Our Sundays services are fairly traditional and relaxed in style. Generally, we have a Communion service in the morning with Evening Prayer or Songs of Praise in the evening. During the pandemic, we have been publishing a recorded service on line and, when allowed by law, alternate Morning and Evening Prayer in church. We are currently celebrating Morning Prayer in church on every Sunday except the first Sunday in the month which is Holy Communion (in one kind only).
2 Corinthians 8:7-15
A reading from the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians.
You excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you – so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking. I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. And in this matter
I am giving my advice: it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something – now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means. For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has – not according to what one does not have. I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair
balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. As it is written, “The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little.”
GOSPEL Mark 5:21-43
Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christaccording to Mark.
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the lake. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come
and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” So he went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all
that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” Immediately her haemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned
about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?’” He looked all around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” He
allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the
child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
Our readings, today remind us that suffering is not exclusive to us or our times. In the reading from Mark Jesus has two encounters - One with a sick woman and the other with a dying girl. A man runs to Jesus falls on his knees and begs Jesus to save the life of his child. This was not just any man - This was Jairus; ruler of the synagogue at Capernaum. That Mark names him means he was well known and probably known to Jesus.
What we notice first of all is that Jesus does not hesitate; Jesus goes immediately with Jairus to see his sick child. On the way to the child, a large crowd followed and pressed in on Jesus. A woman who had suffered from haemorrhages for 12 years was right behind Jesus in this milling crowd. This woman is given no name - after all she was only a woman. She is described only as a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. This condition would have, in all probability, caused her to be both ritually impure and unable to bear children. Which is perhaps why she was there by herself. Just hoping just to touch the edge of Jesus’ garment. Desperate for even the remotest possibility of healing.
She had no family, no community to plead to Jesus on her behalf. She is nothing - Just “the woman who had bled for twelve years.” She had endured much under many physicians, and spent all that she had. It’s very difficult for us, in a 21st century world to understand the implications for women in 1st century Palestine. Especially this woman with no money, no support, no hope and failing health. Jairus was a well known leader of the synagogue a celebrity compared to this unknown, uncared for woman. Yet in her desperation, in what she saw as her last and final hope among these milling and massed ranks of humanity she reached out. She touched Jesus’ cloak because she believed that Jesus was now her only hope. She believed that if she could just touch Jesus’ clothes she would be healed.
Immediately she touched Jesus clothes her bleeding stopped. She had spent everything she had on treatment from many doctors and had only got worse. The very moment she came into contact with Jesus the bleeding stopped. It begs a question for us: Are there things that are bleeding the life out of us here in this church today? Things that disable us to the extent that we are unable to fully live the life we are called to live as followers of Jesus?
When this unknown woman finally touched the hem of Jesus’ cloak He felt some power drain from His body. Jesus knew that
someone had been healed by touching his clothes. But he also knew that he was on a mission to save a dying child; A child of someone that was both very well known and very important. But here's a strange thing; There was only 2 people who knew exactly what had just happened - Jesus and the unnamed woman. No one else could possibly have known.
So what Jesus did next seems totally bizarre. Jesus stops, turns around to face this thronging mass of people and says: “who touched my clothes?” His disciples must have been astonished. You can see the crowd, “how can you say who touched me?” The woman, probably trembling with fear, came to Jesus, fell down in front of Him and told him the whole story. Jesus said to her:
Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed. Why would Jesus do that?
Firstly this unnamed, unknown non-entity was named by Jesus. Unnamed no longer she was now “Daughter”. A true daughter of the faith. Secondly, Jesus himself wanted to affirm her faith. Jesus wanted her to know that it was HER faith that had made her well. Jesus wanted to encourage her and bless her for the faith that she had shown. Thirdly Jesus wanted the crowd to listen
to know her story. Jesus wanted the crowd to know that God had been active in her life and God had made her well; God had given her, her life back - restored her to full health, named her and returned her to her community. Finally I think that Jesus wanted every one to know that He chooses NOT to discriminate between those who are named and important and those who are not named and are deemed not important.
All are ONE in CHRIST
Humans are, by nature, social, even tribal creatures. We gather with those who like us and think like us. We stereotype and stigmatise and name those who are different. We do that by some attribute that creates convenient definitions and borders by stripping them of their individuality and lumping them together. And yet the pattern of Christ is exactly the opposite. Jesus is constantly crossing borders, whether geographic or social. Jesus sees people for whom they are and draws them into relationship. That’s why the woman the unknown and unnamed woman who interrupts Jesus’ preaching and healing tour is no longer just “woman”; No longer the one who has been bleeding for 12 years. She is now “daughter,” one restored to family. One restored to community, to health and to life. This is, Christ’s charge to us (to YOU and to ME) today in this place where we are. Where we live and breathe and have our being. To see people for who they really are: Unique persons, each created in the image of God. Each worthy of our attention our care, our love and our respect. Jesus calls us to leave the comfortable and leave the familiar behind. To reach out to all, as brothers and sisters, all children of God.
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
A reading from the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians.
As we work together with Christ, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says, “At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.” See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labours, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honour and dishonour, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see – we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything. We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you. There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours. In
return – I speak as to children – open wide your hearts also.
