Mother Anna writes:
It might feel like life is on hold at the moment, and it certainly feels like the days are dragging, but the year is already racing by – in just 10 days we start Lent. Easter is fairly early this year – Sunday 4 April – so Ash Wednesday falls on 17 February.
As you know, in Lent we will be reading the whole of the Gospel of Mark together and looking at Rowan Williams’ introduction to the Gospel, Meeting God in Mark. Each week I will be posting out prayer booklets for the week ahead – in it you will find prayers and Scripture for each day, including a daily excerpt from the Gospel of Mark. If you use the booklet every day, then by Palm Sunday you will have reached the Garden of Gethsemane and in Holy Week, the most sombre and gruelling week in the church’s year, we will read of Christ’s Passion and the events leading up to his death and resurrection.
Mark’s Gospel is the shortest of the four, and fits beautifully with a daily discipline of scripture in Lent. There is something very powerful and moving about reading an entire Gospel in this way, and I look forward to sharing the experience with you.
There are more details about the book and the course at the end of this email, in the Notices section.
But first, today’s service will be livestreamed at 10am on our facebook page.
Today’s Gospel is a reading we typically associate with Christmas, and in our sermon this week, Keith Jackson, leader of the Church on the Farm in Tottenham, gives us another chance to think about Christmas and asks us if we are really getting it right. You can watch the video here or on our facebook page.
Don’t forget to join us on Zoom for coffee at 11am, after the service.
Prayer for today
Almighty God, give us reverence for all creation and respect for every person, that we may mirror your likeness in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Readings next week
14 February, last before Lent: 2 Kings 2:1-12; Mark 9:2-9
As usual, a great traditional hymn to sing along with – And Can It be?
Something a bit more upbeat – I Stand Amazed
And a great live rendition of King of Glory, featuring CeCe Winans
See you at 11 for coffee and a chat after our online service. Email Mthr Anna for details of how to join.
Lent is a time not just for giving things up but also for making an extra effort in our relationship with God, so this Lent I would like to encourage you to go deeper in your daily Bible reading and prayer.
Our Sunday Gospel readings this year come largely from the Gospel of Mark, so I will be sending out Daily Prayer booklets each week in Lent, in which the Bible readings will take us through the whole of Mark’s Gospel from start to finish.
At the same time, there will be an online Lent Course looking at Rowan Williams’ book Meeting God in Mark. It’s short and accessible but full of wisdom from the former Archbishop of Canterbury. You can buy the book online at amazon here or from independent bookshops here – full price it is £8.99 but both these websites discount the price. If you can’t afford the book or can’t shop online don’t worry – you can still come to the course and get a lot out of it.
The sessions will run on Tuesday evenings 8-9pm from Tuesday 23 February, and then repeated on Thursdays 10-11am from 25 February for people who prefer to meet during the day. You do not need to attend all the sessions – you will be welcome at as many as you can manage.
Please email Mother Anna for the Zoom link or if you would like to receive the prayer booklets and are not already on our mailing list.