St. James the Less Church in the Parish of Renforth
March 6th 2016 The fourth Sunday of Lent
Collect Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world, evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
FIRST READING: Joshua 5:9-12
9The LORD told Joshua, “It was a disgrace for my people to be slaves in Egypt, but now I have taken away that disgrace.” So the Israelites named the place Gilgal, and it still has that name.
10Israel continued to camp at Gilgal in the desert near Jericho, and on the fourteenth day of the same month they celebrated Passover.
11-12The next day, God stopped sending the Israelites manna to eat each morning, and they started eating food grown in the land of Canaan. They ate roasted grain and thin bread made of the barley they had gathered from nearby fields.
PSALMODY: Psalm 32 (Said Responsively)
1Our God, you bless everyone whose sins you forgive and wipe away.
2You bless them by saying, “You told me your sins, without trying to hide them, and now I forgive you.”
3Before I confessed my sins, my bones felt limp,
and I groaned all day long.
4Night and day your hand weighed heavily on me,
and my strength was gone as in the summer heat.
5So I confessed my sins and told them all to you.
I said, “I’ll tell the LORD each one of my sins.”
Then you forgave me and took away my guilt.
6We worship you, LORD, and we should always pray
whenever we find out that we have sinned.
Then we won’t be swept away by a raging flood.
7You are my hiding place! You protect me from trouble, and you put songs in my heart
because you have saved me.
8You said to me, “I will point out the road that you should follow. I will be your teacher and watch over you.
9Don’t be stupid like horses and mules that must be led with ropes to make them obey.”
10All kinds of troubles will strike the wicked, but your kindness shields those who trust you, LORD.
11And so your good people should celebrate and shout.
Glory be to…
SECOND READING: 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
16We are careful not to judge people by what they seem to be, though we once judged Christ in that way. 17Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. 18God has done it all! He sent Christ to make peace between himself and us, and he has given us the work of making peace between himself and others. 19What we mean is that God was in Christ, offering peace and forgiveness to the people of this world. And he has given us the work of sharing his message about peace. 20We were sent to speak for Christ, and God is begging you to listen to our message. We speak for Christ and sincerely ask you to make peace with God. 21Christ never sinned! But God treated him as a sinner, so that Christ could make us acceptable to God.
GOSPEL: Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
Tax collectors and sinners were all crowding around to listen to Jesus. 2So the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law of Moses started grumbling, “This man is friendly with sinners. He even eats with them.” 3Then Jesus told them this story: Once a man had two sons. 12The younger son said to his father, “Give me my share of the property.” So the father divided his property between his two sons. 13Not long after that, the younger son packed up everything he owned and left for a foreign country, where he wasted all his money in wild living. 14He had spent everything, when a bad famine spread through that whole land. Soon he had nothing to eat. 15He went to work for a man in that country, and the man sent him out to take care of his pigs. 16He would have been glad to eat what the pigs were eating, but no one gave him a thing. 17Finally, he came to his senses and said, “My father’s workers have plenty to eat, and here I am, starving to death! 18I will go to my father and say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. 19I am no longer good enough to be called your son. Treat me like one of your workers.’ ” 20The younger son got up and started back to his father. But when he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt sorry for him. He ran to his son and hugged and kissed him. 21The son said, “Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. I am no longer good enough to be called your son.” 22But his father said to the servants, “Hurry and bring the best clothes and put them on him. Give him a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23Get the best calf and prepare it, so we can eat and celebrate. 24This son of mine was dead, but has now come back to life. He was lost and has now been found.” And they began to celebrate. 25The older son had been out in the field. But when he came near the house, he heard the music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants over and asked, “What’s going on here?” 27The servant answered, “Your brother has come home safe and sound, and your father ordered us to kill the best calf.” 28The older brother got so angry that he would not even go into the house. His father came out and begged him to go in. 29But he said to his father, “For years I have worked for you like a slave and have always obeyed you. But you have never even given me a little goat, so that I could give a dinner for my friends. 30This other son of yours wasted your money on prostitutes. And now that he has come home, you ordered the best calf to be killed for a feast.” 31His father replied, “My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we should be glad and celebrate! Your brother was dead, but he is now alive. He was lost and has now been found.”
Sentence I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him; Father I have sinned against heaven and before you Luke 15:18
Our Health, Wellness and Safety Event: Navigating the Home Care system has been rescheduled to March 10th. It would be good to have a few people to greet and make a cup of tea.
Joint Good Friday Area service. St Paul’s Rothesay, Eric is preaching and we have been invited to help out by joining a combined choir. 11:00 am. Please see Mary Splane if you would like to be part of the choir, she will have the music and the practice schedule. We are also asked to provide two readers. “Jesus” for the dramatic reading and a prayer leader for the litany. Thank You Gregor and David H for volunteering for this.
We need volunteers for two ministries that serve the community. The first is our Renforth Seniors Health Wellness and Safety Fair. We need people to help with the hospitality and by setting up tables and arranging the room. The second is Renforth Wharf Days we will need people to set up and staff a booth as well as to be available for hospitality and logistics. Both of these ministries are born from prayer and are our way to serve the local community. They are extremely important and I believe, linked to the long term life of our Church. Would you be willing to serve? Please sign up on the lists in the Narthex. Currently no one has. It would be a great encouragement to me personally if there were some folks joining these missions. This is part of our Missional Footprint.
Month of Prayer. As you know we are short one Warden. We will be taking the rest of the season of Lent to pray for the right person to be called. You may nominate individuals that you believe are called to serve in this position to David Henderson or Eric. They will approach them after prayer. Please ask the Lord to guide you and also be open yourself to what God might be calling you to.
Prayer Meeting There will be a prayer meeting and time of worship on April 27th in preparation for the Health, Wellness and Safety Fair. As we serve the local community we are very conscious that we are serving in Christ’s name and are caring not only for temporal needs but spiritual ones as well. I wonder if we should have a booth that just says “Free Prayer”