Sunday 21st March: Fifth Sunday in Lent, Passion Sunday
Listen to the service as a radio broadcast on 105.9 BishopFM just after the 11am Sunday morning news, or stream it at 11am on the website through YouTube [and join in with hymn-singing for 15 minutes beforehand] – See below…
Below you can find the radio podcast if you can’t listen on 105.9 BishopFM and also the YouTube video stream, which will go live at 11am on Sunday. You will also see the regular extras including the video of Susan’s sermon.
If you enjoy this web content and don’t already donate to the church by standing order or by church envelope, and you would like to give, you can click on the button below and follow the instructions:
Radio podcast for 105.9BishopFM
This Week’s YouTube broadcast
(live at 11am, at the same time as the radio broadcast, and available here after that, with 15 minutes of hymns to join in with beforehand)
If you haven’t listened to the audio or video services above, and wish to read the lectionary readings before considering these further worship resources for this week follow or this link to biblegateway.com for this week’s Bible readings for the fifth Sunday in Lent from:
Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website here every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… or get them on the telephone on 01388 436810… do join us!
As we continue to worship online, we have a pick and mix approach to this sermon slot. You can choose to listen to (1) Susan’s sermon as we have had through lockdown. Today you might also choose to look at (2) the pdf sheet from Roots or (3) the pdf sheet The Vine, or watch (4) the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) ‘s broadcast this week on the lectionary passages or consider (5) the District Worship at Home resources or read (6) the Connexional reflection; or otherwise to come (7) to the church garden to prayer walk the labyrinth or or if nothing else to stay home (8) and simply take time for yourself and reflect on the readings for the day.
1. If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne click on the video below.
2. or you might choose to click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb at home sheet
3. or read the VINE worship sheet which MWiB are supporting this year:
4. or watch the ‘Politics in the Pulpit’ from JPIT picking up on this week’s lectionary passages:
5. or consider the Darlington Methodist District’s Worship at Home resource page:
6. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below:
I love reading multiple translations of a passage to help me make sense of what I am reading. One of my favorites is one called “The Message” – which translates scripture into modern-day English. Here is how The Message interprets John 12:24-25:
“‘Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.’”
It’s hard to believe, but it has been over a year now since the pandemic began and we all had to change how we go about living our lives. We changed how we work, see family and friends, travel, and worship, among many other things. It has been hard, and awful, and at times, devastating. Many of us wanted, instead, to cling to what life had been before – and many of us are still longing to go back, for life to return to “normal” – whatever that was. We liked being the grain of wheat and we want to continue being the grain of wheat if we can.
But perhaps we have been given a chance to do what Jesus calls us to do in this passage – to give up our lives for something new, for something more closely resembling the kingdom of God. This time of struggle has made us get more creative about caring for our neighbor. At times it has opened our eyes to neighbors who were in need right under our noses before. If we take this time of continued upheaval to let go of the life we had before, and be reckless in our love, perhaps something new will flourish that looks more like what God wants for us.
Is God calling you to be more than just a grain of wheat? How has God cared for you and nurtured you in this time of being buried? Where have you seen signs of new life and new growth spring forth? Are there areas of your life you need to tend to? Are there areas of your life you need to let go of and realize that you cannot or should not go back to?
May we ponder all of these things in our hearts with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Take a time to sit quietly
thought from the connexional resources during the pandemic this week by Rev. Bethany Willers
7. or take a walk to the church garden and pray as you walk around the labyrinth there, silently listening to God as you travel inwards to the cross at the centre and then back outwards again into the world. In the glorious sunshine the daffodils are blooming in the central cross as you can see.
8. and/or sit quietly and reflect on the prayers, readings and thoughts here and listen for what God might be saying to you through them
(if you haven’t found them before and are interested for yourself, your children or grandchildren, have a look at the Children’s Page where Millie posts for Young Church every Sunday at 10.30am and there are links to Bishop Auckland Parish and CAFOD children’s worship.
Youth Team Resources
Millie and Hope’s Reflection
Hannah’s Creative Prayer
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” – Psalm 51:12
This week consider how God enables us to continue our walk with him, even when we tire. Think of a ribbon. When you hold it, it can look weak. Pray for areas in your life that need a fresh infilling of God’s spirit to energise you, to help you feel connected to him again.
A ribbon will flutter energetically in the wind. Give thanks to God for his power and strength.
Think of wind blowing in your face, remember that God sends his Spirit to renew our strength.