6 March 2022 – First Sunday in Lent

We have resumed in-person services! If you would like to join in worship in-person, please call the office to pre-register, as we are continuing to maintain 2 metres of distance between household groups attending. Masks must be worn at all times in the building. Our 10 o’clock Eucharist will continue to be live-streamed each week.

Nativity's main altar, dressed on Ash Wednesday for Lent

You can join in worshipping on Sunday, live or later, via YouTube! We’ll continue to offer a welcome at about 9:45, followed by some prelude music. The service will begin at 10 am. The service will be posted to YouTube, and you can use the same link to join in later.

To join in the responses and to sing along with the hymns, you’ll want to keep the order of service handy!

The order of service posted online includes some prayers you may wish to use to participate in spiritual communion while those attending in person receive the Eucharist. This may be the first time you’re hearing about spiritual communion: the idea is that earnestly desiring to participate in the Eucharist and praying is to receive spiritually what you are not able to receive physically at this time. There are three prayers in the online order of service on page 14 to support you as you worship from afar.

On the first Sunday of Lent, we normally sing the Great Litany in procession, wrapping the gathered community in prayer. The procession is a symbol of our status as God’s pilgrim people, restless until we find our rest in God. Because of Covid precautions, we’re omitting the procession this year–but the words of the litany are still a powerful entry point to the season of Lent. We approach God, offer our penitence, and seek God’s support in every aspect of our individual and communal lives.

Jesus is tempted – Matthew 4:1-11

We hear in the Hebrew Scripture readings in Lent about God’s abundant provision for us. This week, we’ll hear about how God’s people are instructed to offer their thanks upon coming into the promised land (Deuteronomy 26.1–11). In the gospel pericope, we’ll hear about Jesus fasting in the wilderness for forty days, and his response to temptation (Luke 4.1-13).

Encouraging words are shared with us in this week’s reflection from Sundays and Seasons:

These forty days called Lent are like no other. It is our opportune time to return to the God who rescues, to receive the gifts of God’s grace, to believe with the heart and confess with the mouth the wonder of God’s love in Jesus, and to resist temptation at every turn. This is no small pilgrimage on which we have just embarked. It is a struggle Jesus knew. It is a struggle Jesus shares. The nearness of the Lord, in bread and wine, water and word, will uphold and sustain us.

The “Jesus is Tempted” image sourced from Art in the Christian Tradition a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library in Nashville, TN. JESUS MAFA. Jesus is tempted – Matthew 4:1-11 https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48312 [retrieved March 3, 2022]. Original source: http://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr (contact page: https://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr/contact).