April 5, 2020


Opening sentence

Have the same frame of mind in you

that was also in Christ Jesus.

Call to praise

Lord, hear me when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me!

“Come,” my heart says, “seek God’s face!” Your face, Lord, do I seek.

Glory …

Glory to the Father,

and to the Son,

and to the Holy Spirit:

as it was in the beginning,

is now,

and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 31: 9-16

9 Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress;

    my eyes grow weak with sorrow,

    my soul and body with grief.

10 My life is consumed by anguish

    and my years by groaning;

my strength fails because of my affliction,[b]

    and my bones grow weak.

11 Because of all my enemies,

    I am the utter contempt of my neighbours

and an object of dread to my closest friends—

    those who see me on the street flee from me.

12 I am forgotten as though I were dead;

    I have become like broken pottery.

13 For I hear many whispering,

    “Terror on every side!”

They conspire against me

    and plot to take my life.

14 But I trust in you, Lord;

    I say, “You are my God.”

15 My times are in your hands;

    deliver me from the hands of my enemies,

    from those who pursue me.

16 Let your face shine on your servant;

    save me in your unfailing love.

Reflection on Psalms 31 from With God Daily by Sky Jethani 

Sooner or later we all discover the truth that we are not in control. Circumstances will arise that we are unable to overcome through our own power, intelligence, or skill. When that moment comes, we will face a final choice. We may either succumb to the despair of a dark, evil world, or we can cry out to God for deliverance.

Psalm 31 shows us what the latter looks like. The writer calls to the Lord for help when facing certain death. He chooses to entrust himself to God, “Into your hand I commit my spirit.” Jesus quoted this verse from his cross, but the extent of his trust in God went far beyond the original intent of Psalm 31. While the psalmist was trusting the Lord to deliver him from death, Jesus fully trusted the goodness of God even in death. Jesus knew that God, not death, would have the last word.

This psalm captures the great hope of all who put their trust in God, and it is a message our dark world desperately needs. When Pope John Paul II spoke at the holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, he drew his remarks from Psalm 31. “We are overcome by the heart-rending laments of so many,” he said. But we are not overwhelmed because, “Evil will not have the last word. Out of the depths of pain and sorrow, the believer’s heart cries out: ‘I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.”’”


I pray to you, Lord; my prayer rises with the sun.

You hear my words, my groans, my cries for help.

(free prayers of thanksgiving)

Your grace surrounds those who take refuge in you;

you protect them and crown them with your favor.


Call to discipleship

Jesus said, If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.

Matthew 21:1-11

21 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,

    ‘See, your king comes to you,

gentle and riding on a donkey,

    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[a]

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c]

“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Reflection on Reading

  • What stands our?
  • What does this passage say about God?
  • What does this passage say about us?

1 Peter 2.4-5

4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 

Philippians 2.5-8

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God,

did not regard equality with God

as something to be exploited,

but emptied himself,

taking the form of a slave,

being born in human likeness.

And being found in human form,

he humbled himself

and became obedient to the point of death—

even death on a cross.


Call to intercession

Do not hide your face from us, O God; you have been our help.

Do not leave us to the malice of our enemies,

O God of our salvation!


Trustworthy God, we bring our prayers to you because we rely on you to protect and provide. In your mercy,

Lord, hear our prayer.

You keep our feet from falling. We pray for ourselves and those dear to us.

(open prayers)

In your mercy,

Lord, hear our prayer.

Your grace gives comfort and strength. We pray for our community and for our neighbors.

(open prayers)

In your mercy,

Lord, hear our prayer.

You build your people into a spiritual home. We pray for the church in all places, that we may be one.

(open prayers)

In your mercy,

Lord, hear our prayer.

You have made your way known through Jesus Christ. We pray for the world, that your reign may come and your will be done on earth.

(open prayers)

In your mercy,

Lord, hear our prayer.

We offer you other concerns we carry in our hearts.

(open prayers)

In your mercy,

Lord, hear our prayer.


God of strength in days of testing, you deliver us from fear to love. Pierce our vanity and empty us of pride, that we may see your image in all humankind and, like Christ, embrace both neighbour and enemy. In the name of Jesus our Saviour, we pray:


Our Father who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debts,

as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil,

for thine is the kingdom, and the power,

and the glory forever. Amen.


Lent Focus – Brothers and Sisters of Mine 

Written by Andree Abrahams

Isaiah 58:6-7

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:

to loose the chains of injustice

    and untie the cords of the yoke,

to set the oppressed free

    and break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food with the hungry

    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—

when you see the naked, to clothe them,

Matthew 25:37-40

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

In this story, it is Jesus who reminds the righteous that whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of his, you do it for him. I have been thinking a lot about you this week, my brothers and sisters. What kinds of needs do you have today? Are you hungry for bread? Are you thirsty for a drink? Are you missing those blessed open doors of hospitality or the sharing of goods we used to enjoy?

The reality is that we are separated from one another. I cannot share bread with you today in the same way we used to, I cannot share the cup with you as we did not so long ago. But one way we can care for each other today is to be honest and recognize what’s been lost.

I miss you. I miss your presence. I miss hearing the pure crisp sound of your voice, unadulterated by a computer microphone or a telephone. I miss your hugs and palm to palm handshakes. I miss our narrow, crowded church aisles as we shimmy to and from our pews. I miss our children. I miss working together, as in actually together; rolling tables, folding chairs, opening Bibles, bowing heads. Together.

Would you do something for me this week? Would you do something as unto our Lord?

Would you pray for me? Would you pray for your brothers and sisters this week? We as a church are not being persecuted, but we are laying down our ‘right’ to gather for the sake of others, for the sake of the weak and vulnerable, and right now, it costs us something that we love.

This week, take time to recognize the good things in your life you have given up for the sake of others and make space for prayer.


Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself

and God our Father,

who has loved us and through grace

has given us eternal comfort and good hope,

comfort and strengthen our hearts

in every good work and word.



By |2020-04-04T18:39:17+00:00April 4th, 2020|Liturgy|0 Comments