Before beginning to read this short service, you may wish to find a space for prayer in front of a cross, a candle, or a special place.
May the light of Christ, rising in glory, banish all darkness from our hearts and minds.
The Acclamation of Christ at the Dawning of the Day
O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
May Christ, the true, the only light
banish all darkness from our hearts and minds.
O come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us heartily rejoice in the rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving
and be glad in him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God
and a great king above all gods.
Come, let us worship and bow down
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For he is our God;
we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.
Blessed are you, creator of all,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As your dawn renews the face of the earth
bringing light and life to all creation,
may we rejoice in this day you have made;
as we wake refreshed from the depths of sleep,
open our eyes to behold your presence
and strengthen our hands to do your will,
that the world may rejoice and give you praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.
Silence is kept.
you have broken the tyranny of sin
and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts
whereby we call you Father:
give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service,
that we and all creation may be brought
to the glorious liberty of the children of God;
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.
Hymns 65 My God, I love Thee: https://youtu.be/tHPvPOH_i6c
My God, I love thee; not because
I hope for heaven thereby,
nor yet because who love thee not
are lost eternally.
Thou, O Lord Jesus, thou didst me
upon the cross embrace;
for me didst bear the nails and spear,
and manifold disgrace,
And griefs and torments numberless,
and sweat of agony;
yea, death itself; and all for me
who was thine enemy.
Then why, O blessed Jesus Christ,
should I not love thee well,
not for the sake of winning heaven,
nor of escaping hell;
not from the hope of gaining aught,
not seeking a reward;
but as thyself hast loved me,
O ever loving Lord!
So would I love thee, dearest Lord,
and in thy praise will sing,
solely because thou art my God
and my most loving King.
job 38: 1-11
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
‘Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Gird up your loins like a man,
I will question you, and you shall declare to me.
‘Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone
when the morning stars sang together
and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?
‘Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb?—
when I made the clouds its garment,
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
and prescribed bounds for it,
and set bars and doors,
and said, “Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stopped”?
Psalm 107: 23-32
23 Those who go down to the sea in ships ♦
and ply their trade in great waters,
24 These have seen the works of the Lord ♦
and his wonders in the deep.
25 For at his word the stormy wind arose ♦
and lifted up the waves of the sea.
26 They were carried up to the heavens
and down again to the deep; ♦
their soul melted away in their peril.
27 They reeled and staggered like a drunkard ♦
and were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, ♦
and he brought them out of their distress.
29 He made the storm be still ♦
and the waves of the sea were calmed.
30 Then were they glad because they were at rest, ♦
and he brought them to the haven they desired.
31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his goodness ♦
and the wonders he does for his children.
32 Let them exalt him in the congregation of the people ♦
and praise him in the council of the elders.
O living Christ,
rescue us from foolish passion
and still the storms of our self-will;
and, as you are our anchor in this life,
so bring us to the haven you have prepared for us;
for your mercy’s sake.
2 Corinthians 6: 1-13
As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says,
‘At an acceptable time I have listened to you,
and on a day of salvation I have helped you.’
See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labours, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honour and dishonour, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see—we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you. There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours. In return—I speak as to children—open wide your hearts also.
Mark 4: 35-41
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’
How we receive a message that God is speaking to us is one of the mysteries with which all religious people consider with deep wonder and a care that is held in reverence. The mountain top experiences of Moses and Elijah, and Jesus and his disciples, are held together with the dream of Jacob, the burning bush in the desert, and the night of our Lord’s arrest in the olive grove we know of as the Garden of Gethsemane. The Bible is full of encounters and they can be in the whirlwind and they can be in the sound of silence.
We too have experiences in which we are laid bare, and have no words or physical or mental strength to offer in contention, during which we know that the whisper of God has come to us and, whether in storm or quiet, we are left changed and challenged beyond what we were before. For Job, today’s reading brings an answer to his heart-felt cry in chapter 9 verse 11, when in anguish of spirit he has declared, “Lo, he passes me by, and I see him not; he moves on, but I do not perceive him.”
Job chapter 38 to the end of the book contains some of the most beautiful lines in the Scriptures, as God pours out his answer to Job’s grief and distress, and ultimately brings him peace. The power of nature exposed - in this case it is a whirlwind - is the anticipatory prelude, and the glory, power and wisdom of God is revealed in contrast to the ignorance and misunderstanding of Job.
