Webmaster -- Church of Saint John the Evangelist
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Image: "Wisdom," painting (2008). Ayibiowu Olusola David, (1100). Painting from a 2008 solo exhibition in City Mall, Onikan, Lagos, Nigeria (detail).

Theme of the Day

Three weeks ago we heard Peter’s confession of faith as told in John’s Gospel. This week we hear Mark’s version, when Peter says, “You are the Messiah.” In John, the stumbling block is Jesus’ invitation to eat his flesh, given for the life of the world. In Mark too the scandal has to do with Jesus’ words about his own coming death, and here Peter himself stumbles over Jesus’ words. But Jesus is anointed (the meaning of messiah) in Mark only on the way to the cross (14:3); so we are anointed in baptism with the sign of the cross.

The Collect for Sunday

O God, through suffering and rejection you bring forth our salvation, and by the glory of the cross you transform our lives. Grant that for the sake of the gospel we may turn from the lure of evil, take up our cross, and follow your Son, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.

Sundays and Seasons, 2021 (alt.).

Prayer Intentions

The prayers of the church are offered especially:

  • for the needs of the world, especially at this time global pandemic;
  • for all medical personnel and caregivers, especially for those who work with those who are most ill;
  • for those who are sick;
  • for research workers and scientists and medical personnel who are working to protect us, provide adequate testing, and to develop, deliver and administer vaccines;
  • for the safety of front line workers;
  • for those who are particularly vulnerable to this virus;
  • for those who are isolated and anxious;
  • for the healing of racial inequality, prejudice, bigotry, systemic racism, injustice, and hatred;
  • for the First Peoples of this land and for the work of healing and reconcilation; 
  • for all who grieve for lost children, for the survivors of Indian Residential Schools, and for generational healing;
  • for those who are hungry and homeless;
  • for those who are unemployed or underemployed;
  • for Elizabeth our Queen and all those set in authority under her, for Justin, the Prime Minister of Canada and all members of parliament; Doug, the Premier of Ontario and all members of the legislature; Fred, the mayor of Hamilton and those who serve city council; for the First Nations of this land, for elders, chiefs, and band councils; for all in civil authority and for all citizens that we might work together for the common good;
  • for the whole church: for Susan, our Diocesan Bishop; for David and Brian, our priests; for Tom, our intern; for all bish­ops, priests and dea­cons; and for all the bap­tized: that God may accomplish God's work in and through us for the sake of the world;
  • for all for whom we have been asked to pray, that God will bring them healing and wholeness;
  • for those who are dying and all those who have departed from this life and are at rest.

In our cycles of prayer:

  • In the Worldwide Anglican Com­mun­ion: for The Anglican Church of Tanzania and the people of that province of the church.
  • In our neighbourhood: Beth Jacob Synagogue, Rabbi Hillel Israel and the people of that congregation. .
  • For one another, especially in our parish cycle of prayer: Karen Tamblyn; Cathy Tell; Roberta Terluk; Edie Thompson; Patricia Troughton.

Prayer requests to be included on the following Sunday can be submitted here by the Thursday morning before.

The Readings for Sunday

First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-9a

The image of the servant of the Lord is one of the notable motifs in the book of Isaiah. Today’s reading describes the mission of the servant, whom early Christians associated with Jesus. Like Jesus, the servant does not strike back at his detractors but trusts in God’s steadfast love.

4The Lord God has given me
  the tongue of a teacher,
 that I may know how to sustain
  the weary with a word.
 Morning by morning he wakens—
  wakens my ear
  to listen as those who are taught.
5The Lord God has opened my ear,
  and I was not rebellious,
  I did not turn backward.
6I gave my back to those who struck me,
  and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
 I did not hide my face
  from insult and spitting.

7The Lord God helps me;
  therefore I have not been disgraced;
 therefore I have set my face like flint,
  and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
  8he who vindicates me is near.
 Who will contend with me?
  Let us stand up together.
 Who are my adversaries?
  Let them confront me.
9aIt is the Lord God who helps me;
  who will declare me guilty?

Psalm: Psalm 116:1-9

I will walk in the presence of the Lord. (Ps. 116:9)

Second Reading: James 3:1-12

This text uses various images to illustrate how damaging and hurtful the way we speak to and about others can be. Not only are we to control our speech, but what we say and how we say it are to reflect our faith.

1Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. 3If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. 4Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits.
  How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! 6And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, 8but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. 10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. 11Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? 12Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.

Gospel: Mark 8:27-38

This story provides the turning point in Mark’s gospel. Peter is the first human being in the narrative to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah, but he cannot accept that as the Messiah Jesus will have to suffer. Moreover, Jesus issues a strong challenge to all by connecting discipleship and the cross.

27Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” 30And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

 31Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
 34He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Prayers of Intercession

Made children and heirs of God’s promise, we pray for the church, the world, and all in need.

A brief silence.

Revealing God, you have made yourself known through bread and wine, water and word. Continue to nurture your church, that it is a place where your presence is experienced and shared. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Creating God, you brought life into being and called it good. Bring new creation to lands devastated by tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fires, and other disasters (recent destructive events may be named here). Restore forests and curb overflowing waters. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Protecting God, you desire all people to live in peace and safety. Provide for all who are in danger. Strengthen first responders to help meet to the complex needs of others. Provide care and compassion as they face trauma themselves. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Transforming God, you announce release to the captives and freedom to the oppressed. Break chains of discrimination and injustice. Amplify voices that go unheard and inspire us to advocate for the those who are overlooked. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Forming God, you gather this community together. Shape our communal life, that in our prayer, praise, and worship, we honor you and encourage one another. Keep our disagreements civil and increase our joy in working together. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Here other intercessions may be offered.

Redeeming God, you accompany your people through every stage of life. We give you thanks for the saints who now rest in your embrace (especially). Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Receive these prayers, O God, and those in our hearts known only to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.