Soul Food - 29th January
The new year quiz in the Peter Hall on Saturday night was great – we love quizzes. Our table came a creditable second which was very pleasing.
There were as many people at Otterton as there were at East Budleigh on Sunday morning, including some children. It is surprising how just a few more people affect the feel of a service so I ended up feeling rather chipper afterwards until laid low by a sore throat and runny nose. The theme of my sermon was repentance, taken from the gospel so if you’d like to read what I said just click here; https://revmartinjacques.blogspot.com/2020/01/repent-for-kingdom-of-heaven-is-at-hand.html
Next Sunday 2nd February – Candlemas
I am at St. Peter’s this morning and Karen is at All Saints and St. Michael’s. The presentation of Christ in the Temple, also known as Candlemas, marks the end of the Christmas/Epiphany season. Afterwards we mark Sundays as “Before Lent”. Ash Wednesday is on 26th February
Malachi 3: 1-5. Malachi means “messenger” or “angel” in Hebrew and a messenger is to be sent to Israel to purify society. It starts in the Temple (which should know better) and then spreads to the social sphere. A worthy cult and a just society go together. It is arguable that although this reading is selected to accompany Christ’s presentation in the Temple, the incident which mirrors this prophecy best in Christ’s ministry is Christ clearing the Temple of the money changers.
Hebrews 2: 14-18. An unequivocal statement that Jesus was human in every way. This is important when assessing the chances of our own resurrection from the dead. He shares our humanity so we can share in his resurrection. He was tested so he can intercede for us, who are being tested
Luke 2: 22-40. Actually, the presentation of the first-born son entailed no visit to the Temple. What Luke is really describing is the purification of Mary. Luke wants to present Jesus as being very much a full part of Jewish ritual and tradition. Jesus is presented as the focus of faith in whom one finds salvation.
Holy Spirit Day
This day has been set as Saturday 1st February from 10am to 4pm in the Peter Hall and church. For those that attended the Alpha course, you will remember that I separated off the instruction on the person and work of the Holy Spirit to a separate occasion. We plan a bring and share lunch. You don’t have to have attended the Alpha course to come – open to anyone!
Dinner club – 2020 – 27th February
Our first dinner club of the year is at East Devon Golf club on Thursday 27th February. I have already arranged the speaker for this first one of the season, our area dean, Fr. Robert Sellers, a very lively and amusing man who I’m sure will keep us well entertained with anecdotes from his life.
This wonderful and atmospheric Taize style service, led by Margaret and Mike Scrivener, and a Partnership initiative is being held at All Saints church East Budleigh on February 2nd February at 6pm. Be there or be square!
Music at St. Peter’s.
A new short series of concerts are starting on Fridays in February.
The concert starts at 1.30pm with optional lunch at 1pm. (£5 or £8 respectively). The programme is as follows;
7th February: Clifton Trio
14th February: Andrew Millington on organ
6th March: Stephen Tanner on organ
13th March: Stephen Tanner and Andrew Downton – organ and piano duets
Thought for the day
Reverend Giles Fraser speaking on radio 4’s “Thought for the day” mentioned that the recently deceased Roger Scruton, the conservative philosopher, occasionally played the organ in church for him and had sent him with a very expensive bottle of wine. Thinking he should share his good fortune; he opened the bottle of chateau Trotanoy and used it for his Sunday communion service. Giles then went on to discuss what is intrinsically valuable in a bottle of wine used in the Eucharist. What price Love, sacrifice and salvation?
Prayer for Today
Thinking about the wine used in the Eucharist I came across this prayer from the Ignatian tradition called “Wash me with your precious blood”
See, O merciful God, what return
I, your thankless servant, have made
for the innumerable favours
and the wonderful love you have shown me!
What wrongs I have done, what good left undone!
Wash away, I beg you, these faults and stains
with your precious blood, most kind Redeemer,
and make up for my poverty by applying your merits.
Give me the protection I need to amend my life.
I give and surrender myself wholly to you,
and offer you all I possess,
with the prayer that you bestow your grace on me,
so that I may be able to devote and employ
all the thinking power of my mind
and the strength of my body in your holy service,
who are God blessed for ever and ever. Amen.
Love and peace,