaders lost control of the situation, Rome would come down heavily. They were worried that their Temple would be destroyed and that their privileged position might become death or slavery. They would soon reject Jesus in the vain hope that by doing so, the nation and the city of Jerusalem would be saved. The truth was quite the opposite. Their only hope was in Jesus. By rejecting Jesus, they ended up losing their Temple, their city, and their privilege to the Romans.

When we celebrate Palm Sunday, we think of processing around the church waving palm branches. We have fitting songs to sing. It is a great celebration of our King.

But sometimes, we might miss the message of Palm Sunday. We should remember that between Palm Sunday and Easter is the cross. In these difficult times we have our own cross to carry, but Jesus has promised to be with us, if we turn to Him He will help.

So we proclaim Christ with humble service. We point not to ourselves but to our Lord Jesus. We do not come to overthrow the wicked but to proclaim a Saviour who wills that every person believe and be saved. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We walk in His footprints with our crosses at tow and not palm branches. The time will come for the palms, but not yet. Jesus had palm branches waved at Him, but by Friday they were beating Him with the palms of their hands. He would be beaten, subject to mock worship and then hung on a most miserable of throne, a cross. Hosanna means “Lord, save us!” This He has done in His own way, by His own atoning death on a cross. In this way, let us offer our hosannas. Amen.

Intercessions   by Carol Shepherd

Our Father in heaven, we say Hosanna to the Son of David, Hosanna to the King of kings, glory in the highest heaven, for Jesus the Messiah reigns; may He intercede for us as we come humbly before you in prayer.

Lord without the Gospel, we would not be praising you and giving thanks in all things. We would be fearful and anxious and frightened, but your Word says ‘perfect love casts out all fear’.                    We know that there will come a time when Jesus will return and there will be no more wars, no pain and suffering and no tears. Help us to remember that your love is unconditional and for everyone. We pray for anyone who doesn’t know you, that they will seek and find you, knock on your door and invite you into their lives. Like the colt was waiting to be used by the Lord on His ride into Jerusalem, may they find their destiny in you. Lord hear our prayer.

Lord this virus is changing the world, and we pray it is for the better. We have unintentionally done so much damage, in so many ways to your creation, and are now reaping what has been sown. Help us so sow seeds of hope in the world, to encourage one another and to pray in the Spirit at all times for healing of the earth, and the people within it. Father, we may be in quarantine, but Your word is not quarantined. It goes throughout the world, may your voice be heard and responded to. Lord hear our prayer.

Father, we live in a beautiful part of the world. Due to the lockdown, neighbours are smiling and talking to each other, at a distance, and helping those who are in need. We thank you for the demonstration of love and care for one another, expressing Jesus’ command ‘to love one another as I have loved you’. We are so blest. We pray for those living in parts of the world with poor hygiene, medical care, no roofs over their heads, no food etc. and violence is an everyday occurrence. Give them strength for today and a hope for tomorrow. We thank and pray for all who are giving their expertise, time and even their lives to bring comfort, healing and protection. We pray for those with hardened cruel hearts to have a revelation of a loving God, that they repent and turn to Jesus Christ as Saviour and follow Him.

We thank you Father, for all that Jesus did for humanity; knowing He had to endure adoration on His ride into Jerusalem, and jeering and torture and crucifixion on the cross. We thank you for all aspects of selfless help being given by many who are keeping us fed, and cared for , from shop keepers, refuse collectors, postmen and women, school assistants and teachers, and especially our Drs and nursing profession and those maintaining the cleanliness of the hospitals, and farmers. We owe them a great debt and pray for their protection in all they are doing.

We pray for all in leadership. In our government and in our local councils. May decision making be for the good of the people and not to puff up the individual. May they work together to enable matters to be discussed and finalized by seeking your guidance Lord in all decisions.  We pray for those in our Christian family throughout the world, to stand firm on the Gospel truths, to shine the light of Christ in the darkened world, and to use new ways of sharing Gods word amongst the people we all live with. Lord hear our prayer.

Father, you sent your Son into the world, not to condemn but to save it. He went about preaching teaching and healing the sick. We pray for all who we know need His healing touch, also for the many who are fighting this virus within their bodies. Have mercy on them, keep the vulnerable safe and be with those who are nearing death. Give them peace at the end and eternal life. Let those who have lost loved ones feel your strength and loving arms supporting them in their grief. Lord hear our prayer.

Father, we thank you for the Holy Bible, without it we would be lost. The disciples lived with Jesus and had no understanding of what was to happen to Jesus. We have the whole story from beginning to end. May we read, digest, learn and share the Good News that Jesus saves. Lord give us wisdom, discernment and courage to share the Gospel in our actions and in words where needed.

As the people rejoiced and worshiped Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem on the donkey, may we rejoice in the knowledge that he knew what His mission was and he went ahead, knowing His death would give eternal life to all believers.  May we know that we also have a part in your plan. Give us the courage to step out in faith and be the people you have called us to be.

Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

FOR YOUR PRAYERS ……

 

All who have recently been bereaved, and especially:

the families and friends of Janet Chisholm, Paul Collins and Felicite Wilkinson.

 

Those who are sick, and all who care for them, remembering:

Pamela Campbell     Peggy Johnson    Eric     Bob Rae     Matt    Ian McBean     Jacqueline Dacey Heather      Alex         Anna Holmes      Jane Busby      Becky     Linda Howard   Doreen Hewitt   Barbara     Sarah       Molly Bonsor       Louis Venni       Christine Lister     Martin                 Diana Metson                    Frances Aldridge     David Glaister       Michael Barling       David Bourn     Ashlyn      Ann Godfrey Geoff Fuller                Madge    Chris Godfrey     Hazel     Jagan Asthana      Jenny     Sally     Helen                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Notices

 

We are the church in our communities, so please reach out in any way you can to those in need and do continue to pray, worship and spread the good news in word and deed.

