Those who have kept chickens – especially the ‘suburban’ variety – will be no lover of Mr Fox – however fantastic he is (why always ‘he’?). The sight of a mother hen trying to gather her brood together during a fox attack is heart breaking.
In today’s Gospel Jesus uses ‘fox’ to describe Herod – just as we might describe those whom we cannot trust and whose ways are ‘sly and cunning’. As Luke tells the story (13:31-35), Jesus then goes on to lament for a city which he sees as part of the same culture Herod typifies. Rarely in its long history has Jerusalem been a city at ease with itself – ironic we should call such a place ‘the Holy City’. In the context of the gospel the problem is that Jerusalem, and of course it’s actually the people and not the place, cannot see whose wings of love and peace they are rejecting.
Contemporary Jerusalem still longs to be at peace with itself. There are those who feel that there will be no peace in the near and middle east until Jerusalem is at peace with herself.
This year’s series of Lent talks ‘Islam – faith to faith’ will explore one aspect of this dilemma. Lent is traditionally the time when we commit to growing in faith. Can we learn about ourselves by seeking to better understand others? Let’s hope so… for the sake of Jerusalem.
At the main service at Birdham (9.30am) Jim Mould’s sermon will be “The Fox in the Hen House”. At West Wittering (10.00am) George Talbot’s sermon theme will be “Temptation” and at Itchenor (11.00) Songs of Praise will be Hymns with a Story with Eric Eyre’s sermon title of “The Fox and The Hen” – a place of refuge.
For those of you wishing to join Evensong at West Wittering Michael Chater’s sermon will be “Follow That”.
Ever mindful of our own needs we continue to pray for the needs of others:
Maurice Stokes, Michael Terry, Josie, Georgina, Edward, Ros & Brian O’Brien, Peter Russell and David Weir
and those who have recently died and their loved ones.
Gary West, Frank Berry, Eric Pritchard, Albert Slaughter and Derek Horton.
The Ministry Team are only too happy to talk through aspects of their Sermon. If you know of anyone who needs our prayers or would appreciate a visit, please let the Rector or the Parish Administrator know.
Collect for Second Sunday of Lent
Almighty God, you show to those who are in error the light of your truth, that they may return to the way of righteousness: grant to all those who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ’s religion, that they may reject those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
The readings for Sunday are:
Genesis 15. 1-12, 17-18
Philippians 3. 17-4.1
Luke 13. 31-end
1 Thessalonians 4. 1-8
Matthew 15. 21-28
Jeremiah 22. 1-9, 13-17
Luke 14. 27-33