The Gospel passage also brings us a storm. This time it is with a sleeping Jesus and some frightened disciples on the Sea of Galilee. The climax of the story is the stilling of the storm and the recognition by those with Jesus that he has control over the elements. Now, the question for us today is how we take these texts and receive them with their depth and power undiminished, but with a twenty-first century understanding.
Surely the critical point from the instantly stilled storm, and any spectacular seemingly miraculous change in nature against the laws of physics, lies in the point with which these notes begins. Where is the voice of God in this? What is the message for the on-lookers - for today that is us?
Brought to this point, the contemporary feel to the miracles of the disturbance of nature is as something waved in our faces. They were for Job - and for Jonah and others - bringing us to sit up and take notice, and from our hearts recognise the evidence of the faith of those whose experience from the time of the miracles themselves is clearly recognisable. We are listening to witnesses, and then looking not at what was before their eyes and challenging them, but what out of the storm of our days is before our eyes and challenging us. Then, we ask the question of ourselves, “So, what is God saying to me........?”
Hymn 115 Dear Lord and Father: https://youtu.be/UHl21evXgxw
1 Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways;
reclothe us in our rightful mind,
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence praise.
2 In simple trust like theirs who heard
beside the Syrian sea
the gracious calling of the Lord,
let us, like them, without a word
rise up and follow thee.
3 O Sabbath rest by Galilee,
O calm of hills above,
where Jesus knelt to share with thee
the silence of eternity,
interpreted by love!
4 Drop thy still dews of quietness,
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace.
5 Breathe through the heats of our desire
thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm!
we each have some gifts,
but none of us has them all.
We each have something to contribute to others,
and equally something to receive from them in turn.
We each need each other,
and our lives are impoverished
if we attempt to go it alone.
You call us all to be part of your body
with a unique role to play within that,
but by the same token we belong to an interdependent whole
in which every member is of vital importance.
Teach us, then,
not only to exercise our own gifts wisely
but at the same time to appreciate those of others,
and so may we grow together,
building one another up in love,
to the glory of your name.
Lord, you have given us the gift of life.
Let us faithfully use it to be a light to the world.
Lord, you have given us the gift of time.
Let us tirelessly use it in ways that further your kingdom.
Lord, you have given us the gift of love.
Let us selflessly use it to bring hope and joy to others.
Lord, you have given us gifts unique to ourselves;
some clearly visible, others unseen to the many.
Whatever gifts we have received from you
let us be faithful in using them well.
Gracious God, through your Spirit you enable members of your Church to serve you around the world. In our Diocese of Salisbury we pray for Nicholas and Karen our Bishops, the parishes, clergy and other church leaders, and their families. Especially we pray for Bishop Nicholas at this time, as he prepares for his retirement from full-time ministry.
Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer
Support us we pray in this days of uncertainty and anxiety, as we seek safely to find ways to express ourselves in worship together and embrace each other and the community of which we are a part. Bless all who are affected most by the continuing restrictions on their businesses or activities, and guide all who can alleviate the distress of others.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer
Heavenly Father we pray for all who are to be ordained priest next weekend, and especially for Nick Webb, as he continues his time as curate in Langton Matravers and the other churches of that benefice. Look in your mercy also on those who are starting in a curacy, and moving parish, perhaps moving home and family too; beginning a new life and being ordained deacon next Sunday. Particularly we pray for Lindy Cameron as she becomes a member of the community in Hillfield Friary.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer
We pray for families struggling in these challenging times, young people affected by increasing debts or redundancy; for the strengthening of marriage and family life in our communities and for the nurture and protection of children. We remember all who are unwell […] families known to us recently bereaved […] give them relief through your power, healing and comfort, and deliver all who know danger or violence.
May your blessing rest on those for whom we pray, known or unknown; and may the comfort of your Holy Spirit rest on the bereaved, the distressed, those living through times of doubt and hopelessness. Give strength to the weak, rest to the weary, support and reassurance to all who are close to death. Stand beside, and when needed carry, all who are exhausted with caring for others assuring them that their loved one is carried too.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer
Merciful Father accept these our prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen
The Lord’s Prayer
A few moments of silence before we pray:
O God, whose beauty is beyond our imagining
and whose power we cannot comprehend:
show us your glory as far as we can grasp it,
and shield us from knowing more than we can bear
until we may look upon you without fear;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
The Lord bless us and keep us:
The Lord make his face to shine upon us,
and be gracious to us:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon us
and give us peace:
The Lord God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
the holy and undivided Trinity,
guard us, save us,
and bring us to that heavenly city,
where he lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Allabreve in D - J.S.Bach: https://youtu.be/TaJ4-9zNMeA
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