Sunday, 12 March 2017
Praying in Lent 2017 with USPG,
(15) Sunday 12 March 2017
This is the Second Sunday in Lent. This morning (12 March 2017), I am presiding at the Eucharist in Castletown Church, near Pallaskenry, Co Limerick (9.45 a.m.), leading Morning Prayer in Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale, Co Limerick (11.15 a.m.), and preaching in both churches.
The Lectionary readings for today: Genesis 12: 1-4a; Psalm 121; Romans 4: 1–5, 13–17; and John 3: 1–17.
The Lent 2017 edition of the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) follows the theme of the USPG Lent study course, ‘Living an Authentic Life.’
I am using this Prayer Diary for my prayers and reflections each morning throughout Lent. Why not join me in these prayers and reflections, for just a few moments each morning?
In the articles and prayers in the prayer diary, USPG invites us to investigate what it means to be a disciple of Christ. The Lent study course, ‘Living an Authentic Life’ (available online or to order at www.uspg.org.uk/lent), explores the idea that discipleship and authenticity are connected.
This week, from today (12 March) until next Saturday (18 March), the USPG Lent Prayer Diary follows the topic ‘How shall we live.’ The topic is introduced today in an article in the Prayer Diary by Maropeng Moholoa, of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa, who oversees a USPG-supported community development programme in Lesotho:
We use a process of community development that empowers people to take charge of their destiny by questioning their current situation, examining the causes of poverty, and using local resources to bring change to their households and communities.
Through Bible studies, we organise, communities come to realise that God has already provided them with the skills, resources and knowledge they need to bring lasting change.
Using this process, the congregation of Saint Matthew’s, in Matsieng, was motivated to complete a church building that had been built over a decade ago but still lacked a roof. The congregation and community offered their services for free as a donation, and took pride completing the building without enlisting outside help. In a similar way, this process – officially called the Church and Community Mobilisation Process (CCMP) – is helping communities to engage more deeply with preventive health initiatives and income-generation projects.
Working with CCMP has shown me that discipleship has a communal character. Discipleship is not just about who we are as individuals, but about how we relate to each other and are able to work together and support each other.
Sunday 12 March 2017,
The Second Sunday of Lent:
Holy God, day by day you call us deeper into your love
as your disciples who form the body of Christ today.
Thank you for your global church of which we are a part.
Help us to build up your church in love and action.
you show to those who are in error the light of your truth
that they may return to the way of righteousness:
Grant to all those who are admitted
into the fellowship of Christ’s religion,
that they may reject those things
that are contrary to their profession,
and follow all such things
as are agreeable to the same;
through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lenten Collect:
Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:
Create and make in us new and contrite hearts
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may receive from you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Post-Communion Prayer:
Creator of heaven and earth,
we thank you for these holy mysteries
given us by our Lord Jesus Christ,
by which we receive your grace
and are assured of your love,
which is through him now and for ever.
Yesterday’s reflection and prayer