Yesterday saw the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States of America. It is not an unusual event – it happens every 4 years and always on 20 January.
Although this year it was a bit different. Because of the Pandemic there were practical differences. But also politically, regardless of your own standpoint, this was an emotionally charged moment because of the history of the last 4 years.
Even though we are not in America, the state of the leadership of that nation does matter to us. We are a small world, and, like it or not, the superpowers of the world do have a very real influence on all of our lives. But more importantly, America is home to hundreds of millions of people that are all part of our global family as brothers and sisters in Christ. Their concerns are our concerns, as should be the case for all people of the world.
A great many people in America and around the world are releived by the new Presidency and the change of tack that it will probably bring. But it is also a reality that there are many millions of people who are not celebrating today, such is the division that has grown over the past 4 years. It is not for us to judge, but to love.
As Christians we are called to love our neighbours, whoever they are. Pray for the people, all the people, of the United States as they step into a new chapter of their history. But also pray for ourselves, that we may recognise the harm of division and seek instead the light of unity.
At the inauguration a poem was read by Amanda Gorman, the 12 year old Youth Poet Laureate. Do look it up. Here are the final few lines that I think are an inspiration for all our lives today:
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it
Although we are not using our church buildings for worship during the current Lockdown, you can join us for worship online as follows:
Thursday Evening Zoom:
7:30pm every Thursday in January:
Meeting ID: 761 0841 9112
Sunday Worship in January:
24 January – Live Zoom
31 January – Video
Sunday Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 759 1823 9934
Live Sunday services will also be recorded and uploaded as video for those not able to access Zoom.
All Service videos are available at:
This Sunday (24th) will be a Zoom live service (and also videoed as streamed) with our talk from Rev Judith.
All churches continue to be open during the week for an hour for private individual prayer. This will be kept under constant review in light of the Lockdown.
Wednesdays – Tatworth, Cricket Malherbie & Thorncombe at 11am
Thursdays – Chaffcombe & Winsham at 11am
From the Diocesan and Deanery Calendars of Prayer:
· Our Churchwardens, Treasurers and PCC’s and all those with responsibilities (official or not!) in our churches. We pray in gratitude for their service, for blessings and reward, and for patience and perserverence when responsibilities weigh heavy.
· We pray for places where people have prepared the ground for mission and see no growth. In this winter season allow us to trust that God is at work in the hidden places and that green leaves, flowers and fruit will come in God’s good way in His time.
We also pray for those we know who are sick, and those we don’t know, including those we are asked to pray by name for:
Bishop Peter Hancock; Hannah Knott; Rob Allen; Lynne and Bruce Applegarth; Phyllis Baker; Margaret Bandy; Sue Bennett; Sue Cheese; Terry Conway; Nick Frankau; David Goodwill; Mike Heywood; Joy Howard; Ann Jarvis; Frank & Celia Long; Peter McHugh; Diana Rowlands; Ann Ricketts; Jim Tucker; Rosemary Walley; Rosemary Walton; Vivien Wheaton; Alan Wills, Anna Woodward; Pamala Young; Milly granddaughter of Jane & Alan Rudkin; Gillian Muggeridge; Chris Gould; Brian Griffiths; Peter Hathway; Dorothy Down; Brian Turner; Max Woehrle; Michael Mutch; Kelvin Yendell; Winnie Barge; Fi Lillington; Di Nicholls; Izzie Luty-Wells.
We remember all those whom we love but see no longer, and pray for all those bereaved. We remember Caroline Mayall and Edward Tucker and hold their families and friends in our prayers.
SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEEK AHEAD:
Thur 21 Jan: Heb 7.25–8.6; Ps 40.7–10, 17–end; Mk 3.7–12
Fri 22 Jan: Heb 8.6–end; Ps 85.7–end; Mk 3.13–19
Sat 23 Jan: Heb 9.2–3, 11–14; Ps 47.1–8; Mk 3.20–21
Sun 24 Jan: Gen 14:17-20; John 2:1-11
Mon 25 Jan: Heb 9.15, 24–end; Ps 98.1–7; Mk 3.22–30
Tues 26 Jan: Heb 10.1–10; Ps 40.1–4, 7–10; Mk 3.31–35
Wed 27 Jan: Heb 10.11–18; Ps 110.1–4; Mk 4.1–20
Thur 28 Jan: Heb 10.19–25; Ps 24.1–6; Mk 4.21–25
Jesus turns water into wine (John 2:1-11)
2 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” 4 “Woman,[a] why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.[b] 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
The Prayer for today (Church of England):
our beginning and our end:
bring us with the whole creation
to your glory, hidden through past ages
and made known
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Blessings to you all