GOSPEL Mark 4:35-end
Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.
When evening had come, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked
the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
What are you afraid of is a strange question to begin a sermon, but it's a vital question in how we live our lives - and very relevant as we look at our gospel reading. We are rarely aware of just how significant a role fear plays in many of our decisions, actions, and conversations. It may be an argument about whether to spend money on a particular thing. Except it's not just about that particular thing, it's about the fear that there might not be enough to cover the normal bills. Maybe it's a discussion about new hymnbooks or whether to change our services. Behind any proposed change we fear losing our identity and our traditions.
Fear lurks just under the surface of much of the difficult moments in our lives.
In today’s gospel, Jesus has some sharp words to his disciples - "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?" This is a troubling question from Jesus. Is Jesus equating fear with lack of faith? For me at least, faith does not cast out fear, but helps me cope with it.
The cry from the disciples in the boat is – “We Are Perishing”
Perhaps too it is a modern day parable of the situation of all of us - when we too feel cast adrift in the storms of the world - feeling that we are without God’s presence and care. Who can fault the disciples for being afraid? We know fear ourselves - we have lived with it more than ever during this Pandemic. Will we catch it? How will it affect us? What about my family? Then there is the emotional suffering - of loss and loneliness that inevitably comes with it.
In our community there will be those even now tossed on the stormy seas of job loss, the emotional devastation of broken relationships, health challenges, worries over their children and their elderly parent’s fears of being alone.
Storms are battering the church today, individually and as a denomination. Long-time members fear the end of the story for their much-loved congregation; Church leaders worry about declines in membership and giving - especially in this deep economic crisis; Church members struggle with whether to suppress or try to resolve conflicts - issues that were unknown to the early church - overhead screens, new worship styles, donations by direct debit or standing order.
At critical moments across the biblical drama apostles, angels, and prophets are sent to the people of God to say these four simple words – “Do not be afraid”. Each time we say and hear these words we join those before who, caught up in the Spirit of God find the courage, not just to survive but to flourish; not just to live but to live with abundance; not just to get by, but knowing the favour we enjoy in and through Christ; the favour in Christ to ask for great things, expect great things and share great things.
The storms of life will not cease, bullies may continue to threaten us, external factors may put us at risk, but nothing, NOTHING in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. God’s power isn’t in the control of creation; not in the control of people, but in being in relationship with them. God’s power isn’t in
imposing the divine will or insisting on its own way but in journeying with us as we fumble around and make our way in the world. God’s power is not in miraculous interventions - in the cosmic war against suffering and evil - but in inviting us to build a kingdom out of love, peace and justice with God. God’s power is not in the obliterating of all that is bad in the world but in empowering us to build something good in this world. God’s power is revealed in coming alongside us, in journeying with us, in suffering with us. God’s power is in the giving up of power in favour of relationship with God's creation in simply getting in the boat with us, in the midst of terrible storms.
Why are there difficulties at all in our lives? Because faith in God does not change the scenery. Faith in God shows us the way through it.
This is the second Sunday in the season of Easter. To follow the service click on the button below.
Jesus Christ is risen today ! Hallelujah! If you cannot join us in St Chad's to celebrate Easter, please click on the button below to watch our pre-recorded service.
We have a 15 minute reflection at the Foot of The Cross allowing us to contemplate the events of the first Good Friday.
Today is Palm Sunday and we recall the joyful entry into Jerusalem and the crowds crying 'Hosannah!". Our service of Morning Worship can be followed by clicking on the button below.
There will be no on-line service this Sunday
Today is the last Sunday in Lent before we move next week to Palm Sunday. To follow our service of Morning Worship, please click on the button below.
Today is the 4th Sunday of Lent also known as Mothering Sunday. The history behind this name is interesting and can be found in the order of service (sermon). Worth a read or you can listen to it by clicking below.
Today we reach the halfway mark in our Lenten journey; the third Sunday in Lent. To follow our service of Morning Worship, please click on the button below.
Today is the 2nd Sunday in the season of Lent. Our service of Morning Worship may be found here.
Today is the first Sunday in the season of Lent.
Today is the last Sunday before Lent, also know as the Transfiguration when Jesus went up a high mountain with Peter, James & John. Whilst they were there Moses and Elijah appeared and spoke to Jesus.
Today is the 2nd Sunday Before Lent. If you would like a printed copy of the order of service, including all of the readings and prayers, please contact Brian or email email@example.com and we will make one available to you.
Today is the 4th Sunday after Epiphany, also known as the 3rd Sunday before Lent or at St Chad's as the 45th Sunday of Hope.
Today is the 3rd Sunday in the Season of Epiphany..
Today is the 2nd Sunday in the season of Epiphany
Today is the first Sunday after Epiphany and the Baptism of Jesus
This Sunday we will be celebrating Epiphany, the coming of the Magi.
This is the first Sunday after Christmas
9th Sunday of Hope (7th Sunday of Easter) 24th May
Ascension Day Service from St Francis for Tamworth Deanery - 21st May
8th Sunday of Hope (6th Sunday of Easter) - 17th May
7th Sunday of Hope (5th Sunday of Easter) - 10th May
6th Sunday of Hope (4th Sunday of Easter) 3rd May 2020