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Sunday's Service

Every Sunday, across the world, Christians share an agreed three year cycle of Bible Readings in Sunday worship, this is called the Common Lectionary. We offer materials including prayers bible study and worship resources for each one of these Sunday's via our Lectionary Bible Notes Section.

scapegoatSecond of Epiphany

John the Baptist described Jesus as 'the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! Why does he compare Jesus to an animal, and how does Jesus take away sins?

On the Wirral close to Liverpool is the Lady Lever Art Gallery. There you will find the picture shown above called 'The Scapegoat' by William Holmann Hunt. On the frame of the painting is written the title 'Scapegoat.' Hunt learned that on the Festival of the Day of Atonement, a goat was ejected from the temple with a scarlet piece of woollen cloth on its head. It was goaded and driven, either to death or into the wilderness, carrying with it the sins of the congregation. It was believed that if these sins were forgiven the scarlet cloth would turn white. Hunt recognised that John the Baptist was thinking of Jesus in this way, the death of Jesus cancelled the sins of the people. 

It is difficult for us today to understand the practice of animal sacrifice, how people could imagine that the anger of God at sin would be appeased by the killing of a defenceless animal. However with Jesus came a new understanding God shows up in person in Jesus and brings to an end the killing. No more lambs to kill, goats to drive off into the wilderness, Jesus comes and shows us that he is prepared to die himself to bring the old ways to an end.

 

Click here to read more and for this Sunday's service resources

Read or listen to sermons

Read this week's prayers

Lectionary Material for every Sunday in Years A, B, C

 

Future Sundays with worship, prayer and teaching resources

Sundays in Lectionary Year C

 

December 24
December 25
January 1
January 8
January 15
January 22

Christmas Day

Second Sunday of Christmas

 

January 29
February 5
February 12
February 19
February 26
March 5

Fourth Sundaybefore Lent

Also Epiphany 5

Third Sunday before Lent

Also Epiphany 6

 

the cross is the way

Holy God, help us to clear space in our lives where your holy presence my grow and produce fruit worthy of our great calling. Remove far from us those things which cause hurt to others and hurt ourselves. Plant seeds of joy and peace that love might grow and be shown as we live in harmony with others.

We thank you generous God for the world in which we live. We praise you for the beauty of the seasons with the varied opportunities which they provide to enjoy creation. We give thanks for night and day, a time for rest and sleep, and a time for play and work. We give thanks for people, all so wonderfully different, yet each created in your image. We give thanks for Jesus, our Saviour, at whose birth in Bethlehem a star lit up the sky, who died on a cross to show your great love for us all. Amen.

Eternal God, in the darkness of winter, and in the darkness of our broken world, the light of Jesus shines to give us courage and hope. Light up our hearts as we praise you and our minds as we hear your word. Give strength we pray to those who seek to bring your light into the dark places of our world. Bless those who are called upon to fight as they serve in armies in conflict zones. Give wisdom to those politicians and world leaders who negotiate to bring about reconciliation. Strengthen all of those who work to protect the vulnerable or show compassion to those whose lives have been subject to physical and spiritual distress.

We pray that your Holy Spirit would work in us to help us to serve you day by day. Give us eyes to see you at work in our lives and those around us. May the joy of your salvation burn brightly in our soul that your lost children would be drawn closer you.

Hear our humble prayers that we may serve you in holiness and faith  and give voice to your presence among us  until the day of the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ,  who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 

Each morning and each evening
let the peace of the Father, be ours.
Each day and each night
let the peace of the Son be ours.
Each dawn and each dusk
let the peace of the Spirit be ours.
Let the blessing of the three in one be ours;
both now and for ever. Amen.
Carmina Gadelica