CRIEFF
PARISH
CHURCH
Helping people follow Jesus
Christmas Box 2020 invitation Download our prayer app - updated regularly View of the town of Crieff Donate to Crieff Parish Church

Source code and instructions at: Infinite Loop: Rotating Images Using jQuery (JavaScript)
by San Francisco WordPress website designers and developers - TrendMedia

Prayer

Join our Congregational Prayer Time on ZOOM

Monday evenings from 7.30pm to 8pm

Members of the Congregation are encouraged to come together to pray every Monday evening between 7.30pm and 8pm. We meet on Zoom and you can join silently if you wish, or you can share aloud  in prayer. A leader will facilitate the prayer time each week.

 To take part you will need to have Zoom onyour pc, laptop, tablet or phone - or you can join by mobile phone or landline telephone.

Click here for the ZOOM link
Meeting ID: 843 1308 7053
Passcode: prayer

Click here for the one tap mobile link

Join by telephone:
Number: 0131 460 1196
Meeting ID: 843 1308 7053
Passcode: 382111

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcaNrz8GjZ

Regular prayer updates are posted here:

4 April 2021 - Easter

How do we emerge from the locked down times of life? The illness that has robbed us of sleep. The betrayal that as robbed us of trust. The bereavement that has robbed us of presence. For many this time can often feel like an endless Good Friday, or Holy Saturday, and not Easter Day. Yet here we are with Holy Week over, and wondering if the time of release has come at last, and life will be renewed. Will this be the time of freedom? Will this be the time of a new beginning? Will this be the time of new life?

Through long times of lockdown life we have hovered, or laboured, in a twilight world. Too long in the darkness of the tomb; too long in the half-light of the garden. The rumours of freedom; the hints of hope; only to be frustrated, and left waiting longer. But the time of Easter comes.

“The Lord is risen” (Luke 24:34)

This is the universal Easter faith, which affirms the objective historical reality of Jesus’ resurrection.

  • ·       The tomb was empty – there has been no adequate alternative to the resurrection has ever explained the disappearance of the body.

  • ·       The Lord was seen – and the appearances do not fit with what we know of hallucinations.

  • ·       The disciples were changed people – only the resurrection can account for their transformation from doubt to faith, cowardice to courage, and sorrow to joy.


We pray:

Lord Jesus Christ,
in this world where hope are so often dashed
and dreams are so often broken,
we remember today the faith in the future
you brought to so many,
both through your coming
and through your resurrection from the dead.
Lord Jesus, where faith has died and dreams have faded,
may hope flower again.

We remember how Mary and Joseph looked forward
to the day of your birth,
how shepherds and magi caught their breath in wonder
as the knelt before you,
how the hearts of Anna and Simeon leapt in anticipation,
and how your disciples
and the crowds that flocked to hear you
gave thanks,
convinced that you were the Messiah,
the one God had promised,
the long awaited deliverer come to set them free.
Lord Jesus, where faith has died and dreams have faded,
may hope flower again. 

We remember how that vision of the future
was shattered by events to follow –
your pain, humiliation, suffering and death –
hope ebbing away as the life blood seeped from your body – an end to their dreams,
an end to everything.
Lord Jesus, where faith has died and dreams have faded,
may hope flower again.

We remember how the news spread that the tomb was empty,
the stone rolled away,
your body gone,
and how, despite it all, your followers could scarcely bring themselves to hope –
afraid to take the risk of faith
in case they should face
the heartache of losing you once more.
Lord Jesus, where faith has died and dreams have faded,
may hope flower again.

But we remember finally how you appeared,
in all your risen glory –
in the garden,
in the upstairs room,
on the Emmaus Road,
by the Sea of Galilee –
and the dream was born again,
the smouldering embers of faith rekindled.
Lord Jesus, where faith has died and dreams have faded,
may hope flower again. 

Lord Jesus Christ,
the world is waiting, hurting, longing, searching for hope,
crying out for meaning,
hungry for some reason to believe in the future.
Come again in your living power,
and bring new life to all.
Lord Jesus, where faith has died and dreams have faded,
may hope flower again.

In your name we pray.
Amen.

 

28 March 2021

As we stand at the threshold of the final journey of Jesus into Jerusalem and on towards the Cross, we find ourselves in the company of those who have gone before us on that journey.

