Theme of the Day
On Ash Wednesday the church began its journey toward baptismal immersion in the death and resurrection of Christ. This year, the Sundays in Lent lead us to focus on five covenants God makes in the Hebrew Scriptures and to use them as lenses through which to view baptism. First Peter connects the way God saved Noah’s family in the flood with the way God saves us through the water of baptism. The baptismal covenant is made with us individually, but the new life we are given in baptism is for the sake of the whole world.
The Collect for Sunday
God of the wilderness, your Son battled with the powers of darkness and grew closer to you in the desert: help us to use these forty days to grow in wisdom and prayer, so that we may witness to your saving love in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The prayers of the church are offered especially:
- for the needs of the world, especially at this time global pandemic;
- for those who are sick and for all medical personnel and caregivers;
- for research workers and scientists who are working to protect us, provide adequate testing, and to develop, deliver and administer vaccines;
- 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, and injustice;
- for those who are homeless, cold, or hungry;
- for Elizabeth our Queen and all 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 Rob and Nicola, our interns; 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 those preparing for baptism and their sponsors;
- for those looking for forgiveness;
- for those misled by the false gods of this present age;
- for those who are hungry;
- for all for whom we have been asked to pray, especially Steven, Olga, and Jean, 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: The Church of the Province of Central Africa.
- In the Diocese of Niagara: Christ Church, Flamborough; The Venerable Dr. Jim Sutton, Interim Priest-in-Charge; The Reverend Robert Brownlie, Chaplain; The Reverend Canon Wendy Roy, Honorary Assistant; and the people of that parish..
- In our neighbourhood: First Christian Reformed Church, The Rev’d Hayden Regeling, Pastor, and the people of that congregation.
- For one another, Adele, Josh & Alder Gallogly; Bill Giddens; Thomas Gnananmuthu, Prisilla Clarence, Timothy Thomas & Leandra Jane Thomas; Sally & Mary Ann Gratton; Paul Grimwood.
Prayer requests to be included on the following Sunday can be submitted here by the Thursday morning before.
The Readings for Sunday
First Reading: Genesis 9:8-17
Today’s reading is the conclusion to the flood story. Because of human sin, God destroys the earth by flood, saving only Noah, his family, and the animals on the ark. Yet divine destruction gives way to divine commitment. As in the first creation, God blesses humanity and establishes a covenant with all creatures.
8God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9“As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. 11I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
Psalm: Psalm 25:1-10
Your paths, O Lord, are steadfast love and faithfulness. (Ps. 25:10)
1To | you, O Lord,
I lift | up my soul.
2My God, I put my trust in you; let me not be | put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph | over me.
3Let none who look to you be | put to shame;
rather let those be put to shame | who are treacherous.
4Show me your | ways, O Lord,
and teach | me your paths. R
5Lead me in your | truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all | the day long.
6Remember, O Lord, your compas- | sion and love,
for they are from | everlasting.
7Remember not the sins of my youth and | my transgressions;
remember me according to your steadfast love and for the sake of your good- | ness, O Lord.
8You are gracious and up- | right, O Lord;
therefore you teach sinners | in your way. R
9You lead the low- | ly in justice
and teach the low- | ly your way.
10All your paths, O Lord, are steadfast | love and faithfulness
to those who keep your covenant and your | testimonies. R
Second Reading: 1 Peter 3:18-22
As God acted through Christ’s suffering and death to bring us to God, so God acts through baptism to save us from a sinful existence. This spiritual cleansing marks our new life in Christ.
18Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.
Gospel: Mark 1:9-15
The Spirit that comes upon Jesus at his baptism sustains him when he is tested by Satan so that he might proclaim the good news of God’s reign.
9In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
12And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
Relying on the promises of God, we pray boldly for the church, the world, and all in need.
A brief silence.
In Jesus your realm has come near to us in every place and time. With the Worldwide Anglican Communion we pray for The Church of the Province of Central Africa. In our Diocese of Niagara we pray for Christ Church, Flamborough; and in our neighbourhood we pray for First Christian Reformed Church. Give your church throughout the world a spirit of humility and repentance; teach us to trust always in the good news of your salvation. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
You care for all your people. Watch over our world still held in the grip of pandemic. Heal the sick. Comfort the dying and those who mourn. Draw near to the lonely and isolated. Empower medical workers, researchers, and scientist. Speed the work of those producing and delivering vaccines. Protect those who work on the front lines and deliver us all. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
You have made a covenant of mercy with every living creature. Protect all the earth’s creatures from destruction. Especially we pray for our local threatened wetlands and waters, as well as protected lands threatened by development and urban sprawl. Empower the work of biologists, conservationists, and science educators. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
All your paths are steadfast love and faithfulness. Direct the words and actions of leaders in our community and throughout the world, that they may maintain justice for the lowly. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Even in the wilderness you are with us. Walk alongside migrants and refugees crossing dangerous lands. Tend to those whose lives feel desolate. Give healing and strength to all who suffer, especially we pray for Jean, Stephen, and Olga. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
In the covenant of baptism you claim us as beloved children. Nurture us in our baptismal identity and teach us to live within it for the sake of others. Bless all who lead your church, all who serve, and especially, Adele, Josh, Alder, Bill, Thomas, Priscilla, Timothy, Leandra Jane, Sally, Mary Ann, and Paul. Strengthen ministries of care and concern of our parish, especially, our refugee work, our telephone tree, and our partnership with St. Matthew’s House. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Here other intercessions may be offered.
In baptism you join us to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We praise you for all those who have died trusting in your faithfulness. Bring us with them to the fullness of your reign. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
We entrust ourselves and all our prayers to you, O faithful God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Readings for the Week