Services: Sermons and Prayers

St Luke’s Sunday – 17th October 21
(2Timothy 4:5-17 & Luke 10:1-9 – St Luke’s Day)
Lord, open my mouth so that I can speak. Open our ears and hearts so that we can hear your call and change. By your power, and through your grace, Amen.
Let’s remind ourselves who was St Luke…..
Saint Luke was born a Greek and a Gentile in Antioch, Syria. He was a physician (Fe-Si-tion) and it is believed that he may have also been a slave, as it was not uncommon in his day for slaves to be educated in medicine so the family would have a resident doctor.
Luke became a close companion of Paul of Tarsus and accompanied him on his missionary journeys. It is very possible that Luke provided medical assistance to Paul when he had been beaten, stoned or nearly drowned while evangelizing to the Western Roman Empire. Luke is the only Gentile to have written books in the Bible. He is the writer of the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, and his writings have been proven to be historically accurate. In the third Gospel, Luke emphasizes Christ’s compassion for sinners and for those who suffer. One will also find in Luke’s account of the gospel, a strong emphasis on the role women played in Christ’s ministry. Luke’s Christian ministry can be followed in the book of Acts.
It is believed that Luke lived a long life and died c. 74 in Greece. He was the first Christian doctor and was recognised by the Catholic Church as the patron saint of physician (Fe-Si-tion) and surgeons. Saint Luke’s feast day is celebrated 18th October each year.
So, what can we learn from St Luke and our Bible readings today?
Well St Luke was a follower of Jesus, and then following Jesus’ death continued to help in the sharing and telling of the good news. Our first reading notes that everyone who hears this message should always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, and carry out our ministry fully. Now before you all think that until this point the only way you have been working is under the influence of substance that’s not the case. My experience is deeper faith conversations often occur over a relaxing drink. What the message is saying is don’t have bits of other idols in the mix, in other words being sober means to be fully trustworthy and dependant of God. It is then this trusting and depending relationship that drives you out to work to share God’s word, love and support with others. Our first reading also acknowledges that in doing this the responses we experience and expect may not be received, but it reassures you that the Lord is with us and in our work, and that there will be times when people do turn to God following our input and therefore don’t give up.
Yet, both our readings also suggest that this is not a journey to be travelled alone. Both readings promote the need to support and travel with other followers of Christ. Traveling with companions can ensure we each have support networks, someone to bounce ideas off, someone to keep us company when times are tough and someone to pray with and remind us of God’s presence with us, just like Luke and Paul did. Journeying with someone in faith can also be empowering and resource us in several ways. How we journey will vary between each couple, and each task may need a different companion, but having companions is important. After all we are part of the body of Christ.
Although St Luke and Paul had each other, there were still some items that were missing, and they were both in need of. Our 2nd reading notes that when Jesus sent out the disciples and followers in twos they were told to go with very little. They are told to go with no purse, no bag and no sandals. I wonder how many of us are prepared to just get up empty handed and go. The seventy appointed and sent are told to share the peace to each household and if welcomed they are to stay and eat. Again, this message is telling us that not everyone will turn to God on our say so, but others will. And for those that will, not only will they receive God’s presence, we to will receive the gifts we need of nourishments, both physically and spiritually.
St Luke was an evangelist who following and living alongside Jesus believed and continued to teach Jesus’ story and about God’s love to all he met. Luke was certainly a seed planter, some grew instantly, some grew a time later, others unknown. We to are called to continue sharing God’s word and love, some seeds we plant will grow instantly, others take a little time, others we will never know the outcome. But we need to trust in God’s works and remember, this journey involves us working together and trusting that God is with us at all times. So let us pray:
Lord God, we thank you that you have called us to faith, guide us in our fellowship and guide us to proclaim your words in the many situations we find ourselves in. Teach us to openly trust that you will provide all that we need in order to plant the seeds of faith. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let us pray

A Prayer for St Luke’s

Heavenly Father, we pray for St Luke’s Church. We pray that you will give us wisdom to know what you want us to do. We pray for patience, that we can act at the right time and listen well to one another as we make decisions. We pray for courage to step into new and scary territory. Help us not to fear failure but to step out in faith, trusting that whatever happens you are with us and our endeavours are pleasing to you. May St Luke’s grow in faith, love and hope. Forgive us for the times when we lack these virtues of faith, hope and love. Forgive us the sins which block your plans for the church. We give thanks that you have given us your Son, Jesus Christ. May our church be a community that offers to you heartfelt worship and enables others to become disciples of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Silence

in the power of the Gospel let us pray to the Lord. Bless the healing ministry of the Church and grant relief to those who come to her for help.

Silence

Loving Lord, we give you thanks for your evangelist, Luke, whose Gospel sets
our imaginations on fire with the good news of your Son. We pray for all who translate the scriptures, for theologians who interpret their message and
preachers who make the words come alive to feed our souls. We pray for
those with the gift of story-telling, for dramatists and choreographers who
arouse the well of our thoughts.

Silence

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

We pray for the Church, for our inheritance of faith and those who labour for
the gospel today. We pray for David and Mark our bishops along with our parish clergy team. Generous God, your salvation is for us all. Teach us to embrace all people with the same love we see in your Son.

Silence

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Lord, Luke wrote for an official named Theophilus. We pray for those who hold temporal power; for decision-makers and all who shape the direction of our common life. We pray for spiritual advisers and chaplains to rulers, members of parliament and councils; all whose wisdom and insight is sought, who make connections between your gospel and the issues of government.

Silence

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Heavenly Father, your beloved physician offered cures for ailments of mind, body and spirit. We pray for all involved in healing, for doctors and nurses, complementary practitioners, and all who open up wholeness and restoration to broken people. We pray for hospital chaplains and visitors; for ancillary staff and all involved in the management of health care provision.
Today we have been asked to pray for:

Joyce Holt and Michael Quigley

And any others that are known only to us or to you Lord.

Silence

We pray also for those patients ill at home or in hospital and for their families
and friends who are caring for them.

Silence

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Lord, Luke presents us with the drama of your salvation in your Son Jesus Christ.
We commend to you all who have died. Today we pray for… and whose Anniversaries fall at this time.

Silence

Refresh the hope you hold before us in the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

Silence

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Let us now take time to offer our own prayers to God our Father.

Silence

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

In communion with Luke and the whole household of God,
we entrust ourselves to your eternal goodness.

Silence

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
ORDINARY TIME (Service for use at home)
As our liturgy is now set until October, please save this document.

Each week I will send out, the collect, readings and sermon for those who still wish to worship from home and those unable to yet join us in persons for various of reasons.

The Greeting

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, And of the Holy Spirit
Amen

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

My brothers and sisters,
as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word,
let us call to mind and confess our sins.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name. Amen.

May Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.
Collect:
Almighty God,
you called Luke the physician,
whose praise is in the gospel,
to be an evangelist and physician of the soul:
by the grace of the Spirit
and through the wholesome medicine of the gospel,
give your Church the same love and power 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
Readings:

2 Timothy 4: 5-17
As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.
As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Do your best to come to me soon, for Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful in my ministry. I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will pay him back for his deeds. You also must beware of him, for he strongly opposed our message.
At my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So, I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.

Luke 10: 1 – 9
After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

Sermon
See above

Affirmation of Faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us with power from on high.

We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Intercessions
See above

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

Peace

God is love, and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
and also with you.

The Blessing

The peace of God which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia.

 

 

19th Sunday after Trinity Sermon
(Hebrews 4: 12-end & Mark 10: 17 – 31)

May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord our strength and our redeemer. Amen

