Disconnecting to connect

Published by David Penny on Mon, 2 Mar 2020 00:00
Spiritual

Lent 1

Disconnecting to Connect 

  • One of the considerations of the modern age - especially when you have a teenager in tow, is connectivity.  Last year we decide to take a barge down the Oxford Canal.  If you’ve been on a barge you’ll know, especially if it’s a hire barge, you need meticulous planning - getting the balance of distance traveled and time to relax just right.  Most of the time it’s easy to moore in civilisation; but occasionally, even today, you’re somewhere without WiFi.  The horror of this was thankfully only realised on a couple of nights - and great joy was experienced when we could moore next to a pub with free WiFi.
  • We all like to be connected in today’s world.  Our phones are the primary tool for this task, connecting us to emails, txt, social media in all its forms, and even used at times as a phone to actually speak to someone.
  • There is an inherent need to be connected.  Connected just in case.  Connected so we are always reachable; Connected so we can see the latest news, or gossip.  Connected so that time is not wasted, we can always use time in a queue, time waiting to meet some, to look at messages or send that email that just can’t wait.
  • One fascinating consequence of always being connected online, connected through our phones, is that we can be disconnected from the world around us, disconnected from the world that is real as we surf the virtual world. [Mark and Teri??]
  • This idea of being connected and disconnected is in the Gospel for this 1st Sunday in Lent.  It’s a story we know well.  Jesus going off into the desert to be tempted, to fast and to pray.
  • Jesus disconnects himself from the hustle and bustle of the world.  He puts to one side the distractions, disconnects from everyday society to connect with God.  He knows he will be tempted, lured away from this important task by the quick fixes and selfishness that lie in wait.  But he knows also that to be true to himself, to be true to God he has to disconnect from the world for a time to connect to God in a focussed way.  Spiritually refreshed and focussed on what lay ahead, Jesus returns from the desert and reconnects to the real world.
  • Life demands a great deal everyone today - but I guess it always has.  What enables us to connect with the world around us is a time of disconnecting from it, setting aside some time to connect with God.  Lent gives us the time to do just that.  To disconnect and re-connect.  What is it you’ll do to disconnect from the unhelpful or unnecessary things of life?  And what will help you connect with God?
  • Prayers by Denis:
  • Be still for the presence of the Lord, the Holy one is here.

Lord. we thank you for your presence here, for the opportunity to pray, for the promise of peace, for the beauty of the world, the kindness of people, for the Cross of Christ and the power of the spirit.  Help us to show our gratitude in deeds as well as words.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord Jesus, may this season of Lent be truly holy; may we glorify the Father by our prayer, fasting and alms giving.  Purify our motivation, give us the gift of your Holy Spirit so that all we think, feel and do may bring your kingdom into further realisation.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer 

God of strength, we thank you for being among us and sharing our human life in Jesus Christ our brother and Lord.  Help us to deepen our understanding of one another and you as we journey on; give us love that casts out all fear.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord we ask you to guide and bless Elizabeth our Queen and we thank you for her standards of service to the country.  We also ask you to give wisdom to all in authority, particularly those who guide the church, nationally and at parish level.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord we ask you to give strength to Christians in those parts of the world where they are made to suffer for their belief, and we ask that they may still be able to spread the gospel.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

We thank you Lord for being able to meet together regularly to worship you and sing your praise, but we ask for your blessing on those who either through illness or infirmity cannot join us and we think particularly of……….. and others known to us personally.  And at this time we ask for your care for those affected by the Coronavirus both physically and in administering care.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

we ask Lord for your blessing on those who are now in your tender care, and who were once our family and friends.  Give strength to those who mourn the recently departed.  May they all rest in peace with you.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

We thank you Father for being able to join vicar David in celebrating the 25 years of his ministry in this diocese, and we thank for the guidance he gives us and others.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

Gracious and Holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive you, intelligence to understand you, diligence to seek you, patience to wait for you, eyes to behold you, a heart to meditate on you, and a life to proclaim you through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

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