A series of 4 short services posted each Sunday beginning on the 21st of February to take you through the season of Lent!
Created by Jon, Tom and Emily who are current participants of the Blackpool Ministry Experience scheme.
Each service will include thoughts and reflections from all 3 of us and will be a chance to learn about:
Temptation on the 21st of February,
Patience on the 28th February,
Trust on the 7th of March
and finally Sacrifice on the 14th March.
Join us on: Facebook @Blackpool Ministry Experience or YouTube @Freedom Church Mereside and Twitter @BME_Blackpool
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“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Luke 12. 25
Lent is traditionally the season used for self-examination and prayer in preparation for Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday, this year the 17th February. The day before is known either as Shrove Tuesday, taken from shrive which means to confess to a priest and receive absolution or to many people Pancake Day. The idea is to use up all the sweet things as pancake fillers before denying ourselves for the 40 days of Lent. The 40 days symbolic of Jesus’ 40 days being tempted by Satan in the wilderness.
In a year of enforced denial because of the pandemic what does self-denial mean? We’ve been denied from meeting one another, visiting sick relatives or friends. People have faced hardship as businesses have closed and people have lost jobs. Each day we have listened to the latest stats around COVID rates and deaths, knowing that each statistic is a person with a family and friends.
One thing this past year has made us ask is: what is really important? Our Bible verse is focused on answering that very question.
In many ways we have had to learn what Jesus says in the verse above and the passage itself through this year’s enforced denial through restrictions and lockdown (Luke 12. 22-34).
Pandemic or not, Jesus is offering us a perspective for Christian discipleship. The basic principle is aimed at seeing life from God’s perspective. This begins with putting God first in all things. Our decisions, our plans, our possessions should all be valued from the principal that everything is ultimately God’s and we are His stewards. Our very lives and possessions are a gift from God.
This is the greatest comfort of all if we submit to God’s will but our greatest challenge in the face of our desire be independent and self-sufficient. This year more than in our lifetime we have been faced with our mortality and dependence upon God.
When we take the approach Jesus show us, worry begins to give way to faith. Jesus isn’t asking us to be unconcerned or careless or even carefree about life and possessions but to get things into their right perspective. Which is Jesus, others, you, which spells out JOY.
Lent is about life leading to true joy with God through the perspective of Jesus.
Revd Dave O'Brien
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If you want to connect with others and reduce your anxiety and improve your mental well being, why not join Alison O'Brien's (Ashar Bringing Hope) zoom brew and chat meeting - see above.
For virtual courses to explore your spiritual and emotional well being check out this link
For more information about Alison and Ashar Bringing Hope click on this link
Click on this link to find out more about the Church of England's 'Call to Prayer'.
***It is with regret that we have to announce that the Church Building will be closed until further notice during this current lockdown.***
This is in line with a recent update from the Directors of Public Health in Lancashire. It is not so much about the church service itself, but the people gathering before and after the service. We will keep you updated as soon as anything changes.
We will still continue with online provision via Facebook and You tube. You can access recent Morning and Evening Prayers, Sunday Services and Bible Study on this site.
Let's continue to pray and support each other the best we can at this time.
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Prayer requests - remember you can send prayer requests to : email@example.com
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