I felt slightly relieved this week when I read Jane Williams study on this week’s readings and even she commented on how much harder these readings are becoming to unpack. So here is my best shot.
The theme I want to take is about how we see Jesus and how we apply this to our faith. If I just take you back to last week’s reading, which comes immediately before this week’s Gospel, we ended with Jesus’ teaching that we should all be children in the kingdom of heaven. Fast forward to this week’s Gospel and the rich man, responding to what was said, runs up to Jesus and asks – what must I do to inherit eternal life. However, note that he says good teacher, and not Jesus, Messiah, or any other acknowledgment to who Jesus truly is.
Jesus responds by first recalling the commandments, taking about his way of living. The rich man notes he has done all these things. But Jesus then notes that this is not the only way of living to be faithful and inherit eternal life. Jesus goes on to test the man further suggesting he sells all that he has and becomes poor, as well as acknowledging who he truly believes in.
A colleague shared her 7-year-old daughters’ reflections on today’s readings which I think sums up Jesus’ teaching in just one sentence. She shares – pondering Jesus’s words that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich person to enter heaven. The daughter suddenly went – “Of course there will be no rich people in heaven – everyone will have enough.” This is possibly one of the most simplified but spot on summaries of today’s readings. Jesus is encouraging the rich man, and all who hear, to live a life that is doing and being here on earth in order for us all to inherit a place in the eternal kingdom. But is it this simple, even the disciples questions if they are now good enough too?
Most of us I believe would fall between the rich man and the disciples. Financially we may survive each, or if not each most, months but we certainly are not wealthy enough to buy everything we want, or even fund a trip to outer space. Spiritually we have recognized the good in Jesus, as we declare in the creed that Jesus is God and come to church each week. But I ask:
– How much of ourselves have we truly given to Jesus?
– Would you run for Jesus and would you kneel at his feet?
o Would this be a different answer to if he showed now, or in our midweek doings?
– Do we truly live our lives valuing everything as belonging to Jesus, or are there things that get in the way of following him?
– Do we live the whole of our lives in a goodly way – not just by the commandments but spiritually and mentally too.
What ever your answers are to these questions, I want to you to hold onto one more thing today. This reading is told in three of our Gospels, however it is only in Mark’s version do we hear… Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said…. Jesus was teaching the man some very hard and powerful ways of reflection and ways of living. However, he also reminded him that he was loved, and when reflecting with his disciples Jesus reminds them that all things are made possible with God.
God knows we are not perfect, hence the journey and life of Jesus, but in his loving us for who we are, he does ask that we try, and that we constantly reflect and adapt as necessary. So here is the test:
– If Jesus were to physically be present today – would you run and kneel at his feet?
– Would you offer anything and everything to him?
– What do you hold tight to hoping that Jesus will never ask it of you?
– As he gazes on you with love – would he say – There’s one thing you are lacking….?
Let us seek to do as right as possible, remembering that our place in the eternal kingdom is not about wealth or status, but about our approach, being and relationship with God, knowing that in all our trying we are loved and with God anything is possible. Amen

Prayers from Phil at St. Luke’s/ Christine will be bringing prayers for St. John’s.

‘The word of God is living and active, piercing right to the heart;
only with God is it possible to be saved.’
In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, you promised through your Son Jesus Christ
to hear us when we pray.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation. Through your goodness we live in a rich and
wonderful world. You have given us the stewardship of your creation.
Lord, help us to work together for the benefit of your whole world and to reveal your glory
within it. May we strive for the protection and care of all you have given into our charge.

Silence

God of goodness, you inspire our hearts to reach beyond personal wealth.
Excite your Church with the treasure of your eternal presence to draw others to meet you.
Bless all who are in religious communities, and all seeking to consecrate their lives to you.
We pray for any who have lost their faith or their way.

Silence

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

God of goodness, you deflate the flattery of our lips with the honesty of your truth.
Direct our gaze beyond personal grandeur to deal with the issues of our day. We ask you to
bless all who influence our future by the decisions they make in governments or in multinational companies. We pray for the work of all who are involved in conservation and in Fair Trade.

Silence

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

God of goodness, you fill the earth with rich resources. Give us grace to use these for the benefit
and relief of all the needy in our town. We ask you to bless the work of the Heywood Food Bank.
We remember the unemployed and homeless people of our Parish. Bless our homes, our friends
and our neighbours so they may reflect your love and presence to all who know them.

Silence

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

God of goodness, your love sees our strength and weakness. Look in mercy on all who are ill.
Today we have been asked to pray for:

Joyce Holt and Michael Quigley

And any others that are known only to us or to you Lord.

Silence

Lord, we ask your blessing upon all who are suffering, at home or in hospital.
We give thanks for the talent and attention of doctors, nurses and all in the caring professions.
We pray especially for all who feel lonely or neglected and all who have no one to care for them.

Silence

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

God of goodness, all things are possible with you. Raise in your love those who have died.

Today we pray for: Peter King recently deceased

Along with: David Blundell Jean Schofield Violet Fenton and Anne Maria Wilson
Whose anniversary falls at this time.

Silence

Lord, we remember all who have enriched us by their goodness and care,
as we pray for all our loved ones and friends who are departed from us.

Silence

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Let us now take time to offer our own prayers to God our Father.

Silence

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

With thankful hearts we recall the times when God has rescued and forgiven us,
leading us deeper into his friendship.

Silence

Merciful Father
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

ORDINARY TIME (Service for use at home)
As our liturgy is now set until October, please save this document.

Each week I will send out, the collect, readings and sermon for those who still wish to worship from home and those unable to yet join us in persons for various of reasons.

The Greeting

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, And of the Holy Spirit
Amen

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

My brothers and sisters,
as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word,
let us call to mind and confess our sins.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name. Amen.

May Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.

Collect:

Faithful Lord,
whose steadfast love never ceases
and whose mercies never come to an end:
grant us the grace to trust you
and to receive the gifts of your love,
new every morning,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

Readings:
Hebrews 4: 12-end
Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.
Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Mark 10: 17 – 31

As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.’” He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”
Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

Sermon
See above

Affirmation of Faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us with power from on high.

We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Intercessions
See above

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

Peace

God is love, and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
and also with you.

The Blessing

The peace of God which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia.

18th Sunday after Trinity
(Hebrews ch.1 v1-4 ch.2 v5-12 – Mark ch10 v2-16)

Lord speak to us through your word and may our hearts respond in love.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Our first reading from Hebrews leaves us in no doubt about the authority with which Jesus speaks.
He is the Son of God through whom the universe was created, the one who reflects God’s glory, the one who would sacrifice himself upon the cross so that through our faith in him we may enjoy life in all its fullness and eventually spend eternity in his presence.

Jesus was somewhat of a radical preacher because on many occasions he spoke to and about women and children in a way that went against the culture of his day, and today’s gospel reading is an example of this.

The Pharisees were wanting to trap Jesus with their question about divorce, but they were not aware who they were speaking to.

When we read passages like this one from Mark’s gospel we must remember that the concept of marriage referred to here differs from ours today.

The Hebrew family was much larger than ours tend to be.
It included the father of the household, his parents if still alive, his wife, children, his daughters and sons-in-law, and any slaves all came under his protection.

Marriage was arranged by the father of the groom and the family of the bride.
One of the main reasons for marriage was to provide a healthy male heir.

A wife and children had little or no status and were looked upon as possessions.

While Jesus upholds the sacrament of marriage, he also acknowledges our human frailty and as always shows concern for the vulnerable in society as demonstrated not only in his
reply to the question about divorce but also when children were brought to Jesus.

His disciples wanted to turn them away, but Jesus insisted they be allowed to come to him, and tells them whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.

When Jesus says we should accept like a child, he doesn’t mean we should behave in a childish way.
There is a big difference between these two words:

Childish is – unsuitable behaviour for an adult, but childlike is someone who is dependent upon another and who trusts that person will always have their best interests at heart.

Such is our dependence upon God as at our harvest festival a couple of weeks ago reminded us, we trust him to provide what is needed to grow our food by supplying us with rain, sunshine and other necessities of life, but at a deeper level he should influence our thoughts and feed our souls.

In some respects the world today is very different from when Jesus walked this earth, laws have changed, there are some things we now accept that would have been unthought of in his day and generation, but some things remain.

This gospel reading reminds us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
He is never too busy, nor considers himself too important, to turn people away whatever their gender, age or situation.

He demonstrated throughout his earthly ministry that he desires a fair and just society for all, male, female, young and old and particularly the vulnerable.

Before we become judgemental on any issue we should remember that we all, in many ways, fall short of perfection.

But the good news is – We worship a loving and compassionate God, one who loves us so much he is prepared to sacrifice his son in order that we may have a relationship with him that enables us to admit our mistakes and through our faith in him and by his grace we are redeemed, cleansed by the love of God in Christ.

As we allow ourselves to be healed, we receive new life, with new possibilities and new hopes.

Stronger and wiser, we can once again become the means by which the love of Christ is made known in the world.

Let us pray
Gracious God
Kindle in our hearts the flame of love that never ceases, that it may burn in us, giving light to others.
May we be ever mindful or our responsibility to follow Jesus’ example in caring for the vulnerable in our society.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer. Amen.

Prayers Trinity 18,2001

The bidding for our prayers will be ‘Lord in Your Mercy’ With the response ‘Hear our Prayer’

Almighty, Everlasting and Creator God – we are dazzled by the wonders of your creation, from the tiny mustard seed to the mighty Oak tree.
In all that you have provided there is order, even when we see none, and in all that we try and understand, there is purpose and meaning.
So we, come before you to ask for those things that puzzle us or seem beyond our control, for those things which concern us and even frighten us.
We come because Jesus said we may, and we ask because he showed us that you are a God of love and compassion and will listen to us.
So we pray for this your world and it’s peoples with all their questions, all their concerns and all their needs.
We pray for your Church here and around the world and especially for all who minister to us here in Heywood.
Gracious God in a time in which so many seek direction we pray that you would inspire the hearts and minds of your Christian People that we might teach and guard the faith which has held fast the lives of generations before us
In a world where we now seem to hear more talk about atheism, help us all in our personal mission to speak boldly in the name of Christ and his church, that those who hear may open their mind to your voice and open their hearts to the knowledge of your love in Christ.

