Rejecting evil at the bandstand

Steve led us today, continuing the Lenten theme with musings on evil, looking at the temptations of Christ in the wilderness. He spoke of the passages of Scripture which personify Satan and the alternative Augustinian approach in which evil is merely the absence of good. Both have potential weaknesses – of either off-loading responsibility for our actions onto the devil (and the C of E has recognised issues too of how few people truly believe in this depiction of Satan, with it editing out ‘the devil’ from the vows taken in the baptismal service) or demeaning the horrors of true evil.

He also defined fallen-ness as choosing what others choose for us as opposed to  what God intends us to be – the very temptation Jesus faced at the start of his ministry.

So at the start of Lent, we made a bid to reject “the Devil and all rebellion against God.”

We wrote on paper, words that the “world” presents to us of ultimate worth. The idols of our age. Here are some that we came up with The world's values

The we wrote that which God would have us be. The values, goals, things of ultimate worth. Here are some

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We all had a bit of fun stamping on all that is evil, though held up as good before surrounding the values of the kingdom. Gathered there, we prayed by name for all those who need those values now, before turning to bread and wine, using these words:

Source of all Goodness and Light – our Father-Mother:

We confess our predilection and fascination with the less than good. Our chasing after our comforts and what would please us, our turning away from the true light, our obeisance to others and not to you, our idolising of the created order and our  neglect-ful-ness of our Creator.

We reject the darkness and turn to the LIGHT.

In our awakening to your gift of life to us, the breath you have YHWH-ed through us, the redemption price delivered in Jesus, we give you our thanks and our worship.

Help us we pray to orientate ourselves to you. Help us support each other in that repented direction. Help us to keep on keeping on in our journey to the LIGHT.

This bread represents your solidarity with us, your self-giving in Jesus, your incarnated commitment to our complete Shalom. We consume it for our corporate, bodily and total sustenance and with thanks!

RESPONSE: God’s mercy freely given!

This wine represents your inauguration of new relationship, the opening of new possibilities, the promise of a future resurrected life. We consume it for our corporate, bodily and total sustenance until Jesus returns!

RESPONSE: God’s mercy freely given!

Send us out, missioned together, to be children of the Kingdom, seeking Justice, loving Mercy and walking humbly with our Creator God.

RESPONSE: AMEN!

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