2nd Sunday after Epiphany 17th January

Welcome to our service today. This on-line service will continue for the foreseeable future. Many thanks to Bella Sandcraft and Karen Allen who have proof-read this service! It is very sad that we are unable to have services at church at the moment but I will keep you posted, as everything is changing very quickly. In the February Waylander you will read a pastoral letter by the Bishop of Norwich. I feel very sorry for Revd.Joy Fernando who is with me until June for parish experience when we are so desk bound at the moment. Today Joy will be giving the Homily, also she is preparing for an on-line Lenten Study Course in preparation for Easter.

If you want to contact me, 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

Adrian Bell

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

The GreetingGrace, mercy and peace
from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ
be with you
and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation
Almighty 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.   

The Collect of the Second Sunday after Epiphany

Almighty God,
in Christ you make all things new:
transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace,
and in the renewal of our lives
make known your heavenly glory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen


•    1 Samuel 3. 1-10The Lord Calls Samuel

3 The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.

2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel.

Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.

6 Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”

7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.

8 A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
•    Revelations 5.1-10The Scroll and the Lamb

5 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits[a] of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
    and with your blood you purchased for God
    persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
    and they will reign[b] on the earth.”
•    John 1. 43 to end

Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael

43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”

44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.

“Come and see,” said Philip.

47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”

48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”

50 Jesus said, “You believe[h] because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you,[i] you[j] will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’[k] the Son of Man.”

Homily – By Revd Joy Fernando

Some words we have just prayed in the Collect:
“ …. transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace, and in the renewal of our lives make known your heavenly glory …. “
Our readings today show us several characters who at certain points in their lives needed the transforming power of God to renew life and thereby to show God’s heavenly glory.

God is constantly in the business of transformation if we look for the signs. In these days we need a sense of God breaking through probably more than in any other time we have lived through (except perhaps the second war). I sense that people are now getting weary of lockdowns and restrictions; some are even taking reckless chances with their own and their family’s health. People are getting stressed and angry, and hitting out at the nearest authority figures, such as the Prime Minister.
In Old Testament times for a woman to remain childless was a reason for banishment from her community and divorce from her husband. Hannah, Samuel’s mother, also suffered the indignity of her husband’s second wife who had children constantly looking down on her and jeering at her misfortune. One of Hannah’s prayers was that if God would give her a child she would dedicate that child back to God and he would live in The Temple and learn all about priesthood. And eventually that was what happened. Out of her persistence and desperation, God transformed her life, and she had a child. God was also obviously pleased with her dedication of him as He went on to give her several more children.

Of course, Samuel was a very special child in other ways and our Old Testament reading today relates how God called him, still as a child, and began a relationship which was to see him become the final Judge appointed in the Kingdom of Israel before they began to have kings. Samuel was the one who anointed David as King. God had appeared in a vision and called Samuel by name. He had transformed a life and through that life: a nation, by miraculous means.
In our gospel reading we see another call. Nathaniel was sitting under a fig tree when the call came. Under its huge branches he was able to spend time meditating on such weighty issues as the coming of the Messiah to Israel. Jesus: the person Nathaniel was meditating about saw him there and knew supernaturally everything about him. As with Hannah and Samuel, the Son of God recognized someone He could use in His mission of saving and healing. Nathaniel in turn recognized that his whole life from then on belonged to God and he followed Jesus.

