Parish of Swaledale with Arkengarthdale
Sunday 22 March 2020
4th Sunday of Lent and Mothering Sunday
You are invited to light a candle, read the bible readings, and pray the Collect at 10am each Sunday, and in so doing, to share in a short time of worship together with others.
Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him for three months. When she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.
The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it. When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him. ‘This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,’ she said. Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?’ Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Yes.’ So, the girl went and called the child’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.’ So, the woman took the child and nursed it. When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses, ‘because’, she said, ‘I drew him out of the water.’
Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Which of you desires life,
and covets many days to enjoy good?
Keep your tongue from evil,
and your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil, and do good;
seek peace, and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their cry.
The face of the Lord is against evildoers,
to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears,
and rescues them from all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the broken-hearted,
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord rescues them from them all.
He keeps all their bones;
not one of them will be broken.
2 Corinthians 1.3-7
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ. If we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we are also suffering. Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation.
And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’
God of compassion,
whose Son Jesus Christ, the child of Mary,
shared the life of a home in Nazareth,
and on the cross drew the whole human family to himself:
strengthen us in our daily living
that in joy and in sorrow
we may know the power of your presence
to bind together and to heal;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
None of us can predict or know what will happen in the future, and the current global situation around the Corona virus has only highlighted how little control we really have over the course of our lives. None of us expected this, and we don’t know how long it will last, or what the future will be.
Moses was born into slavery. His people were oppressed by the Egyptians, who wanted to stamp out the Israelite race. There was an order to kill all baby boys at birth, but the midwives, believers in God, disobeyed and made sure the children lived. The Egyptians then ordered the boys who survived at birth to be thrown into the river.
You can hide a baby for a while, but a healthy one will want to make a noise and start to move around to explore before too long. Moses’ mother, when he was 3 months old, had to find a way to save her child.
Her solution was to put her child into the river - as ordered. But she put him in a boat – a waterproof basket, which she floated in the shallows.
I wonder if she was hoping that someone would take pity on a helpless baby. Or that she could hide him for a while and then take him back to a place of safety. She waited to see what would happen. She must have been full of fear for his future.
Pharaoh’s daughter came to bathe in the river, watched by Moses’ sister. She spotted the basket and found the baby. At that point Moses’ sister took a deep breath, came out of her hiding place, and did her best to look as though she was casually passing by.
Here we see God at work. The sister was sent to get someone to look after the baby and was able to reunite her mother and her baby brother. Moses was taken into the royal household, where he would be safe; he was brought up by his own mother, and he was also considered to be the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
His life experience was important in shaping Moses’ understanding and character, before God called him to lead his own people. From his mother, Moses gained a sense of identity as a Jew, and as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter he learned the Egyptian way of life and gained confidence and education in a privileged upbringing. God would use all of this in Moses’ life.
Let us pray for faith, like the mother of Moses, to put all that we care about in a basket and float it into the river, trusting that God will bring the situation round. Moses’ future turned out very different from what it might have been, but God used the difficult situation and brought good from it.
The future after Covid 19 will not be as we were expecting, but if we can let go and trust God, we will be held and led into a new and different future. When this is over, faith tells us that we will be able to look back and see how God was at work, even in what now seems an impossible situation.
If you give to the church by standing order, please continue to do so during the current crisis. Our church buildings still need to be kept running and the bills paid.
If you usually give money by envelope or in the plate, please consider setting up a standing order, or sending in a monthly cheque.
The church treasurers will be glad to hear from you to discuss your giving during this time. Thank you to all who give faithfully to allow our work as the church in this place to keep going.
News and Notices
The Vicarage now has the same phone number back as before the flood – 01748 884706
Carl Knightly, from Faith in Later Life, who was going to be our 5th Sunday speaker on Sunday 29 March, has been cancelled, but is still keen to come another time. We have, in faith, pencilled in the 5th Sunday service on 30 August.
The Good Friday Walk has been cancelled. Please let others know, especially if they usually travel to the dale from away to take part in this event.
This is the current advice, which may change as the situation develops. Please pray for all those who will be affected by this.
Baptisms will be postponed until further notice.
Weddings can be held, but with only the couple, the vicar and 2 witnesses. Many reception venues are closing, so most weddings will be postponed.
Funerals will take place with a small number of family members, and mostly at the crematorium.
Online Services and Worship Resources
This has a Mothering Sunday service you can join in with – you do need to register - https://mailchi.mp/080de9c5a376/online_service?e=494778cbf2
Radio 4 usually has a Sunday morning service
Radio 3 has Choral Evensong during the week
More worship resources to follow in future newsletters –
please do share any that you find helpful.
Practical Help during the Covid 19 Virus Situation
Melbecks Support Group
If you are self-isolating or avoiding going out because of coronavirus (Covid 19) and live in Melbecks Parish we’d like to offer to help you.
We are a group of local people living in and around Low Row and we can help you with shopping, collecting a prescription, posting mail, a friendly phone call, changing books at Reeth library or anything else that might make life easier for you at this difficult time.
Please phone Elizabeth Bedford on 886974 or Delyth Rennie on 886057 (if there’s no reply, please leave a message and we will get back to you).
If you are on email you can contact us on email@example.com
If you’d like to join us as a volunteer helper, please get in touch using any of the above contact details.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Help in Reeth
Reeth Post Office and Reeth Medical Centre are co-ordinating a list of people who could help to deliver food and essential supplies to people at home locally. If you can help in this way, please contact Gail Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arthur Rank Centre has a website of resources for this time: https://arthurrankcentre.org.uk/together-apart/
If you would like anything to be included in this weekly newsletter, please email it to the vicar email@example.com by Thursday evening.
This newsletter will replace the pew sheet and
the printed newsletter until further notice.