Lord in Your mercy. – ‘Hear our prayer’
We pray for your world which, through the power of modern media, is revealed daily to us in all its violence, disaster and shallowness.
You have placed its care and our future in our own hands and so we pray for a tireless striving for peace between the nations, a common realisation of the catastrophic dangers posed by climate change and a sharing in the burden to support the poor and under-developed regions.
We remember and pray for the United Nations and all other agencies and charities involved in bringing aid, order and relief in so many world-wide conflicts and disaster areas and we pray that through their workers time and talents they may be seen as the hands of Christ at work in our very midst.

Lord in Your mercy. – ‘Hear our prayer’

We pray for all in our own community with those whom we meet day by day; our families, friends and neighbours, our work colleagues.
We remember especially and pray for those who fear for the future, through financial worries, through un-employment, through addictions and through family breakdowns and ask that in all these concerns you son Jesus Christ can be offered as the real hope on which shattered lives can be rebuilt.
We pray that in all things, whether in difficulty or in celebration, that our nation reflects anew on our common inheritance of freedom, justice and service which has come down over the years and through the labour and sacrifice of so many people.

Lord in Your mercy. – ‘Hear our prayer’

Loving God we think now of those in most need in our own community, the elderly, the housebound and those in care homes, hospital and hospice; and for the work and devotion of Carers whose skill and compassion bring both material and spiritual comfort at times of need. We pray for Terry Hackney and his wife Margaret as they await news to see if his treatment has been successful, and in a moment of quiet we pray for any others known to us personally who are in need at this time.

Lord in Your mercy. – ‘Hear our prayer’

We pray for those who feel the pain of grief at the loss of a loved one whether recent or as each anniversary passes.
Help us to support all those who mourn both with our prayers, with words of comfort and with practical help both this day and in the days and weeks to come.
We remember before God those who have died especially we pray for Doreen Rostron and her family and friends.
You turn our darkness into light; in your light shall we see light.

Lord in Your mercy. – ‘Hear our prayer’

Loving God you have promised to be with us always to the end of time.
As we leave this place today help us to be conscious of your presence in our daily lives that we may be kept in peace of mind and free from fear and anxiety and in your presence may find fulness of Joy and strength to persevere to your Great Glory.

Merciful Father, “Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen”.

ORDINARY TIME (Service for use at home)
As our liturgy is now set until October, please save this document.

Each week I will send out, the collect, readings and sermon for those who still wish to worship from home and those unable to yet join us in persons for various of reasons.

The Greeting

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, And of the Holy Spirit
Amen

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

My brothers and sisters,
as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word,
let us call to mind and confess our sins.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name. Amen.

May Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.

Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God,
increase in us your gift of faith
that, forsaking what lies behind
and reaching out to that which is before,
we may run the way of your commandments
and win the crown of everlasting joy;
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

Readings:

Hebrews 1 1-4 & 2 5-12
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. But someone has testified somewhere,
“What are human beings that you are mindful of them, or mortals, that you care for them?
You have made them for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned them with glory and honour subjecting all things under their feet.”
Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying,
“I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.”

Mark 10 2-16
Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.’ So, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands

Sermon
See above

Affirmation of Faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us with power from on high.

We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Intercessions
See above

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

Peace

God is love, and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
and also with you.

The Blessing

The peace of God which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia.

17th Sunday after Trinity Sermon
(James 5: 13 – end & Mark 9: 38 – end)

May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord our strength and our redeemer. Amen
Many of you will know that over the last fortnight I have spent most of my time with Year 7 Holy Family students on retreat. It has been a privilege to do and part of this retreat was to stop, reflect and spend time with God in prayer and thoughts. Part of this process was also to spend time reflecting on who we connect with and who we journey with too. So, it may seem a coincidence that this week’s readings are based on our prayer life and our attitudes towards others. But is it as easy as that?
One of the things I picked up on over the last few weeks is it is easy for our prayer life to slip and for us to forget the many communities that we are part off. Secondly it is easy for us to compare our faith to others – both of these me included. So, as I we have done on retreat, I want to take us back to basics this morning and to remind us of the importance of these things in our lives, and hopefully in a way that will help us all stay on track going forward. As I believe sometimes it is easy to complicate these things beyond what is needed.
My easy way to approach this is the 5W’s – Who, What, When, Where and Why.
Who should pray – We are reminded in our reading from James today that anyone can and should pray? Anyone who needs God’s helps and anyone who has received God’s blessings should prayer. That’s you and me, and all who will believe. God does not rule out prayers, God listens to every prayer prayed and God is there waiting to hear and respond accordingly.
What should we pray about – James reminds us that we should pray for anything? He names prayers for healing and forgiveness. But also, prayers for thanks, for the times we are happy and ask for help when we are in trouble. Jesus himself picks up on this in our Gospel reading too. Using extreme statements, but not to be taken literally, Jesus encourages us to prioritize our own faith life in action and prayer and not to worry about others. Therefore, he suggests that we should pay for those that we see doing wrong, rather than dispute them.
When should we pray – Well I hope we all know and remember that prayer can happen anytime? We can spend set time in prayer with a focus, candle, icon, etc. Or we can pray on the move. We can spend a long time in prayer or we can pray arrow prayers – quick on liners to God out loud or in our mind. God doesn’t sleep, prayer shouldn’t sleep too.
Where should we pray – Well as the ones above, prayer can be done anywhere. Remember wherever we are, God is there also.
And lastly – Why should we pray – Maybe not be obvious but James reminds us – when we pray God answers prayer. The verse from James reminds us that prayer is powerful and effective and that if we will prayer, God will hear our prayers and respond.
When we are in the thick of trouble or in the busyness of everyday life, it is so easy for prayer to be the first or one of the first things to go – I as guilty as everyone else. But prayer should be key in all aspects of our lives, wherever we are, and as Christians we need to remember and trust that God is in control and God is there for us always.
I really hope that what may seem, and actually is, a homily that explains what we already know, I do hope that it has allowed you to reflect on your prayer life and has allowed you to recognize that something we may have complicated, or something that we have maybe let slip away easily does not need to be difficult nor time consuming. In fact, it very easy and should become our way of life. So, I pray for us all,
Dear God of prayer, thank you for your healing and answering of the prayers that we have already offered to you. We ask that you help us not to forget it’s importance within our lives and allow us to share all our trails, worries, joys and reflections with you always. Amen.

Intersessions

Conscious of our need for God’s power in our lives, our Church and our world, let us pray to him now.

Father as you have called us to be salt, give us the courage to reject sin and evil in our own lives and in the corporate life of the Church.
May our churches be powerhouses of your Spirit, training and upholding us as we live your life in the world.

Your law, O Lord, is perfect:
It revives the soul.

Father, we pray for a greater awareness of what damages souls and encourages evil, and for widespread commitment to addressing the dangers.
We pray for all who earn their living through selling what destroys lives.

Your Law, O Lord, is perfect:
It revives the soul.

Father, we pray for the young, and the vulnerable in every community, for all in positions of trust, for childminders, playgroups and schools, for children’s clubs and the uniformed organisations, for loving nurture and protection from all evil.

Your Law, O Lord, is perfect:
It revives the soul.

Father, we pray for all long-term carers and those they look after, for all who are having to learn dependence gracefully, and those who are imprisoned by their guilt.
Work your healing love in them all, reassuring them of your presence.

Your Law, O Lord, is perfect:
It revives the soul.

Father, we pray that no one may be lost eternally, that all may turn from their sin and trust your mercy, that physical death may be but the gate to heaven.
We commend to your love those who have recently died. In particular our friend and your servant Doreen.

Your Law, O Lord, is perfect:
It revives the soul.

Father, we offer you our thanks and praise for sins forgiven, and the joy of walking through life in your company.

Merciful Father,
Accept these prayers
For the sake of your Son,
Our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
ORDINARY TIME (Service for use at home)
As our liturgy is now set until October, please save this document.

Each week I will send out, the collect, readings and sermon for those who still wish to worship from home and those unable to yet join us in persons for various of reasons.

The Greeting

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, And of the Holy Spirit
Amen

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

My brothers and sisters,
as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word,
let us call to mind and confess our sins.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name. Amen.

May Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.

Collect:

Almighty God,
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you:
pour your love into our hearts and draw us to yourself,
and so bring us at last to your heavenly city
where we shall see you face to face;
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

Readings:

James 5: 13-end
Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.
My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Mark 9: 38-end
John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.
“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.
“For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.”
Sermon
See above

Affirmation of Faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us with power from on high.

We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Intercessions
See above

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

Peace

God is love, and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
and also with you.

The Blessing

The peace of God which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia.

Sunday 19th September: Harvest Festival
(Matthew 6.25-33)
Sermon:
Lord, open my mouth so that I can speak. Open our ears and hearts so that we can hear your call and change. By your power, and through your grace, Amen.

