Holy Week Meditations

HOLY MONDAY MUSIC FOR REFLECTION

CLOSING THOUGHT

HYMN: O God, You Search Me and You Know Me
O God, you search me and you know me.
All my thoughts lie open to your gaze.
When I walk or lie down you are before me:
ever the maker and keeper of my days.

You know my resting and my rising.
You discern my purpose from afar,
and with love everlasting you besiege me:
in every moment of life, or death, you are.

Before a word is on my tongue , Lord,
you have known its meaning through and through.
You are with me beyond my understanding:
God of my present, my past and future too.

Although your Spirit is upon me,
still I search for shelter from your light.
There is nowhere on earth I can escape you:
even the darkness is radiant in your sight.

For you created me and shaped me,
gave me life within my mother’s womb.
For the wonder of who I am, I praise you:
safe in your hands, all creation is made new.
© Bernadette Farrell (CH4)

ST. MARTINS HOLY WEEK MEDITATIONS
Monday 14 April 2014

Theme: Cleansing the Temple

MUSIC FOR QUIET REFLECTION

GATHERING
As Jesus stands above Jerusalem, the fickle crowds are waiting in the streets below; politics have chosen religion as a weapon; Rome’s might is holding its breath and soldiers are sharpening their swords; Pharisees and Sadducees are on the lookout for young upstarts;
the disciples will daily switch between longing hope
and fearful apprehension.
This is the week of danger.
Will we journey with him?
Will we watch with him?

OPENING PRAYER

SONG: Be Still My Heart My Mind My Busy World x2
Be still my heart my mind my busy world,
that I may hear God’s word.
Be still my heart my mind my busy world,
that I may hear God’s word. © John Murray (FFS)

READING: Isaiah 11:1-9 The Peaceful Kingdom
A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear;
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.

TIME FOR SILENT REFLECTION

READING: Matthew 21:12-17 Jesus Cleanses the Temple
Then Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold doves. He said to them, ‘It is written,
“My house shall be called a house of prayer”;
but you are making it a den of robbers.’
The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he cured them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the amazing things that he did, and heard the children crying out in the temple, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David’, they became angry and said to him,
‘Do you hear what these are saying?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Yes; have you never read,
“Out of the mouths of infants and nursing babies
you have prepared praise for yourself”?’
He left them, went out of the city to Bethany,
and spent the night there.

A House of Prayer for all Nations

PRAYER REFLECTION (David Grant – Grant Us Your Peace)
Lord God,
unless you take a lead with us, our lives will always be the same; our view of self and world will never change; and some of us want that.
But some of us are in brokenness; we wear bruises,
carry heavy hurt, shamed by events beyond or ability to influence, or shamed by events we influenced too much. We seek a refuge, a safe place to tell the truth of our lives, truth which, when heard, will meet graciousness and not scorn. Meet trustful, kindly gentleness and not contempt.
Lord God,
rescue us to be truth tellers and truth hearers;
for unless you take a lead with us, our lives will always be the same; bruised, heavy hurted, shamed.
And rescue us from gossipy truth-pryers, or truth pryers who possess instant answers, or truth-pryers too keenly aware of appropriate correction; for unless you take a lead with them, their lives will always be the same.
For it is you, Lord, who are our hope,
and it is in you we trust –
trust learnt from our years of trading in truth with you.
So our praise is in our hearts, on our lips,
in our community, because we tell truth to one who carefully listens, taking a lead with us,
so our lives will not be the same.
In the name of the One who is the truth. AMEN.

HOLY TUESDAY GATHERING
As Jesus stands above Jerusalem, the fickle crowds are waiting in the streets below; politics have chosen religion as a weapon; Rome’s might is holding its breath and soldiers are sharpening their swords; Pharisees and Sadducees are on the lookout for young upstarts;
the disciples will daily switch between longing hope
and fearful apprehension.
This is the week of danger.
Will we journey with him?
Will we watch with him?

OPENING PRAYER

SONG: Be Still My Heart My Mind My Busy World X2
Be still my heart my mind my busy world,
that I may hear God’s word.
Be still my heart my mind my busy world,
that I may hear God’s word. © John Murray (FFS)

O.T. READING: Isaiah 49: 1-7 ~ Israel a Light to the Nations
Listen to me, distant nations,
you people who live far away!
Before I was born, the Lord chose me
and appointed me to be his servant.
He made my words as sharp as a sword.
with his own hand he protected me.
He made me like an arrow, sharp and ready for use.
He said to me, “Israel, you are my servant;
because of you, people will praise me.”

I said, “I have worked, but how hopeless it is!
I have used up my strength,
but have accomplished nothing.”
Yet I can trust the Lord to defend my cause;
he will reward me for what I do.

Before I was born, the Lord appointed me;
he made me his servant to bring back his people,
to bring back the scattered people of Israel.
The Lord gives me honour; he is the source of my strength.

The Lord said to me, “I have a greater task for you,
my servant.
Not only will you restore to greatness the people of Israel
who have survived,
but I will also make you a light to the nations –
so that all the world may be saved.”

This will happen because the Lord has chosen his servant;
the holy God of Israel keeps his promises.

