Daily Video Thursday and Sunday
Sunday March 29th Fifth Sunday in Lent
Opening Prayer: Mighty God your Son Jesus Christ came into the world to save us from sin and death. Breathe on us with the power of your Holy Spirit, that we may be raised to new life in Jesus, and experience your help and your peace and your protection. As we pray in our homes grant us a unity in the Spirit; and bind us together in love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Hymn Majesty, worship his majesty
unto Jesus be glory, honour and praise.
Majesty, kingdom authority flow from his throne,
unto his own, his anthem raise!
So exalt, lift up on high the name of Jesus.
Magnify, come glorify, Christ Jesus the King.
Majesty, worship his majesty,
Jesus who died, now glorified, his anthem raise!
Bible Readings and Message Numbers 21:5-9 John 11:47-57
‘Then Jesus walked no more openly among to Jews but went from thence to an area near the wilderness to a city called Ephraim and there was with his disciples’. John 11:54
Jesus withdrew from Jerusalem and its surrounding villages after the miracle of restoring Lazarus to life; the chief priests and Pharisees had started plotting ways of dealing with the perceived threat they saw in Jesus.
So for a time Jesus and the disciples took themselves away to safety; not exactly the social isolation that we are hearing so much about, but to the wilderness of Bethaven, a few miles away. It would not solve the problem of the growing opposition to Jesus, but Jesus waited until the time was right and until he knew himself that his hour had come to make a show of who he was. In the next chapter we have the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, in an open statement of being the appointed King of Israel. That episode will be for next week.
For the time being the people were simply wondering why Jesus had gone away.
In that chapter of John Caiaphas made a prediction that Jesus would die for the people. ‘Consider it not expedient that one man should die for the people, that they perish not’. The words here are the key Biblical terms that describe how Jesus died for us.
One of the Old Testament passages that makes us think of how Jesus died for us, is Numbers 21, where Moses made a bronze serpent on a stick. This would heal the snake bites that were making the Israelites grow ill and die. God gave this remedy. The people were to look at the bronze snake on a pole and live.
That in itself is a picture of how we can look to Jesus, by whose stripes we were healed. His death on a cross has power to nullify death, disease and sin. And so, as we face the challenges of this pandemic that seems of Biblical proportions, let’s pray with confidence that Christ has the power to overcome the forces of destruction.
Prayer Mighty God you can bring this world crisis to a happy conclusion. We pray you to end the tyranny of Covid 19. Bless each and every one of us. Especially we intercede for any who are ill and those who are caring for them. May we as a church and as your people come through this stronger, more vibrant and confident of your power. Come, Lord, Jesus. Send your Spirit. Our Father….
All people that on earth do dwell,
sing to the Lord with cheerful voice,
him serve with fear his praise forth tell,
come ye before him and rejoice.
The Lord, ye know is God indeed,
Without our aid he did us make.
We are his folk, he doth us feed
and for his sheep he doth us take.
O enter then his gates with praise,
approach with joy his courts unto;
praise, laud and bless his name always,
for it is seemly so to do.
For why? The Lord our God is good:
His mercy is for ever sure;
his truth at all times firmly stood,
And shall from age to age endure.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen.
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