Harvest is a time of the year when we give to those in need. Giving at harvest is usually recognised by donating food or money to support local groups who care for those who have none or little food, just as we have done today. It’s also a season where we can reflect on what else we can give, we all have a range of skills such as a listening ear, a supportive arm, able to promote good causes, and many more. These skills used in the right way can also support people in need and make the winter months easier to bare.
But the Harvest season is not just about giving it’s also an opportunity to say Thank you for the things we have access to. For example, giving thanks for the people and skills that grow our crops, for the people and companies that transport our food from farmers and factories to shops floors, for people who prepare our meals when we treat ourselves and dine out. But sometimes, living in a sustainable part of the world, we can take our food and drink for granted. But the word Harvest can encourage us to stop and re-think about what we have.
Our word Harvest has lots of hidden words, the first is EA. I wonder what your favourite food is?…….). Food is one thing we can take for granted but where does it come from?
From our Harvest Word we can also make the word EARTH. Our food comes from around the world and is grown in the good soil of the earth which gives us plants and crops and flowers and is then transported. As a result of varied heats, soils and vegetation across the world we have many types of foods to enjoy. Let’s look at some foods that we like here in the UK but have originated from across the world.
So here I have a globe with the help of the audience I wonder if we can place the foods on the county in which they are associated. Fish & Chips– UK, Pizza from Italy, curry– India, Spring Rolls – China, BBQ – Australia, tacos – Mexican
The earth is a wonderful creation of Gods as the Bible teaches us in many stories. But what our Bible Reading teaches us today is that we need to not worry but trust that God will continue to provide, not just for us but for all across the world. And that he will provide not just a little but abundantly, both in physical food and in spiritual food to.
Therefore, we need to consider another word from Harvest that is HAVE. We are in a world where we feel the need to have everything new, the latest technology and to look cool. What’s the latest thing you have had to Have?……….. But these are additional extras compared to the everyday items we require to live. Have is a word that some of us depend on but do we ever stop to think about what do actually we have. Many of us here, if not all have a lot to Thank God for. We have our family, friends, homes, toys, living essentials and the list goes on for much longer for us all. It is important that we stop and Thank God through prayer or conversation for those things we have but take for granted in everyday life.
But not everyone is as fortunate as we are – which is why we can also make the word STARVE. In some places there are people who have little or none of the items that are required to live a safe and healthy life and that’s why we support with the collecting of food and money gifts.
There are lots of words we can take from harvest but there are two more I want us to look at. The first is HEART. We were given a heart by God to love and feel for others in need which goes back to the beginning when I spoke about the sharing of our gifts. And therefore, we can also make the word SHARE. We can Share the love and support with others, remembering that Harvest is a time of giving support and thanking God for our lives and all that he provides. (Remake the word Harvest)
God out of his generosity for our provisions gives us a sense of fulfilment, support from others and allows us to receive his love and presence within our lives. We can receive his generosity through prayer, action and repaying by being generous to others in our trust of him being present. Therefore, let’s this harvest season not just donate to those in need but reflect and give Thanks for all that God provides for us to. Amen

Intersessions

Father, as we celebrate this season of thanksgiving.
We give thanks for the blessings of food, provision and nourishment.

(silence)

Please grow in us a harvest for the world.
Come sow a seed of hope within ourselves Lord, that we might yield goodness, patience and kindness in abundance.
We pray for a seed of hope be sown in those who are ill at this time, in particular Doreen Rostron.

(silence)

Sow a seed of peace in our lives Lord, that we might bear the fruits of forgiveness, compassion and righteousness.

(silence)

Come sow a seed of love in our hearts Lord, that others would reap the blessings of family, friendship and community.

(silence)

May each seed of hope, peace and love grow within us into a harvest that can be feasted on by all.

AMEN.

ORDINARY TIME (Service for use at home)
As our liturgy is now set until October, please save this document.

Each week I will send out, the collect, readings and sermon for those who still wish to worship from home and those unable to yet join us in persons for various of reasons.

The Greeting

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, And of the Holy Spirit
Amen

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

My brothers and sisters,
as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word,
let us call to mind and confess our sins.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name. Amen.

May Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.

Collect:

Eternal God,
you crown the year with your goodness
and you give us the fruits of the earth in their season:
grant that we may use them to your glory,
for the relief of those in need and for our own well-being;
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 forever. Amen
Readings:

Matthew 6:25-33

“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore, do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed, your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Sermon
See above

Affirmation of Faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us with power from on high.

We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Intercessions
See above

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

Peace

God is love, and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
and also with you.

The Blessing

The peace of God which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia.

15th Sunday after Trinity Sermon
(James 3: 1-12 & Mark 8: 27-end)

May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord our strength and our redeemer. Amen

I am going to describe a particular part of our bodies in the first person, as if I’m that part of our body and I wonder if you can guess it before I get to the end…. Here goes:

“I may be the strongest muscle in your body. I am considered to be the strongest muscle for my size. I have been known to lift over 80 times my weight, but don’t put me to the test! I am busy during the day and all through the night, and I never get tired. I may be kind of rough on the surface, but I’m smooth underneath. I’m about 4 inches long and I am the only muscle in your body that is only connected to your body at one end. I can heal myself faster than any other part of your body. Thanks to your nose and my buds I’m learning to develop a taste for things. I used to come out of my den more often for people to see me, but now I only come out when you need help eating an ice cream cone, or when the doctor says, “open your mouth, stick out your ‘tongue’ and say ahhhh”! As you’ve probably guessed, I’m the muscle that would be speaking this message aloud to you right now.”

For the last few weeks, we have been thinking about how our actions and our doings portray our faith in our everyday doing. But in Jesus message about taking up your cross and follow me – which many of us are familiar with. I thought today I would pick up the other aspect of our being and that is the use of our speech. This is the large message from our reading from the book of James.

One of my learning curves over the past 12 months with Leah, which I sure you can all resonate about or find familiar yourselves, is to be careful what you say. I am sure we all can all think about things we have said that a child then copies and we think ‘oops’. But this is possibly mild compared to the trouble our tongue can get us in. Another saying we may all be familiar with is – Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me. True?– Well I am sure we all sadly have firsthand experience that it is not. In fact, research says that the use of words are more powerful that actions.

James reminds us today that as strong as our tongues are physically, they boast of even greater power for good and for evil both emotionally, socially, and spiritually. This is the third characteristic he has spoken about over the last few weeks. And in fact, is the only person, other than Jesus, in the Bible to speak of its great power and impact on our faith.

To impress on us the importance of controlled speech, and the great consequences of our words, James gives us six pictures of the tongue: the bit, the rudder, fire, a dangerous animal, a fountain and a fig tree. You can put these six pictures into three categories that reveal the three powers of the tongue.

THE BIT AND THE RUDDER – James reminds us that just like these two small items, the bit being a controller of a horse, and the rudder controlling of a boat, it is the controller of the two items that have overall control.

THE FIRE AND THE DANGEROUS ANIMAL – James compares the tongue of gossip and slander to these two things. What maybe a small comment or word can turn into something big and uncontrollable and the damage can be unmendable.

THE FOUNTAIN AND THE FIG TREE – James acknowledge that the tongue is not always bad, and in fact at times is good – but notes it is unpredictable. James notes that “No one can tame the tongue”; no one, that is, except God. However, this message gets us to reflect on how we share God’s words with others and encourages us to reflect on how we image God’s being in not just our actions but in our speech to.

The theme of the book of James is: “genuine faith produces genuine works”. As people of God, we are encouraged to reflect the character of God in all aspects of our lives and we are encouraged to reflect frequently to make sure that our relationship to God is genuine, and that the Lord Jesus Christ is truly the Lord of your life. And part of this is allowing out words to become words of praise and thanksgiving to God and to others; words that heal, comfort and encourage; words that are beautiful to hear and words that always give glory to God. Amen

INTERCESSIONS

Loving obedience to God is shown by Jesus to be a quality rich in courage and wisdom, and a quality to be highly respected.

Everlastingly God hear us as we pray in faith and focus on the needs of others as well as ourselves.
We pray for the whole family of your church throughout your world. May all your people be built up in faith and demonstrate in their lives the gospel of Jesus Christ. Give courage to those who find it hard to follow you. Give us encouragement when we, like St. Peter, find the teachings of your son difficult to take on board.
We ask you to bless all who are seeking to change their lives and live to serve others. May your church reveal your love in its care for all who come to it. We pray today for all our clergy.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Creator God your son came to us that all might be made new. Look in mercy on our broken world and speak to all people that they may hear the message of peace. Guide and guard those who speak out for justice and mercy and face the wrath of undemocratic leaders and governments.
God of mercy we ask your blessing upon the poor and homeless of our world, and on all migrant and displaced people. We pray for countries that are in great debt and for the work of world banks and governments helping to relieve this debt. We bring before you all who have lost what little they had, we bring before you all who are fearful for their future.
We pray for the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan. We pray for the many families throughout our world who have lost their homes and jobs due to flooding, vast wild fires and wars. We pray for the many people who have died due to these disasters.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord God we pray for family and colleagues, for neighbours and those who we meet in church. We pray especially for those among our family and friends who do not know you, or whose faith has been shaken or fallen away.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Heavenly father you gave your prophet Isaiah an instructed tongue to know the words that sustain the weary and those who are sick, with a call or personal visit, or an email or through the post with a get-well card. Help us also to be constant in our prayer for friends and family in any kind of need, especially any suffering from coronavirus. We pray especially for : Doreen Rostron

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Loving God we pray for those kept fresh in our memory and those long forgotten, we pray for all who shared our homes, our place of work and our church lives. We pray for the recently departed, especially Edith Wilkinson, asking that they find rest in your heavenly kingdom as we commend them to your keeping for ever.