TIME FOR SILENT REFLECTION

N.T. READING: Matthew 21: 18-23
~ Jesus Curses the Fig Tree
In the morning, when Jesus returned to the city, he was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the side of the road, he went to it and found nothing at all on it but leaves. Then he said to it, ‘May no fruit ever come from you again!’ And the fig tree withered at once. When the disciples saw it, they were amazed, saying, ‘How did the fig tree wither at once?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, “Be lifted up and thrown into the sea”, it will be done. Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.’
When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?’

[Note: At Passover season in late March or early April, fig trees are often in leaf on the eastern side of the Mount of Olives. At this time of year, such fig trees contain only green early figs (Arabs call them taqsh), which ripen around June but often drop off before that time, leaving only green leaves on the tree. A leafy tree lacking such early figs, however, would bear no figs at all that year.]

The Tree

PRAYER REFLECTION (adapted from Grant Us Your Peace)
Lord, our God, we have come into this place of worship, and opened our hearts in thanksgiving.
We praise you, we bless your name, the name that belongs to the One we seek.

God, may this place of worship become a microcosm of earth’s possibility; may this assembly become a mini-climate for a world’s fruitfulness; may this slice of time become a model for all time.
For today we celebrate that enduring, imperishable, steadfast love towards all people of every generation.

Today we dance in the pasture of your making, knowing we are your people
– not one left out,
– each included,
– every one counted as a belonger.
Today in this reflective space, we reach beyond ourselves, and today we will carry the blessing of the hour into the week to come, that our days may be transformed because we were here.

In the name of the one whose presence transforms.
AMEN.

MUSIC FOR REFLECTION

CLOSING THOUGHT

HYMN: O God, You Search Me and You Know Me
O God, you search me and you know me.
All my thoughts lie open to your gaze.
When I walk or lie down you are before me:
ever the maker and keeper of my days.

You know my resting and my rising.
You discern my purpose from afar,
and with love everlasting you besiege me:
in every moment of life, or death, you are.

Before a word is on my tongue, Lord,
you have known its meaning through and through.
You are with me beyond my understanding:
God of my present, my past and future too.

Although your Spirit is upon me,
still I search for shelter from your light.
There is nowhere on earth I can escape you:
even the darkness is radiant in your sight.

For you created me and shaped me,
gave me life within my mother’s womb.
For the wonder of who I am, I praise you:
safe in your hands, all creation is made new.
© Bernadette Farrell (CH4)

HOLY WEDNESDAY GATHERING
Let us gather this night to hear age old Scriptures; to hear a story that may defy reason, a story that asks questions of our hearts.
God, you have given us minds to use in serving you to the best of our ability. But, may your Spirit guide us to temper reason with love, to recognise loving acts in others, even if they appear a little unreasonable to our rational ways of thinking.

OPENING PRAYER

SONG: Be Still My Heart My Mind My Busy World X2
Be still my heart my mind my busy world,
that I may hear God’s word.
Be still my heart my mind my busy world,
that I may hear God’s word. © John Murray (FFS)

O.T. READING: Isaiah 42: 1- 9
~ God’s Servant Will Set Everything Right
Take a good look at my servant.
I’m backing him to the hilt.
He’s the one I chose,
and I couldn’t be more pleased with him.
I’ve bathed him with my Spirit, my life.
He’ll set everything right among the nations.
He won’t call attention to what he does
with loud speeches or gaudy parades.
He won’t brush aside the bruised and the hurt
and he won’t disregard the small and insignificant,
but he’ll steadily and firmly set things right.
He won’t tire out and quit. He won’t be stopped
until he’s finished his work – to set things right on earth. Far-flung ocean islands wait expectantly for his teaching.
God’s message, the God who created the cosmos, stretched out the skies, laid out the earth and all that grows from it, who breathes life into earth’s people,
makes them alive with his own life:
I am God. I have called you to live right and well.
I have taken responsibility for you, kept you safe.
I have set you among my people to bind them to me,
and provided you as a lighthouse to the nations,
to make a start at bringing people into the open, into light:
opening blind eyes, releasing prisoners from dungeons,
emptying the dark prisons.
I am God. That’s my name.
I don’t franchise my glory,
don’t endorse the no-god idols.
Take note: The earlier predictions of judgement
have been fulfilled.
I am announcing the new salvation work.
Before it bursts on the scene,
I’m telling you about it. (From, The Message)

TIME FOR SILENT REFLECTION

N.T. READING: Matthew 26: 6-13 ~ The Anointing at Bethany
Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said, ‘Why this waste? For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor.’ But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, ‘Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.’

It Was on the Wednesday

PRAYER REFLECTION (David Grant – Grant us Your Peace

MUSIC FOR REFLECTION
CLOSING THOUGHT

HYMN: Teach Us, O Loving Heart of Christ (Tune: French WOV 21)
Teach us, O Loving heart of Christ,
what only love can say:
Father, forgive, and still forgive
the blindness of our way.

We have not healed our neighbour’s hurt
nor learned our neighbour’s tongue:
across the span of creed and race
your song is not yet sung.

We have not found your way of peace
when lack of peace is death:
we have not fed with word or bread
the hunger of the earth.

Christ in whose hands were thrust the nails
and yet for us could pray –
forgive the things we have not done,
the words we do not say. © Shirley Murray (AA)

Easter Services
7.00pm 17th April – Maundy Thursday (Combined)
10.00am 18th April – Good Friday (Combined)
7.30am 20th April – Easter Sunrise Service
Followed by Breakfast
9.00am 20th April – St Martins Easter Communion
10.30am 20th April – Beckenham Service

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