The ‘great crowd’ who enter into Jerusalem are those who gather for the annual marking of the Feast of the Passover. They come to remember and to give thanks for the enduring love of God.

One of the Psalms used in the Feast opens with the call: ‘O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!’ In turn, the Psalmist cries: ‘Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.’ (Psalm 118: 1, 19)

In the Gospel of John, we see Jesus entering Jerusalem and welcomed, as one ‘who comes in the name of the Lord!’, with shouts of ‘Hosanna!’ and ‘palm branches’. (John 12: 12-16) The cry ‘Hosanna!’ shall soon be replaced by ‘Crucify!’ and the ‘palm branches’ by a Cross, but in faith we believe that ‘the enduring love of God’ shall remain unvanquished.

On this Palm Sunday, we stand on the threshold of a time of renewal within our community and in the life of the Church and we join the company of all God’s people to give thanks for the love that endures and conquers even death.

We pray:

God whose love endures,
hear us as we welcome
the One who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hear us, as we remember
a
ll that you have done in times past
a
nd give thanks that your enduring love
has embraced even us.

Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose love endures,
hear us as we welcome the One
who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hear us, as we gather in the company of your people,
or in company alone with you,
and lift up our voices to cry: Hosanna!

Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose love endures,
hear us as we welcome the One
who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hear us, as we journey
through the week that is to come.
May we journey in the presence of the One who goes before us, even to the Cross.

Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose love endures,
Hear us as we welcome the One
who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hear us, as we listen to the voices
Who now cry: Crucify!
And may we know it was for us he hung and suffered there.

Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose love endures,
Hear us as we welcome the One
who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hear us, as we wait
For the dawn to break
and for your enduring love to vanquish the darkness.

Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

21 March 2021

Tuesday brings us to the Anniversary of the first Lockdown on the 23rd of March 2020. On that day I have no doubt that we will join with folk throughout these island nations keeping a silence and reflecting on all that has happened in the past year and acknowledge the profound impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had upon us personally and communally.

In one way or another all of us have felt the impact of these times, for all of us have faced restrictions, some of us or those in our families have been ill, some folks we have known and loved are no longer with us in this earthly life.

The numbers are hues and sadly they are still growing and even though some people have received a vaccine, we must all continue to keep one another safe – this is in no way over – lives and still being lost, others changed forever.

Behind each number recorded there lies a person whose life is known to God and who is mourned by those who have loved them. In their passing, we are the poorer. In the remembrance of a life given by God, we are the richer.

The Letter to the Hebrews records that: ‘In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears’. (Hebrews 5: 7) Jesus is called to take the place of the one who offers prayers on behalf of us all, and does so with ‘cries and tears’ because he himself has ‘suffered’. (Hebrews 5: 5-10)

He shares in the suffering of the world and brings the suffering of the world before God.

In all our reflections at this time, we remember the One who prayed for us in ‘the days of his flesh’ and who, even now, lives to pray for us once more.

So we now come before God in prayer
to share in prayer with the Lord Jesus.

Let us pray:

Living God, in whose image we are made,
Hear us we ask, through your Son who prays for us.
Hear us, as we recall all we have endured
in the different communities and nations of these islands
in the year that has passed.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God, who knows us in all our suffering,
Hear us we ask, through your Son who prays for us.
Hear us, as we reflect wherever we are
and remember those who have suffered the deepest loss.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God, whose name is Love,
Hear us we ask, through your Son who prays for us.
Hear us, as we reach out our hand to those who suffer still
and stand with them in the face of all that is to come.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God, who gives good gifts to all Creation,
Hear us we ask, through your Son who prays for us.
Hear us, as we give thanks for those who,
in hospital and in care home,
Have cared for the dying and the sick.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God, who inspires Hope,
Hear us we ask, through your Son who prays for us.
Hear us, as we acknowledge and give thanks
for all who have created the vaccines
that give hope to the peoples of many nations
throughout the world.
May there be a just and equitable distribution.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God, who gives Light to the World,
even in the face of Darkness,
Hear us we ask, through your Son who prays for us.
Hear us, as we bow in the presence of the One who,
in the days of his flesh, shed tears for us.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

 

14 March 2021

“We have endured much during these past months. Personally and communally, we have endured challenges which we could not have anticipated, or imagined, even a year ago. We have endured much and undoubtedly there have been times when the limits of our endurance have been tested.