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Almighty god as we move into another week, deliver our eyes from tears and our feet from stumbling and walk with us on our journey of faith as we carry the cross of Christ into the world.

Merciful father, accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

ORDINARY TIME (Service for use at home)
As our liturgy is now set until October, please save this document.

Each week I will send out, the collect, readings and sermon for those who still wish to worship from home and those unable to yet join us in persons for various of reasons.

The Greeting

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, And of the Holy Spirit
Amen

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

My brothers and sisters,
as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word,
let us call to mind and confess our sins.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name. Amen.

May Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.

The Collect:

God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit
upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
grant that your people may be fervent
in the fellowship of the gospel
that, always abiding in you,
they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
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 forever. Amen

Readings:

James 3: 1-12
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits.

How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.
Mark 8: 27-end
Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Sermon
See above

Affirmation of Faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us with power from on high.

We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Intercessions 
See above

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

Peace

God is love, and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
and also with you.

The Blessing

The peace of God which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia.

Sermon – 29th August 2021
(James 1: 14-end & Mark 7: 1-8, 14-15, 21-23))
May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord our strength and our redeemer. Amen

As Max (St Lukes Sunday School Leader) pointed out to me earlier this week it is ironic that after 18 plus months of being told you must wash your hands and keep them clean – Jesus comes along today and suggests otherwise – but does he?
Before I answer let me just back track for a moment. Whether you think it is right or wrong, as humans we make assumptions about people appearances and about peoples approaches to many rules of life. And we do this is all sectors of life. In order not to risk picking on any single examples, here are some media headlines I have seen and read in the last few weeks:
– Mum shamed for wearing PJ’s on the school run
– Endless complaints on people with no children parking in parent and children’s spaces.
– Woman who works in school shares how staff judge kids based on their names.
– We rule out job applications on e-mail addresses given
– I’m a traveller and I’m sick of people in council houses saying I steal
– I took on a second job to borrow £26K extra to buy £225K first house
Many of these headlines have stories behind them, and not all are negative. But just like some of the assumptions that may have come to mind each is based on experience, on our own up bringing and upon the secular world that we find ourselves in. When it comes to rules, well I am sure we all have our own examples of both our human admirations and frustrations of peoples approaches to them over the last 18 months. But this is not new to our society today.
In our readings today Jesus is presented with a very similar situation. People are judging people based on their appearance and based on their approach to Jewish rules in place. Jesus responds to what he see’s and although on first reading it may seem that Jesus suggests dirty hands are OK – Here is the point of our message today – Jesus isn’t actually on about the actual cleanliness of the body in regards to physical appearance, he is on about the cleanliness of our spiritual souls.
When we live out our lives as people of faith, we have two beings. We have our inner being and our outer beings. In other words, we have our physical beings and our spiritual beings. And we have a choice, these two can work together or against each other. But I am sure you already know; one has consequences the other has rewards.
In our Gospel reading Jesus clearly spells out that if we work against our spiritual being, our actions can easily turn to evil intentions and this is how others perceive us and turn against us. In doing so you become far from God, far from faith and even possibly far from accepted in society. In our reading from James, we are reminded that if we chose for our two beings to be aligned, we will in fact gain from God, we will be of peace, be loved, be cared for – that we will be pure and undefiled by God.
I have said it before and will say it again – it is much easier to stand and preach about these things than what it is to do in actual life because we are human and are reminded often of Jesus sacrifice for our sins – our wrong doings and thinking’s.
But what is asked of us today is to stop of think about our two beings and ask ourselves are they aligned. And to also stop and ask for forgiveness for the times we know we have done wrong and to reconcile ourselves to God and to each other, with the commitment to try harder going forward. And we can go forward with those words of James – Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves…..those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing. Amen

Sermon from Rev’d Irene – 14th Sunday after Trinity 5th September

The message that comes across from television, magazines and newspapers these days seems to be “image is everything”
People are judged by where they live, the kind of car they drive, what label is in their clothes, where they spend their holidays and what type of job they do.
Like it or not I think it’s true to say that most of us are influenced by first impressions of what we see. We tend to make judgements before we have really given ourselves an opportunity to get to know a person’s true character.
Our first reading from the book of James reminds us that God does not look at us in that way. He looks beyond the superficial, he looks deep into our souls and he loves us faults and all.
Our gospel reading from Mark continues with this theme.
The first thing we need to understand is where these miracles took place.
Jesus had come to the Jewish nation as the promised one from God, their Messiah, but he was not being accepted and the situation was becoming hostile and uncomfortable and so Jesus now takes his disciples into Gentile territory, among people regarded as the enemies of Israel. They were seen by the Jews as foreigners, unclean, second class citizens and often referred to as no better than animals, there was definite racial hatred between them.
Each of us from our reading of scripture and our own personal experiences will have formed some kind of mental picture of what we think Jesus is like. From that we can imagine the things he might say and do and the way he would behave.
So Jesus’ remark about throwing the children’s food to the dogs, although may seem uncharacteristic of the picture we have of Jesus, he uses it to emphasise the Jewish attitude to the Gentile nations.
His reference to throwing food to the dogs was not in any way to insult the woman but rather to test both the woman’s faith and to demonstrate that his mission would soon incorporate the gentile nations, emphasising that in the sight of God all are equal.
It is the woman’s love for her daughter that brings her to her knees before Jesus. It was because of that love that she was prepared to approach a Jew and if necessary suffer insult. Love was the driving force in this woman’s heart.
To add weight to her plea she says even the dogs eat the crumbs that are thrown away.
In other words – you may have come to the Jewish nation and I am treated as an outcast, but I will be happy with just a tiny scrap of your forgiveness, just a tiny scrap of your healing power, so awesome are you – so great is my need.

Because Jesus knew the depth of this woman’s faith he challenged her in front of everyone to prove that here was someone who trusted him, believed in his power and demonstrated faith he had not found among his own nation.
She has much to teach us:
Do we recognise Jesus as awesome and our need as great?

This message is about liberation & transformation.
The woman is transformed by this encounter with Jesus from being an underdog in the eyes of the Jews to one who received God’s blessing. Her daughter is liberated from her demons because of her mother’s faith.

The 2nd encounter Jesus has is with a man who is deaf & has difficulty speaking.
On this occasion it is other people who bring this man to Jesus.
Many treated Jesus like a travelling doctor, but Jesus’ mission was far deeper and far more important than that. He came to bring salvation for their souls.

On this occasion Jesus takes this man away from the crowd, this miracle was a more private affair.
Jesus does not use words as the man cannot hear or speak but he can see and feel, so Jesus puts his fingers into the man’s ears, spat, (if this seems a strange thing to do according to one of my bible commentaries there was a belief that saliva had healing properties.)
Jesus touched his tongue, looks up to heaven to indicate that his power came from God and then finally he spoke.

These 2 miracles were so different:
One was very public and a healing that didn’t have Jesus personally present with the daughter, but cured her from a distance.
The mother’s love and faith rewarded and at the same time a very important message for the Jewish disciples to learn that in God’s eyes it is faith that matters, not nationality.

The 2nd miracle was performed by Jesus actually touching the person to be healed.
He took the deaf man to a private place, and used touch and visual gestures in the healing process. Such tenderness shown, such understanding, no wonder the people commented, “How well he does everything.”

Just as Jesus treated these 2 people so differently because of their situation and needs, he knows and understands each one of us, our individual character, strengths and weaknesses and treats us, sometimes with tenderness and sometimes with challenges, but always, always with love.

Amen.

Intersessions

Heavenly Father,
We thank you for those whose influence has led us to come to worship here this morning. We remember family members, Sunday School teachers, church leaders, friends and colleagues who have encouraged us to follow in the Christian way. We give thanks for the fellowship which we find in this church which supports us as we seek to put our faith into practice in our daily lives. Strengthen us, Lord, in your service, so that we, in our turn, may be an encouragement to others.

Lord, in your mercy; Hear our prayer

Almighty Father, we want to praise and thank you for giving us so much to enjoy in the world. Open our eyes to see all the beauty around us as Summer turns to Autumn; help us to appreciate your greatness in giving us the different seasons, each fulfilling our needs. Help us to safeguard them so that our children and future generations will benefit from the natural beauty which you have created. We remember those countries that are enduring the effects of climate extremes-we think of those affected by wildfires in Europe and California, those affected by storms and the resulting devastation.