Psalm 139 tells us that God, the Creator of the world, knows everything about us: where we go, what we do and even what we think.  There is nowhere we can go where He does not go with us. He did not just create the world and then leave it to its own devices. He wants to intervene in peoples’ lives and situations to change them for good. I was delivering shopping to a lady this week. She is well known to the shopping service mainly because she complains a lot and generally makes our lives difficult. I was due to deliver to her after a series of messages had come in about her interactions with the team which had caused some distress, and I was not looking forward to going there. So, as I got out of the car, I just offered up a quick prayer, asking God to give me the opportunity to understand her better. As I passed her the shopping, I saw a very elderly, grey-faced lady who is in constant pain and who told me that her family doesn’t care. I could see why she might take out her sadness and anger on us. I might do the same! I was able to be kind to her, just for a few minutes, despite the face-coverings and distancing rules we have to abide by. God enabled me to look past her rudeness and see the person she really is. He transformed both our lives, just a little, in that moment.
Are there situations you are praying about now where you would like God to intervene in order to change and transform either someone’s life or circumstance?
What could you do?
Pause: Meditate/reflect on the situation just laying it before God and wait on Him. Maybe as a result of that: send a quick arrow prayer asking for guidance, help, assurance etc.
Persist in prayer: Hannah suffered the abuses and difficulties of her childless marriage for years before her life was transformed. God’s answer may be “not yet”, so keep on until you do receive an answer or a better understanding of the situation.
Learn to recognize God’s “voice”. Very few people hear an audible voice, but we can begin to recognize how God speaks to us. It may be in a vision such as Samuel and St John had. It may be in the words of a friend or family member. It may be from a verse in our Bible reading. It may even be in a homily!
Remember: the truth such as that found in our psalm and gospel passage today: that God knows everything about us and all those we bring before Him and knows what we/they need before we pray. So, just tell Him how it is and then let Him do the rest.

IntercessionsO Lord, as we think of Nathaniel today in our Gospel reading let us remember all those who have been changed by the lockdown and the effects of the virus. We pray that as a church we may respond in future months to those who will be seeking a change in their lives or closer contact with you. We pray that as a church we may be better bearers of the Good News, and responsive to those who have never met you. We pray for our Diocese and all the clergy and people and especially today we pray for Bishops Graham and Alan and also Bishop Jonathan as he and Rebecca move to Oxfordshire to retire. We pray for the preparations for his successor as Bishop of Lynn. In our Diocesan Prayer calendar, we pray for Roman Catholic Church: Diocese of East Anglia, Bishop Alan Hopes
Lord in your mercy  Hear our prayer

O Lord, as the world lurches from crisis to crisis and there is much misleading and misdirecting; we pray that we may encourage all leaders in the world to recover the natural sense of what is right and just, honest and good, so that our hearts are inclined to hear the voice of your leading and respond to it. We pray for the USA and Uganda and other places where elections or inaugurations will take place this week. We pray for our Prime Minister and all those in Government and especially those leading the NHS vaccine programme. We pray for those who are working to save lives in hospitals and for those in the community who are paramedics. We thank you, O Lord, for their courage and skill.

Lord in your mercy  Hear our prayer

O Lord, as many families and elderly struggle in our communities at this time we pray that as a society we may take more seriously our responsibility of helping those in need. We pray for the programme of providing free meals to families in need and also the work of the local Food Bank. We pray for all delivery drivers being a lifeline to the housebound and also our local postal workers and refuse collectors. We pray for all those who work in the community as health visitors, carers or emergency services. We pray that you may keep them safe and well.
Lord in your mercy  Hear our prayer
O Lord we pray for those who we know, because of the virus, are going through very distressing, painful and worrying times. We stand alongside them now and ask for them your comfort, reassurance, healing and peace of mind. We pray for Jo Connolly from Thompson and all those who have asked for prayers, and we pray now for our loved ones……………
Lord in your mercy  Hear our prayer
O Lord we pray for those who are dying within our community and in hospital. We pray for them, for all who have recently died and for all those left without their loved ones, grieving, and numbed with shock. We pray for Margaret Thompson who has recently died and all who have lost loved ones in our Group of Parishes.
Lord in your mercy  Hear our prayer
Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen
The Peace

Our Saviour Christ is the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end.
The peace of the Lord be always with you.  And also with you

The Lord’s Prayer

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 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

God of glory,
you nourish us with your Word
who is the bread of life:
fill us with your Holy Spirit
that through us the light of your glory
may shine in all the world.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The Blessing and Dismissal

Christ the Son of God perfect in you the image of his glory and gladden your hearts with the good news of his kingdom and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be among you and remain with you always.  Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord
In the name of Christ Amen

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