“Woven into this has been the recollection of that which has also endured, the steadfast love of God. The Psalmist recalls the people of God to a remembrance of the ‘steadfast love’ of the Lord which ‘endures for ever’. (Psalm 107: 1) As we remember and recall, we bear witness to the truth that the love of God spans the whole breadth of our lives and embraces all that we experience and endure. This is given supreme expression in the self-giving of God in Jesus Christ: ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son’. (John 3: 16)

“In all we have endured and will endure, the ‘steadfast love’ of the Lord ‘endures for ever’ in the God whose love is revealed in Jesus Christ.”

We pray:

God whose love endures
And is revealed in Jesus Christ,
May we hear the words of the Psalmist
Who calls us to remember:
The steadfast love of the Lord endures for ever.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose love endures
And is revealed in Jesus Christ,
Be with us in all we endure at this time.
Grant that we may know your love
In days of light and in days of shadow.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose love endures
And is revealed in Jesus Christ,
Be with all who find themselves
At the limit of their endurance
And embrace them in the depths of your enduring love.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose love endures
And is revealed in Jesus Christ,
As a mother comforts her child
May you comfort all who call upon you.
Hear us, as we give thanks

for all who have nurtured us in this life.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose love endures
And is revealed in Jesus Christ,
Grant to us a vision of a community and society
That will endure in times to come
And hear us as we pray: Thy Kingdom Come.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose love endures
And is revealed in Jesus Christ,
May we live our lives
In response to the gift of the life of your Son
In whose life is love embodied.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

7 March 2021

Over the past eleven and a half months we have become used (or not as the case may be) to living within much more circumscribed and defined spaces. As a consequence, we might well have become more conscious of the locality in which we live.

Here in Crieff we are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the world – others are not so fortunate! I can only begin to imagine what it must be like to be shut up in a small flat half-way up a tower block in some inner city, or to be a refugee in some sprawling camp, far from home and loved ones.

Undoubtedly, the spaces that we inhabit and the places in which we live shape us and mould us. Equally, there are particular places and spaces that we associate with significant events and experiences. Space and place are woven into the rhythm of life.

So taking these remaining weeks of Lent to focus on some of the sights, sounds, places and events of Holy Week allows us to see and understand in more detail just how great the love of God is shown in the sending of his son Jesus, that whoever believes in him might have the full and free gift of life eternal.

As we have seen today, in each of the four Gospels there are accounts of the cleansing of the Temple in Jerusalem. In the Gospel of John, Jesus journeys to that particular space within that particular locality. (John 2: 13-22) He does so because it is the time of the Passover and the journey he makes is one made in the company of the many thousands who came to Jerusalem at that time.

As he found that first time and then again a couple of years later, the Temple space had become a “market-place” inhabited by sellers and ‘money-changers’.

Those who objected to his cleansing of the Temple demanded to know: 'What sign can you show us for doing this?'

In reply, Jesus spoke prophetically of the destruction of 'this temple', by which he meant himself, and of being raised 'in three days'.

In this sign, we see the presence of God embodied in the life of Jesus, and his life, located in a particular place and time, opening our horizons to the God who meets us in the place where we are today.

So we pray:

God of Space and Time,
meet us in the place where we are today.
Meet us in the place where we are
and transform us by the presence of your Son.
In this place, may we encounter
the One who embodies your love.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of Space and Time,
meet us in the place where we are today.
Meet us at the break of day
and be with us in all that lies before us.
In the place in which we live, may we see life renewed.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of Space and Time,
meet us in the place where we are today.
Meet us in the place of suffering
and bring your healing presence among us.
In the place of suffering,
enable us to reach out to those beside us.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of Space and Time,
meet us in the place where we are today.
Meet us in the place of sorrow
and bring your light into our darkness.
In the place of sorrow, may we become bearers of your light.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of Space and Time,
meet us in the place where we are today.
Meet us in the rhythm of life
and renew hope within us.
In the community in which we live,
may we bear witness to the God of hope.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of Space and Time,
meet us in the place where we are today.
Meet us at the close of day
and be with us through the night.
Keep us safe and bring us to the dawn of a new day.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

 

28 February 2021

There are times in the Gospels when it is clear that the disciples of Jesus have real difficulty in understanding his teaching.