Lord in your mercy; Hear our prayer

We pray for your world. We pray for government ministers in every nation. We pray that those who lead and take on great responsibilities may not simply wish to seem great in the eyes of others, but may genuinely serve their people, searching continually for polices and strategies which will be for the good of all, especially for the weakest and most vulnerable.
We pray for the victims of war and violence among individuals and nations especially we pray for the situation in Afghanistan
We pray for the children who suffer when people put their faith in weapons and war
We pray for the multitudes in every country who do not want war and are ready to walk the road of peace

Lord in your mercy; Hear our prayer

We pray for young children, and all staff who work in schools, as they start a new school year. We pray that they will be able to resume friendships and continue with their education without the repeated disruptions of the past eighteen months. We think of young people going on to further their education: those starting college or university for the first time and finding their values tested and their horizons widened, those who are starting day release or apprenticeships, those for whom education seems an end in itself providing no clear direction for the future.
We think of all children and young people, praying that they may be worthy of the best in our society, and society worthy of their potential.

Lord in your mercy; Hear our prayer

Heavenly Father, we pray for those who are sick, especially those whose illness is long term and demands much patience to bear. We remember before you those who are lonely and depressed and pray that we may be good listeners when friends and neighbours need us. Give us the right words and help us to know what simple acts of kindness may help someone else. Comfort with your presence those who suffer in body, mind or spirit and give them courage and hope in their troubles. Today we pray for Joyce Lunn and Doreen Rostron and all those known to us personally who need our care and support at this time, lets think of them all in a moment of quiet.

We remember before you those who have died and those whose anniversaries fall at this time. Give strength to those who are left to grieve and help us to share in each other’s sorrow.

Lord in your mercy; Hear our prayer

Lord of life and Love with thankful hearts we acknowledge our lives to be a gift of your grace, renewed every morning and nurtured every day in your tender care.
Keep us faithful to the challenges this day and the week ahead will bring, make us a blessing to those whose lives we touch and show us how to receive in gratitude the blessings their lives bring to ours.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ

Ordinary Time (Service for use at home)
As our liturgy is now set until October, please save this document.

Each week I will send out, the collect, readings and sermon for those who still wish to worship from home and those unable to yet join us in persons for various of reasons.

The Greeting

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, And of the Holy Spirit
Amen

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

My brothers and sisters,
as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word,
let us call to mind and confess our sins.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name. Amen.

May Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.

The Collect:

God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit
upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
grant that your people may be fervent
in the fellowship of the gospel
that, always abiding in you,
they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
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 forever. Amen

Readings:

James 3: 1-12
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits.

How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.
Mark 8: 27-end
Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Sermon
See above

Affirmation of Faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us with power from on high.

We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Intercessions 
See above

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

Peace

God is love, and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
and also with you.

The Blessing

The peace of God which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia.

Sermon – 29th August 2021
(James 1: 14-end & Mark 7: 1-8, 14-15, 21-23))
May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord our strength and our redeemer. Amen

As Max (St Lukes Sunday School Leader) pointed out to me earlier this week it is ironic that after 18 plus months of being told you must wash your hands and keep them clean – Jesus comes along today and suggests otherwise – but does he?
Before I answer let me just back track for a moment. Whether you think it is right or wrong, as humans we make assumptions about people appearances and about peoples approaches to many rules of life. And we do this is all sectors of life. In order not to risk picking on any single examples, here are some media headlines I have seen and read in the last few weeks:
– Mum shamed for wearing PJ’s on the school run
– Endless complaints on people with no children parking in parent and children’s spaces.
– Woman who works in school shares how staff judge kids based on their names.
– We rule out job applications on e-mail addresses given
– I’m a traveller and I’m sick of people in council houses saying I steal
– I took on a second job to borrow £26K extra to buy £225K first house
Many of these headlines have stories behind them, and not all are negative. But just like some of the assumptions that may have come to mind each is based on experience, on our own up bringing and upon the secular world that we find ourselves in. When it comes to rules, well I am sure we all have our own examples of both our human admirations and frustrations of peoples approaches to them over the last 18 months. But this is not new to our society today.
In our readings today Jesus is presented with a very similar situation. People are judging people based on their appearance and based on their approach to Jewish rules in place. Jesus responds to what he see’s and although on first reading it may seem that Jesus suggests dirty hands are OK – Here is the point of our message today – Jesus isn’t actually on about the actual cleanliness of the body in regards to physical appearance, he is on about the cleanliness of our spiritual souls.
When we live out our lives as people of faith, we have two beings. We have our inner being and our outer beings. In other words, we have our physical beings and our spiritual beings. And we have a choice, these two can work together or against each other. But I am sure you already know; one has consequences the other has rewards.
In our Gospel reading Jesus clearly spells out that if we work against our spiritual being, our actions can easily turn to evil intentions and this is how others perceive us and turn against us. In doing so you become far from God, far from faith and even possibly far from accepted in society. In our reading from James, we are reminded that if we chose for our two beings to be aligned, we will in fact gain from God, we will be of peace, be loved, be cared for – that we will be pure and undefiled by God.
I have said it before and will say it again – it is much easier to stand and preach about these things than what it is to do in actual life because we are human and are reminded often of Jesus sacrifice for our sins – our wrong doings and thinking’s.
But what is asked of us today is to stop of think about our two beings and ask ourselves are they aligned. And to also stop and ask for forgiveness for the times we know we have done wrong and to reconcile ourselves to God and to each other, with the commitment to try harder going forward. And we can go forward with those words of James – Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves…..those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing. Amen

Intersessions

We pray to our Lord God, revealed to us by the birth of his only Son, Jesus Christ, our Saviour.

Thankyou Lord for the gift of life, for the companionship of friends, for the love and trust you instil in all of us.
Aid us to nurture the precious gifts you have bestowed on all of us, that we may give comfort and joy to all we meet.
Help us to be slow to anger and to judge, knowing that our words can hurt as well as inspire.
Forgive us when we fail you as we surely do on many occasions.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

Lord, the world we inhabit is undergoing frightening upheavals and change.
We ask for your Holy Spirit to guide nations to face these challenges with determination and in solidarity and not to allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by fear or anxiety.
We also pray for Christians who are living in fear of persecution and subjection. May their faith be their rock and give them encouragement for the future.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

Help us, Lord, in our own small ways to bring some joy to those around us.
Enable our churches to grow closer together and unite us in your love, that we may bring hope to the many feeling lost in a complex world.
We pray for children facing the privations of these times, being unable to enjoy the full fruits of play and learning.
For students struggling with their studies due to covid restrictions.
For the education authorities to be understanding and imaginative in their dealings.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

Lord, for those struggling with life for whatever reason, we ask for your comfort to calm their worries and anxieties and to draw strength from the concern of those around them.
For those undergoing operations and treatments, we pray for their success and healing.
We pray especially, for a moment, for those known to each of us.

We bring to you also Joyce Holt, Doreen Rostron

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

Lord, we pray to you for those whose earthly life is now at an end. Receive their souls into your kingdom, that redeemed by grace they may rest in peace and rise in glory.
Be with those who are grieving. May they may find consolation from their fond memories.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

In your presence, O Lord, we reach out to you with our personal concerns and also give thanks for the warmth of your comfort.

Merciful Father, Accept these prayers, For the sake of your son, Our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Ordinary Time (Service for use at home)
As our liturgy is now set until October, please save this document.

Each week I will send out, the collect, readings and sermon for those who still wish to worship form home and those unable to yet join us in persons for various of reasons.

The Greeting

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, And of the Holy Spirit
Amen

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

My brothers and sisters,
as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word,
let us call to mind and confess our sins.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name. Amen.

May Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.

The Collect:
God our creator,
you feed your children with the true manna,
the living bread of heaven:
let this holy food sustain us through our earthy pilgrimage
until we come to that place
where hunger and thirst are no more
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Readings:

James 1: 17-end

Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.
But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.
If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Mark 7: 1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’
You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”

Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.
For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Sermon
See above

Affirmation of Faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us with power from on high.

We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Intercessions 
See above

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

Peace

God is love, and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
and also with you.

The Blessing

The peace of God which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia.

