Welcome to our service today.

This on-line service will continue for the foreseeable future and at least until 6th February when the situation will be reviewed. Our priority is to keep everyone safe for now.

Please be assured of our prayers at this time when greater restrictions on our movements have returned and we do not yet know when they will be lifted again.

We will all get through this latest setback if we look out for one another! If you need any help, please contact us.

If you want to contact Adrian please telephone 01760 627039 or adrian.bell4@uwclub.net.
If you want to contact Joy please telephone 01760 725938/07905039201 or joy.fernando@live.co.uk

Joy Fernando

 + In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

The Greeting
Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ
be with you
and also with you.
Prayer of PreparationAlmighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.  Amen.
The Gloria
Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.   

Collect for The Second Sunday of Christmas

Almighty God,
in the birth of your Son
you have poured on us the new light of your incarnate Word,
and shown us the fullness of your love:
help us to walk in his light and dwell in his love
that we may know the fullness of his joy;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Amen

Readings:-
•    Jeremiah 31:7-14
7 This is what the Lord says:

“Sing with joy for Jacob;
    shout for the foremost of the nations.
Make your praises heard, and say,
    ‘Lord, save your people,
    the remnant of Israel.’
8
See, I will bring them from the land of the north
    and gather them from the ends of the earth.
Among them will be the blind and the lame,
    expectant mothers and women in labor;
    a great throng will return.
9
They will come with weeping;
    they will pray as I bring them back.
I will lead them beside streams of water
    on a level path where they will not stumble,
because I am Israel’s father,
    and Ephraim is my firstborn son.

10
“Hear the word of the Lord, you nations;
    proclaim it in distant coastlands:
‘He who scattered Israel will gather them
    and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.’
11
For the Lord will deliver Jacob
    and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they.
12
They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion;
    they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord—
the grain, the new wine and the olive oil,
    the young of the flocks and herds.
They will be like a well-watered garden,
    and they will sorrow no more.
13
Then young women will dance and be glad,
    young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into gladness;
    I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
14
I will satisfy the priests with abundance,
    and my people will be filled with my bounty,”
declares the Lord.

•    Ephesians 1:3-14Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he[a] predestined us for adoption to sonship[b] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he[c] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen,[d] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

•    John 1:10-18
 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and[a] is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

Homily

Our readings today speak of God’s close relationship with us. I don’t know whether you are a fan of icons but this one came to mind as I began to study the readings (please see image Christmas 2: 3rd January 2021 (waylandermagazine.org)):

It was painted by Andrei Rublev in the fifteenth century and is judged to be his most famous painting and regarded as one of the highest achievements of Russian art. It actually depicts the three angels who visited Abraham at the Oak of Mamre (Gen 18:1-8), but it has also been thought to be a representation of the Trinity. The three persons of the Godhead are sitting at a table. As with all icons, the perspective is not true to life and not that important. It is the symbolism which is important. The heads of the figures are painted in such a position that we find ourselves looking from one to the other as they are in fact looking at one another. The shape of the table draws us in so that we can be a part of the gathering. They are all wearing blue and they have the same face to remind us that God is three persons but One. We are being invited into a Heavenly meal (the Eucharist?) and into part of their continuing existence. We are invited to meditate on the fact that we stand with one foot on a human plane and one on a Heavenly plane: we are both human and divine; we have chosen to belong to God and His kingdom and in turn have been chosen by God to fulfil a purpose for him in this life.

We have been adopted as children of God according to St Paul, in our Epistle for today. It was very common in the Roman world of the New Testament for wealthy families who had no male children (sorry ladies; girls could not inherit) to adopt a son of one of their trusted slaves. A price was paid to compensate the family and the child was then taken to live with the wealthy family and was immediately heir to everything his adopted family had. Adopted children were treated exactly the same as natural children from that time on. Imagine the joy of a Father who at last had a boy who could inherit all his goods and money and carry on his name when he thought that was never going to be. Imagine the joy of the child who was adopted and shown his inheritance when he thought he would live his whole life in poverty.

Paul says that God treats us in exactly the same way. He chose us just as the wealthy Father chose his son. In fact, He chose us before the world began. I can never quite believe that when God was planning the world He was to create, He thought of me! The reading from Jeremiah gives an account of the never-ending care and love which God the Father has for all His people. It was written when the people of Israel were exiled and speaks of a glorious homecoming to their own land one day. God is pictured like a shepherd who leads and tends his sheep, keeping them safe from harm and searching for them when they get lost. Whatever His children suffer, God is looking out for them and protecting them even in their darkest times. In these Covid times there is much suffering. People are sick, relatives are not able to visit. We are physically separated from our friends and families. Our economy is suffering and people are losing their jobs and livelihoods. But if we look a little more carefully we see many people looking out for their neighbours when they never did before and we have, not just one, but several vaccines being discovered. God is active in our world restoring His children.

God the Father loved His adopted children so much that at a point in history He Himself chose to go and live amongst them in the form of Jesus. The Message translation of John 1:14 puts it like this: “The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighbourhood.” Life was hard then too. Jesus lived the life of a refugee for the first years of his life and their country was occupied by a cruel, oppressive regime. He understands from the inside how hard life can be sometimes for us and he blesses our weak attempts to follow him. He urges us to continue to love both God and other people, to pray and to serve. In return, He gives us the gift of eternal life which is our inheritance as adopted children of God. And above all He loves us with an unconditional love.

Intercessions

Father of us all: we pray for the Christian church at this time. We pray for Christians all over the world and for Justin and Stephen our Archbishops. In our Diocese we pray for our Bishops: Graham, Alan and Jonathan, particularly for Bishop Jonathan as he prepares for retirement later this month and for those who will choose his successor. We pray for all the various Christian denominations: particularly for those who meet in this area: for greater unity and a renewed sense of mission to the people who live here. We pray for those involved in making decisions about the churches in the Breckland Deanery and how we will work together this year.

Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayer
Father of us all, we pray for our world and its leader: for a greater sense of working for the good of all. We pray for the working out of the Brexit deal and for decisions being made by our government and the European Union. We pray for all those affected by the virus throughout the world, especially the poorest nations. We give thanks that vaccines may be available for everyone as next year progresses. We pray for an end to the spread of this virus and a return to a more normal life. We pray for our Queen and members of the royal family.

Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayer
Heavenly Father, we pray for our group of parishes and the villages that make up this Benefice. We pray for those within our villages suffering hardship as a result of recent floods and power cuts.  We pray for our friends and neighbours and all we come into contact with that we might show God’s love wherever we go. We pray for our local schools, places of work, our farms and the local shops.
Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayer

Heavenly Father we pray for those we know in need of God’s love and assurance at this time. For those suffering the economic effects of the virus. Those who have lost their livelihoods and those who need to make life-changing decisions. We pray for the sick and those who look after them and for the residents of Thorp House. We pray especially for…………
Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayer

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. AmenThe Peace

Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and his name shall be called the Prince of Peace.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you
The Lord’s PrayerOur 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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

Final Prayer
All praise to you,
almighty God and heavenly king,
who sent your Son into the world
to take our nature upon him
and to be born of a pure virgin:
grant that, as we are born again in him,
so he may continually dwell in us
and reign on earth as he reigns in heaven,
now and for ever.

Amen

The Blessing

Christ, who by his incarnation gathered into one, things earthly and heavenly,
Fill you with peace and goodwill
And make you partakers of the divine nature;
And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen

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