As we’ve seen today, sometimes it was because he was so controversial. But always at these times, advancing the claim regarding his unique identity.

Or in the story we read last week, Jesus spoke openly about what lay before him and afterwards Peter ‘took him aside and began to rebuke him’. (Mark 8: 31-32) Peter is clear that death and resurrection are not part of that future and, as he speaks, it is equally clear that he has not yet understood the way that Jesus must take – what was to be won for us on the cross.

There are times in the past months when all of us have had real difficulty in understanding the challenges faced within our society and across the globe. We have been unclear as to what the future holds and the path to be taken. In all of this, we have not been alone.

As the Gospel account unfolds, Jesus gathers the crowd around him and invites them to ‘take up their cross and follow me’. (Mark 8: 34)

As we journey into the future and follow the path taken by Jesus, we know that we are not alone. We journey in the way of the cross and – as we have seen today exemplified in the healing miracles – in the hope of the resurrection.

We pray:

God of hope,
be with us as we journey into the future that lies before us.
Be with us through your Son
who has journeyed in the way of the Cross.
Grant to us grace and faith that we might follow him.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of hope,
be with us as we journey into the future that lies before us.
In all we face,
be near to us, and all whom we love,
and guard us safe in your presence.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of hope,
be with us as we journey into the future that lies before us.
Be with those who fear this day
and who struggle to see the future.
Lead us from the darkness into your light.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of hope,
be with us as we journey into the future that lies before us.
Be with those who grieve this day
and who feel bereft of comfort.
In your compassion, be near to them.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of hope,
be with us as we journey into the future that lies before us.
In all that is faced by our society today,
grant wisdom, insight and understanding
to those who are called to govern our nation
and act on our behalf.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of hope,
be with us as we journey into the future that lies before us.
Be with us through your Son
whose journey in the way of the Cross
yields the hope of the Resurrection.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

 

21 February 2021

The beginning of the public ministry of Jesus is recorded in direct and immediate terms in the Gospel of Mark. We begin in Nazareth in Galilee and are then transported to the River Jordan. We see Jesus baptised and then driven out into the wilderness for forty days. The ministry of Jesus then begins as he proclaims: ‘The time has come…The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news.’ (Mark 1: 9-15) It is as if the account compresses time in order to capture and express the significance of the moment.

Our experience of the passing of time over recent months is perhaps unlike anything we have ever collectively known. On the one hand, the experience of lockdown and restriction, and the absence of the rhythms of life, has almost dislocated us from the normal experience of the passing of time. On the other hand, the relocation of worship, work and social interaction to digital platforms has rapidly transformed the times in which we live.

These two things, alongside many others, are happening at one and the same time and we cannot yet tell how they will finally shape future times.

Although we cannot tell how the future will unfold, what we can do is recognise that the kingdom of God is at hand and, in the light of this, resolve to journey with Jesus towards the place of the Cross. The gift of time, in the light of God’s Kingdom, is an opportunity to live out our response to the Good News of Jesus.

We pray:

God whose kingdom is near
And who knows the times in which we live,
May we hear the call of Your Son
And turn once more to embrace the Good News He proclaims.
In the times in which we live,
Grant us grace to do so.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose kingdom is near
And who knows the times in which we live,
Your Son has embraced time
And became truly human for us and for our salvation.
As we face the hard challenges of these days
May we know that we are embraced by Your Son.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose kingdom is near
And who knows the times in which we live,
Be with those for whom this day is hard
And who long for respite.
Be with those who seek to bring healing and comfort
And grant them wisdom and compassion to do so.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God whose kingdom is near
And who knows the times in which we live,
Be with us as we resolve to journey with Your Son
In the days that lie before us.
Whether in the wilderness, or by the living waters,
May we know Your presence ever renewed.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

 

14 February 2021

From the sermon on the mount we return to that other mountain on which the disciples of Jesus experienced something which they struggled to comprehend and express. This same Jesus with whom they had spent so much time listening to and learning from, was transfigured before their eyes, in the company of Elijah and Moses.

Peter, as ever, makes an attempt to respond but truly he ‘did not know what to say, for they were terrified’. (Mark 9: 2-9)

In the midst of all we face at this time, we are confronted by that for which nothing has truly prepared us as a society. As the experience of Lockdown continues, we are learning a great deal about the strengths and weaknesses of our society and the foundations on which lives are built.

