Our morning worship last Sunday was led by Mr Mark Savill. It was the fifth Sunday in Lent and also ‘Passion Sunday’. Our steward Sue Fox said some words to recalling that Jesus was whipped on his way to the cross. After his call to worship Mark led us in our opening hymn “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty” accompanied by Mark on his guitar in the absence of our organist. Our prayers of adoration and praise centred on the glory of God in this season.
There were two bible readings, the first from Matthew, chapter 20, read by Richard Lucas in which Jesus speaks a third time about his death and explained to the disciples he did not come to be served but to serve following which he restores the sight to two blind men. The second was from John, chapter 12, read by Ron Lucas. Jesus here is spending time with his friends Lazarus whom he had raised from death and his sisters Mary and Martha and it was Mary who anointed the feet of Jesus with expensive perfume. Challenged by Judas Iscariot Jesus told him that “you will always have poor people with you, but you will not always have me”.
The Passion of Christ was the theme chosen by Mark for his sermon. He began by spelling out the definitions of the word passion from the Oxford Dictionary, which includes the suffering of Christ. Expanding on this Mark explained that the Passion of Christ is about his arrest, his persecution, his trial and whipping and his eventual crucifixion. Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor, wished to wash his hands of the affair but the Jews were insistent that he be crucified on the cross. Christians believe his death was part of his redemption for our sins and shortcoming. Mark concluded by remind us that passion has a cost as we serve others as ourselves, passion ignores ridicule and criticism, passion knows that the prize is worth the cost, and passion leads to action. “Do our actions demonstrate our passion for God?” asked Mark. May we have a passion for him and glorify him by our living.