11th Sunday after Trinity – 15th August 2021
The Blessed Virgin Mary
Heywood – Feast of the Blessed Mary Virgin 2021
By Rev’d Roger Hill
Today we honour and remember Mary. We give thanks for what she reveals to us for our journey today. How her life speaks to our lives and how she strengthens us.
Mary reveals something about herself. When the angel tells her that she is to conceive and bear a son and he will be called Jesus, she recoils – overcome by feeling of unworthiness, uncertainty and anxiety. Yet the life of faith grows within her and she learns to trust. In the wonderful words of the Magnificat she praises God for blessing her, though she has no worldly status. The Lord`s will is to fill the hungry with good things. Affirmed by God, she is raised up.
Then Mary reveals something about Jesus, always points us to him, not to herself. She has to learn for herself that Jesus has come to fulfil his Father`s work. At the wedding in Cana she simply says to the servant just do what he says. But there is pain along the way. She learns of Jesus` vision of life. How anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, sister, is my family. Recently we heard Jesus how went to Nazareth and was dismissed and rejected out of hand. Mary must feel that pain, the isolation of her son. It must remind her of the words of Simeon when Jesus is presented in the Temple – “this child will cause a sword to pierce your own soul too”. She does not desert him. Powerless she is at the foot of the cross when he dies, affirming his love and goodness. The motherly love of Mary, letting Jesus be so that many will find life in him.
And finally Mary reveals the presence of God who is love. Her ability to stay with Jesus, to encourage and support, indicates the growth within her of love, acceptance and peacefulness.
The poet Norma Faber spells what this might mean as she imagines the scene on Good Friday and after Jesus has died on the cross.
“In Mary’s house the mourners gather. Sorrow pierces them like a nail. Where’s Mary herself meanwhile? Gone to comfort Judas’s mother.”
All of a piece – the outward looking gracious and forgiving love of God, building new lives and relationhips out of dust and ashes.
So let us thank God for Mary the Mother of our Lord. Overcoming hesitation, letting faith emerge through inner conflict. Thank God for what she shows us about herself, about Jesus himself and about God.
As we gather, conscious of our need of wisdom, let us pray to our wise and loving God.

Intersessions by John Schofield

Father, in all the decision-making, problems and challenges of our church, we ask your counsel and encouragement; In all our worship and outreach, we invite you to lead us.

Wise and loving God: quieten us to hear your voice.

Father, in all the clashes of needs and wants, the half-forgotten hurts that drive aggression, the half remembered grievances, barbed with revenge, in all world’s raging and protesting, sink your spirit your spirit of peace and reconciliation.

Wise and loving God: quieten us to hear your voice.

Father, in the daily batch of misunderstandings, conflicting loyalties, negotiations and compromise, walk among us in our homes and places of work, whispering sanity and mutual respect.

Wise and loving God: quieten us to hear your voice.

Father, in those engulfed by pain or enslaved by addiction, bring hope and healing; bless all those whose minds think simply and rely on others for basic care.
We pray in the silence of our hearts those known to us, who are in need of your help today —–
We have been asked to pray for Joyce Holt and Doreen Rostron.

Wise and loving God quieten us to hear your voice.

Father, gather into your keeping for ever all who have left this life in your friendship; we pray too for those approaching death, that across time and eternity.
We remember today Berrin Paul.

Wise and loving God: quieten us to hear your voice.

Father, in all our wondering and wandering, we thank you for your patience with us and your understanding of our journey.

Merciful father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Ordinary Time (Service for use at home)
As our liturgy is now set until October, please save this document.

Each week I will send out, the collect, readings and sermon for those who still wish to worship form home and those unable to yet join us in persons for various of reasons.

The Greeting

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, And of the Holy Spirit
Amen

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

My brothers and sisters,
as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word,
let us call to mind and confess our sins.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name. Amen.

May Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.

The Collect:

Almighty God,
who looked upon the lowliness of the Blessed Virgin Mary
and chose her to be the mother of your only Son:
grant that we who are redeemed by his blood
may share with her in the glory of your eternal kingdom.
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

Readings:

Isaiah 61: 1-10
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,
my whole being shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the earth brings forth its shoots,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise
to spring up before all the nations.
Luke 1: 46-55
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

Sermon
See above

Affirmation of Faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us with power from on high.

We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Intercessions 
See above

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

Peace

God is love, and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
and also with you.

The Blessing

The peace of God which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia.

 

 

Sermon –10th Sunday after Trinity
(1 Kings 19. 4 – 8, Ephesians 4.25 – 5.2 & John 6. 35, 41 – 51)

May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord our strength and our redeemer. Amen

I wonder have you ever been asked to draw a picture of Jesus or I wonder if it’s something that you have given much thought to – I am not going to ask you to draw today – but if I was to ask you to picture in your mind now a drawing of Jesus what would it look like……
Is your images of a human being, or of an animal…… of maybe a piece of nature….. a flowing river….. the wild wind….. or something else altogether.
There are lots of images for Jesus, and none are right or wrong, and that’s because there are many images that can be found in the Bible and some are images that we form because of merging some of the many together. Well, today we are reminded again of one image that has for the past three weeks been presented to us – and that’s Jesus telling us he is the Bread of Life.
Jesus in our Gospel reading says and reminds us today that – “I am the bread of life – I am the bread that came down from heaven. So why does Jesus feel the need to give this same image and message three times over.
Bread is described as a staple food which is full of hidden goodness, giving a generous amount of vitamin B and energy. But bread can also be used as a metaphor – a popular one is the reference to the home’s bread maker, the person who contributes the most to the homes income, another is – it’s as simple as bread and butter often referring to a basic substance or instruction. Now Jesus each time he declares that he is the bread of life – Jesus himself is using bread in the terms of a metaphor.
The Jews are following Jesus and have been asking lots of questions about his doings and reasons for being among them. However, one question that keeps being asked is why Jesus is referring to himself as the bread that came from heaven. Like many of us today the imagine the Jews see is Jesus as a human being living among them. As a result, they are struggling with this metaphor image. So, Jesus has tried to teach them by physically feeding them- the feeding of the 5000 which we heard two weeks ago, spoke about Spiritual feeding which links to last week’s reading, and today he links his teaching of bread to the giving of God’s love. Jesus knew that his teaching was going to be hard to grasp, and as a result it keeps being misunderstood. So today he teaches that we need to strip back all previous knowledge and listen. Listen with no preconceptions, pride or status, with no mixed images or previous thoughts, but instead be open and see things in new ways. Yet, as we hear in our Gospel readings this is not easy to do – listening opened hearted needs some work and practise.
Part of this listening is trusting that God always provides for us in his love and care. And we are reminded about this in our reading from 1 Kings. Despite being drained and spiritualty burnt out God provides bread and water for Elijah, so he can continue his journey and continue to live out his faith. And this is because God has the plan for all who follow and listen. But are we open enough to listen to our plan, like Elijah was ready to listen to his plan.
Today’s message gives us the opportunity to reflect on how we see and recognise our faith and encourages us to listen for God’s plan for each of us. Jesus’ teaching of him being bread of life reminds us that the following of Jesus and God’s plan leads us to eternal life. Therefore, we are encouraged to stop and listen to God’s voice within us.
And there are three simple things that we can do on a daily or weekly basis to remind us of today’s readings and ensure we are always attentive to God’s voice and provision. I began by asking you what your image of Jesus is, whatever it is, what’s important is that you keep revisiting how you picture Jesus so that the image becomes familiar in everyday life and something that can be easily recognised. The second is that we need to spend time to stop and be. We can only become aware of God’s call if we stop, empty our minds and hearts, and truly listen to God’s call upon our lives. And lastly in this stillness we need to become aware of God’s voice and provision given to us, this can be in the form of spiritual feeding or the giving of certain gifts to carry out a certain task. His voice can come through scripture or liturgy, through receiving communion elements or a blessing or through a mystery feeling that may be hard to describe. By becoming conscious of God’s voice in our lives for a few days or weeks, it will over time then become a natural thought process and therefore feed us more as we grow deeper with God. Remember Jesus teaches us that if we learn to recognise him as the bread of life, in whatever image that may be for us, we too will then be fed, nourished and be the disciples God wants us to be on the journey to the promised eternal life. Amen.

Prayers:

In the power of the Holy Spirit, and in union with our Lord Jesus Christ let us pray.

Lord we pray for our church as we try to achieve some kind of normality after all the Covid restrictions. We pray that it may be a time of new beginnings and new opportunities. We pray that You will give us your guidance and inspiration as we seek to worship You and to do your will. Help us to be confident in stepping forward to use our gifts and our talents, however humble and small they may appear to be, knowing that we can each play a valuable part in building up the life and work of the church and in working together as the body of Christ.

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer

Lord we feel that our world is in a state of turmoil. The Covid pandemic continues to devastate lives around the world, fires and floods rage unchecked on many continents causing death and destruction and war and starvation relentlessly continue to ruin lives. We pray that the nations can urgently come together to work on the problems of climate change and that those bent on evil and war can see the futility of their actions and that peace can be restored. We offer heartfelt prayers for our fragile planet and we pray for all who suffer around the world.

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer

Loving God we pray for our local communities; we pray for children whose education has been so badly disrupted in the past year and months and for the teachers who have had to adapt to so many unpredictable circumstances and challenging situations. We pray for all involved in health care and for those who help to keep our daily lives going, in refuse collection, transport, warehouses and shops.

Lord help us to be patient, humble, gentle and tolerant in all our dealings with one another.

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer

Loving God we pray for all who are sick in body or suffering from mental illness; those being cared for at home or in hospital. We pray for those undergoing unpleasant treatments and those anxiously awaiting critical test results.

