The quiet reflection service is a guided meditation on the readings for the week, accompanied by a couple of hymns. It starts at 1pm on Thursdays, and runs for about 40 minutes.
Quiet Reflection for 2018 will continue every week until the 20th December.
Communion Service: On the 1st Thursday of each month, we will be celebrating Communion.
Following is the service for the 15th February 2018. Silence 15Feb18 pt If you click on it, it should open in your browser. (To return to the page, press the ‘back’ button in your browser.)
Alternatively, you may just read the whole text below.
Lent 1 15th February
The deliberate step into radical simplicity (driven, of course, by the Spirit) is a model for spiritual discipline and a timely focus for Lent. People need to find their desert places.
Jesus in wilderness stanley spencer, http://upcsermonsandmore.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/god-who-names-us-sermon-on-mark-19-15.html
Hymn: 725 In our darkness (5 times)
Mark 1:9-15 (J B Phillips New Testament)
It was in those days that Jesus arrived from the Galilean village of Nazareth and was baptised by John in the Jordan. All at once, as he came up out of the water, he saw the heavens split open, and the Spirit coming down upon him like a dove. A voice came out of Heaven, saying, “You are my dearly-beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!”
Then the Spirit sent him out at once into the desert, and there he remained for forty days while Satan tempted him. During this time no one was with him but wild animals, and only the angels were there to care for him.
It was after John’s arrest that Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the Gospel of God, saying, “The time has come at last—the kingdom of God has arrived. You must change your hearts and minds and believe the good news.”
In Mark there is not a statement about Jesus’ prior existence as the Word, as we might expect in John, nor a reflection on miraculous conception as we find in Matthew and Luke. Mark leaves us guessing about the background, although doubtless special prophetic and royal traditions have contributed (especially Isaiah 42:1 and Psalm 2:7). The focus is on the relationship rather than the genealogy.
The son with whom God is well pleased is surely going to make God’s will known. It is a statement about Jesus’ status in the world of powers and threatening forces which Mark inhabits.
But is there yet more to this strange temptation episode? Is it possible to interpret Jesus’ journey deep into the wilderness as a kind of “vision quest”? Among native peoples the vision quest is at once an outward adventure beyond the margins of society; an inward passage of purification and self-encounter; and a journey “in the spirit” to discover the identity and destiny of one’s people. Might Jesus be somehow interiorizing and reliving the experience of Israel? “For forty days” (1:13) is clearly meant to invoke Israel’s forty years of “testing” in the wilderness.
Israel’s identity commenced when it escaped from Pharaoh: “I will bring my people out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:10). Similarly, Jesus’ identity has just been confirmed at baptism: “You are my son, the Beloved” (Mark 1:11). Now he, like his ancestors, must struggle in the wilderness to discover what this vocation means. Jesus re-traces the footsteps of his people to their “place of origins,” the Exodus wilderness, in the hope of discovering where they went wrong. He faces again the forces that lured his people into idolatry and injustice, because to forge a different future he must confront the past. The future is now. After Jesus’ baptism and temptation, the Kingdom of God is close at hand. The life and death of Jesus brings forth the Kingdom. Ched Myers
Preparing for liberation entails facing the raw elements. Part of that is struggle and Mark suggests this is Jesus’ first victory. Part of it is return to simplicity and trust. As John lived off nature (the providence of God), so Jesus would be ministered to by the angels. Mark says nothing about fasting. Back to basics, back to trust, becomes a key teaching of Jesus later when he appeals to the simplicity of birds and flowers (Matthew 6:25-34). Jesus was living off ‘bush tucker’ for a while, like John. The deliberate step into radical simplicity (driven, of course, by the Spirit) is a model for spiritual discipline and a timely focus for Lent. People need to find their desert places.
|Round about us
Here among us
God of promise and love
Good and faithful
Strong in mercy
God of promise and love
Calling our names
Bidding us welcome
God of promise and love
|God is among us
Shout the good news
God is ahead of us
Trust the good news
God is within us
Live the good news
Hymn: 636 God has spoken (Hebrew)