Last Sunday was the third Sunday in Lent and we were blessed to have our minister, the Rev’d Mark Lawrence lead our worship. Our steward Rosalind began the service as she placed a crown of thorns and draped a purple cloak around the wooden cross at the front of the church, acknowledging the arresting of Jesus by the Roman soldiers, his being tried and abused by the soldiers before his crucifixion.. We sang the first verse of “Jesus stand among us in thy risen power; let this time of worship be a hallowed hour”.
For our opening hymn we sang “ Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and King” by George Herbert, written in around 1620 but still relevant this day. Mark led our prayers of thanksgiving praise and adoration with a time for confession.
Our mornings’ bible readings came next, the first from Malachi, chapter three, and the second from St Matthew’s gospel, chapter six, here Jesus teaches about the need for modesty in giving and in prayer, that what we do when we give to charity or pray should not be displayed for everyone to see. We prayed for others both at home and abroad in which members of the congregation brought their own needs for others in prayer.
Giving modestly was the theme of Mark’s sermon. “When you give to the needy do not let your right hand know what your left hand is doing” proclaimed Jesus. “The righteous give without sparing”, said Mark and he reminded us of some words of Jesus who said “it is more blessed to give than to receive”. Repeating some words of St Paul writing to the early churches Mark responded to the questions “How should we give; what should we give; and why should we give?” Jesus said “I have come that I may have life and have it in abundance” and giving to those in need is an important part of a Christian’s ministry to others. After a short prayer we celebrated Holy Communion our minister being assisted by our pastoral steward Jill Harrison. This closed a wonderful service appreciate by a large congregation with some visitors with us.