Ring someone who might be isolated, and contributions can still be made to the Foodbank, please drop them at The Rectory and they will be picked up from there.   

 

During Holy Week I plan to circulate the Stations of the Cross for you to take part in at home, also Good News Sheets for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. I pray that they may help us draw closer to God in this special but difficult time.

 

A full schedule of live-streams and activities that are happening throughout Holy Week 2020, in collaboration with Chichester Cathedral, can be found at:  https://www.chichester.anglican.org/liveservices/

 

While we are unable to worship in church there are other alternatives for prayer:                         the following link will direct you to services of Morning Prayer, Prayer During the Day, Evening Prayer and Night Prayer in which you will be joining with people all over the world.   https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer

DAILY SERVICE AND SUNDAY WORSHIP BROADCAST ON RADIO 4 Every weekday morning at 09.45 the BBC broadcasts the Daily Service on R4 Long Wave; it lasts 15 minutes, and if you have a DAB radio you will need to retune (normally one click) at 09.45 to our LW station which ‘pops up’ on your set for the duration of the service. On Sunday mornings at 08.10 there is a 40 minute Sunday Worship. If you have online access, both the Daily Service and Sunday Worship recordings are available via the BBC Sounds app.

A number of national online resources (https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-online) including weekly streamed services and daily audio, as well as additional worship provision on the BBC are there to help us.

Horsham District Council would really appreciate your help. If anyone would like to volunteer during this time, knows of a vulnerable person or is vulnerable themselves, they can get in touch with us via this link.

 https://www.horsham.gov.uk/community/coronavirus-community-support

As not everyone is online, we have also printed some template volunteer help cards, which can be used to let people know where their nearest support services are. These will need to be posted through letterboxes, so we will be looking for volunteers to do this so people have a way of contacting help if necessary.

 

Revd. Sandra has copies of the Christian Newspaper ‘Heart’, please let her know if you would like a copy.

The Slinfold Magazine is available on the website www.stpeterslinfold.co.uk

 

Churches together in England are offering prayers for this ongoing situation, along with Christians all over our nation and our world at this time. A range of prayer resources are being collated within this article:

https://www.cte.org.uk/Publisher/Article.aspx?ID=568755&utm_source=CTBI+Newsletter+Subscribers&utm_campaign=204985aeae-CTBI_Monthly_Newsletter_March2020&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e94acb8d57-204985aeae-508071405&ct=t(CTBI_Monthly_Newsletter-March2020)

 

Something More Infectious

 

Remarks made at St Martin-in-the-Fields on 15 March 2020 by the Revd Dr Sam Wells

 

We come to church each Sunday, we pray and read our Bibles through the week, to prepare ourselves. Jesus grew up in Nazareth, travelled around Galilee to prepare himself for Jerusalem. In Jerusalem people discovered who he truly was, and what his words and actions really entailed. We’ve spent decades, many of us, preparing we knew not what for. Well, now we know. This is the moment when the world finds out whether being a Christian makes any difference or not.

In Britain, we pray for a sunny day, but take an umbrella. I’m not saying in the face of the virus we don’t take sensible steps. We must follow public health advice. We do so not because others are a danger to us, but because we might, directly or indirectly, be a danger to them. We’re a community defined not by fear but by trust, not by scarcity but by plenty, not by anxiety but by communion. It’s time to show our true colours.

This is the time to find ways to overcome isolation that don’t involve touch. We have this opportunity to explore the hinterland of the word with, that doesn’t always involve physical presence, but still means solidarity and kindness, generosity and love. We will limit our contact to protect the most vulnerable, but we still need to proclaim that there’s something more infectious than coronavirus – and that’s joy and peace, faithfulness and gentleness.

It was in its most bewildered hour that Israel in exile found who God truly was. This is our chance to discover what God being with us really means. None of us would for a moment have wished this crisis on anybody, let alone the whole world. But our faith teaches us that we only get to see resurrection through crucifixion; that we see God most clearly in our darkest hour.

Remember what Isaiah tells us. You shall cross the barren desert; but you shall not die of thirst. You shall wander far in safety – though you do not know the way. If you pass through raging waters in the sea, you shall not drown. If you walk amid the burning flames, you shall not be harmed. If you stand before the power of hell and death is at your side, know that I am with you through it all. Be not afraid, says our God. I am with you like never before.

This is our faith.

 

 

 

At times like this, when so many are fearful and there is great uncertainty, I look to one of my favourite Bible passages, Proverbs 3.5-6 :

‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.                                              In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.’

 

A closing prayer:                                                                                

Lord, in all times of fear and dread, grant that we may cast our burdens upon you,              that you may bear us on the holy wings of the Spirit to the stronghold of your peace;     through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Please do contact Revd. Sandra if you need to talk or require assistance.                                                              Tel: 01403 790197 or email sandra.richard@tiscali.co.uk     Sandra’s day off is Tuesday

 

Revd. Rosemary can be contacted on 01403-264396                                                                                          or email r.a.cattell@btinternet.com             Rosemary’s day off is Monday

 

This document is also available on the websites, if you know anyone who might want a copy, please print one off and drop it through their door, or let Revd. Sandra know.

 

With love in Christ and many prayers,

 

Revd. Sandra