As we do so, we are coming to understand that the future will not simply be a reversion to the ‘normal’ of the past – not in society – not in the church.

As the disciples struggle to comprehend what they see before their eyes, they are overshadowed by the presence of God and hear the words of affirmation: ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, listen to him!’ Then, in an instant, ‘when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus’.

As we journey from Christmas to the Cross – and if God spares us, further into the future, we do so in the company of the One who transforms our present and who invites us to share in the promise of the coming Kingdom of God.

We pray:

Living God,
Speak to us in the place where we are today
And make your presence known.
Speak to us the words of affirmation
That we may know that we are loved by you.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

 Living God,
Speak to us in the place where we are today
And bring hope for days to come.
Speak words of comfort and of healing
And words of compassion for those who mourn.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

 Living God,
Speak to us in the place where we are today,
That we might speak a word for our times.
Speak into the future that lies before us
And grant us grace as we seek to live out that future.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

 Living God,
Speak to us in the place where we are today,
That we might hear again your voice.
Speak to us on the highest heights, and in the deepest depths,
And may we know, and be known by, the One whom you love.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

 

7 February 2021

At this time, we are those who wait. In common with every member of our community and our nation, we are those who wait for the renewal of life within the families and communities of which we are a part. The time of waiting has now exceeded anything we might have imagined as we began the first lockdown, and as we wait many have grown weary.

The prophet Isaiah speaks to a people who have waited and whose time of waiting has exceeded anything they might have imagined. (Isaiah 40: 21-31) During the time of waiting, the people of Israel have grown weary. To those people, the word of the Lord comes through the prophet and they are given a vision of ‘the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth’ who ‘does not faint or grow weary’.

Even in the longest times, the word of the Lord speaks to those who have come to the end of their strength with the assurance that: ‘those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint’. (Isaiah 40: 31)

“We are those who wait and our waiting is not in vain.”

We pray:

 Everlasting God,
Creator of the ends of the earth,
We are those who wait
And we confess that we have grown weary.
Speak to us we ask and hear our cry.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

 Everlasting God,
Creator of the ends of the earth,
We are those who wait
And who have come to the end of our own strength.
Lift up the weary and strengthen the powerless.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

 Everlasting God,
Creator of the ends of the earth,
We are those who wait
And who have heard your Word echo in our hearts.
Grant us grace for this time and faith to believe your promise.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

 Everlasting God,
Creator of the ends of the earth,
We are those who wait
And who ask that your promise will be fulfilled.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Everlasting God,
Creator of the ends of the earth,
We are those who wait
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

 

31 January 2021

The remembering of the past is an integral part of what it is to be human. In our remembering, we recall the persons and the events that have shaped us and made us who we are. In the act of remembering, we often seek to make sense of and come to terms with the past. In the depths of our remembering, we acknowledge and lament loss. At this particular time, we are profoundly conscious of the depth of loss within the communities and nation of which we are a part.

In the Book of Psalms, the Psalmist affirms that God ‘remembers’ and that, in particular, God remembers the covenant made with the people of God. The One who forges a relationship with the people of God, is the One who remembers the covenant forever. (Psalm 111: 5) In our remembering, we recall the One who remembers us and does not forget all that we endure in these hard times.”

God who remembers,
Be with us in our remembering this day.
Be with us on the journey
That takes us from the past
And into the future that lies before us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God who remembers,
Be with us in our remembering this day.
Be with as we recall those who have shaped us
And the events that have made us.
Grant to us grace and healing in all we recall.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God who remembers,
Be with us in our remembering this day.
Be with us in sorrow and in loss
And come beside all who mourn this day.
Come beside us and do not leave us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God who remembers,
Be with us in our remembering this day.
Be with those who serve in hospitals and in homes
And who, by their medical and nursing skills,
Provide comfort and hope to those who suffer.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God who remembers,
Be with us in our remembering this day.
Be with us as community and nation
And strengthen us in all we endure.
Even in the darkness, may we find your light renewed through Jesus Christ.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.


__________

Crieff Parish Church
Strathearn Terrace, CRIEFF PH7 3AQ
Scottish Registered Charity SC004304
A congregation of the Church of Scotland
within the Presbytery of Perth