We hold in our prayers today, Joyce Holt and those known personally to us who are ill.

May they find comfort in God’s healing presence and in the kindness of others.

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer

God of compassion we pray for those who have died in recent days.

We pray for our friend Berrin Paull and give thanks for the part he played in our lives. We ask that you would bless his family in their time of sorrow and pain.

We ask Lord that you would comfort and strengthen all who are grieving the loss of someone they love.

Lord in your mercy hear our prayer

Faithful God, in the week that lies ahead, may we reflect your love in our families, our church and our community, and in doing so, show everyone we meet that we are followers of the Christian faith.

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

Ordinary Time (Service for use at home)
As our liturgy is now set until October, please save this document.

Each week I will send out, the collect, readings and sermon for those who still wish to worship form home and those unable to yet join us in persons for various of reasons.

The Greeting

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, And of the Holy Spirit
Amen

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

My brothers and sisters,
as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word,
let us call to mind and confess our sins.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name. Amen.

May Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.

The Collect:

Let your merciful ears, O Lord,
be open to the prayers of your humble servants;
and that they may obtain their petitions
make them to ask such things as shall please you;
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

Readings:

Ephesians 4: 25-5:2
So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us[c] and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

John 6: 35, 41-51
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves. No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

Sermon
See above

Affirmation of Faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us with power from on high.

We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Intercessions 
See above

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

Peace

God is love, and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
and also with you.

The Blessing

The peace of God which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia.

 

 

Trinity 9: Sermon by Rev’d Robert
Ephesians 4: 1-16 ; John 6: 24-35

The narrative of the feeding of the five thousand is given extra significance by the fact that it is the only miracle recorded in all 4 Gospels; in addition, there are also allusions to the event to be found in the Epistles. However one interprets it, there can surely be little doubt that something truly memorable, something quite startling, happened on that day. It was a miracle which made a tremendous impact on all who were there and it is this miracle which forms the background of today’s Gospel reading.

The men and women who flocked to Jesus on that occasion had been taught to look for a God given deliverer, a Messiah, who would establish the Kingdom of God on earth, but for the overwhelming majority this hope,was purely nationalistic.
They looked for their God to free them from Rome and establish them as an independent, highly privileged kingdom in the land which they believed was theirs by right. Johns Gospel tells us that after the feeding of the multitude there were many who wanted to proclaim Jesus as king, that is, as one who would lead yet another insurrection against the Roman power. Understandably, Jesus quietly slips away from them.

Next day many of the crowd set out to follow Jesus to the other side of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus met them with the rather strange challenge, ‘You are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. ‘ They might well have replied, ‘But we did see the sign, a mighty sign. Didn’t you feed us? Didn’t you show us that you have miraculous powers? That is why we want you as our leader.

It is clear that Jesus meant something quite different, but what was it ? What was the sign which they should have recognised? Was the meal on that hillside a sign that the kingdom was already present in his person, a foretaste of the heavenly banquet? Jesus came preaching the kingdom of God, announcing that in some measure that kingdom was already among them; but, and it was a very big but, it was a radically different kingdom to the one which they sought. This becomes very clear in the dialogue which follows.

Jesus speaks of the food that endures for eternal life, but the people hark back to the wilderness story. Moses , they say, gave people manna to eat, Jesus had fed them once more, why can’t he keep on doing so? The reply is that Moses could have done nothing without God, and God, who in any case provides the food which perishes , much more provides the bread from heaven which gives life to the world, and this is what they should be seeking.

Now those familiar words , I am the bread of life, Whoever comes to me will never be hungry ‘ and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty, which at the superficial level is of course nonsense. None of us would last long without food and drink. But this is a challenge to recognise hunger and thirst at a completely different level. Hunger and thirst for the things of the eternal kingdom. The majority of the people Jesus moved amongst lived a hand to mouth existence. They owned a minimum of possessions and a feast for them would be a really great occasion. Our lives could hardly be more different. We are surrounded by shops stacked with goods, shops which actually provide us with trolleys to encourage us to cart away as much as we can. The biggest problem most of us have with food is how to stop ourselves eating too much.

No, we are a long way from seeing the kingdom of God here on earth, but that doesn’t mean that we throw our hands up in despair. Every time we share in the Lords Supper we are reminded that God in Christ reaches out lovingly to share our living and calls us to be part of his body, which means being part of the work of making the kingdom more real to those round about us. We are reminded of one way of doing that in our reading from Ephesians where Paul is calling on the members of the little churches of his day to use to the full whatever gifts they have been given and to make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

For those with eyes to see, that eating together on the hillside long ago, all differences momentarily forgotten, was a sign of how things should be. For a short time at least there was a unity of spirit. This is one of the signs of the kingdom that we are called to work for in our families, in our churches, in our local communities, and in the wider world. No, it isn’t easy. But we are not meant to be working away at it on our own.

So we finish where we began with the promise that God Almighty, in Jesus, reaches out to us to continually renew us. Nourished with the bread of life, given a glimpse of the kingdom, our job, for as long as we live, is to be kingdom messengers whenever and wherever we have opportunity.

Amen

INTERCESSIONS Sunday 1st August 2021 – 9th after Trinity

Blessed are you, Lord our God, for you provide food for our daily needs and for all creatures. You give food, resources and talents for us to share with others and give you glory.

Blessed are you, father, son and holy spirit

We ask your blessing upon all who hunger and thirst for righteousness and the coming of your kingdom. We remember all who feel their lives are parched and dry and who suffer from spiritual hunger. May the good news be brought to all who feel empty and that life is meaningless. We bring before you all who go out in mission and all who seek to proclaim your love.

When you hear the words, renewing and refreshing God,
Respond by saying: Hear us and help us.

We ask your blessing upon all who lack the necessary resources for their well-being. We pray for all who are suffering from hunger and poverty, all who struggle due to injustice and greed. We remember farmers who have lost crops, livestock and land through famine, drought or war. We pray for the work of all aid agencies, bringing relief to all who are homeless especially those whose only way of escape is on flimsy and unstable boats.

Renewing and refreshing God: Hear us and help us.

We give thanks for our loved ones, for all who have cared and provided for us. We ask your blessing upon all who work to give us what we need, we pray for farmers and food providers, for shop workers and all who bring our food to the markets. We ask your blessing upon our families and our neighbours.
In silence let us now bring to God those who have helped us in those difficult times.

Renewing and refreshing God: Hear us and help us.

We remember all who feel weary with life, drained of energy and no longer able to cope. We pray for all who struggle against great odds. We ask your blessing upon all who feel lonely, having no one to care for them. We pray for all who are ill at home or in hospital and especially those on extremely long hospital waiting lists, made worse due to the covid pandemic. We give our heartfelt thanks in prayer to all who work in our nation’s health service and to scientists looking for the right drugs to make us well.
In silence we pray for loved ones who are in need of our prayer today. We pray especially for Joyce Holt and Doreen Rostron.

Renewing and refreshing God: Hear us and help us.

We give thanks that you give life eternal, that you are a renewing and restoring God. As we rejoice in the resurrection, we ask your blessing upon our loved ones departed. We pray for Berrin Paull and his family & friends, as they hold his service in church on Friday 6th August.
May they know the peace and glory of your kingdom.

Renewing and refreshing God: Hear us and help us.

Heavenly father, we pray today for all who will be attending the remembrance service of a much loved and sadly missed member of our church congregation, Susan Duckworth, known by so many as Sue Ducky. We are so grateful Lord for her many talents, humour and fund raising for your church of St. John’s
As we grow increasingly aware of our spiritual hunger, we give thanks for the wonder of Gods feeding.

Merciful father: accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Ordinary Time (Service for use at home)
As our liturgy is now set until October, please save this document.

Each week I will send out, the collect, readings and sermon for those who still wish to worship form home and those unable to yet join us in persons for various of reasons.

The Greeting

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, And of the Holy Spirit
Amen

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

My brothers and sisters,
as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word,
let us call to mind and confess our sins.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name. Amen.

May Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.

The Collect:

Almighty God,
who sent your Holy Spirit
to be the life and light of your Church:
open our hearts to the riches of your grace,
that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit
in love and joy and peace;
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

Readings:

Ephesians 4: 1-16
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said,
“When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive;
he gave gifts to his people.”
(When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.

John 6: 24-35
So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So, they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Sermon
See above

Affirmation of Faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us with power from on high.

We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Intercessions 
See above

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

Peace

God is love, and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
and also with you.

The Blessing

The peace of God which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia.

 

Sermon – 8th Sunday after Trinity – 25th July
(Ephesians 3:14-21 and John 6: 1-21)
May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord our strength and our redeemer. Amen

I could not quiet work out if I had shared today’s story with you before, but on doing a search maybe not. If I have, I only half apologize, because although the message is simple, it is something that we all need to be reminded off frequently. Todays’ themes of Follow and receive are themes that run through our readings today, but also themes that run through our faith journeys too but are often the first to go when busy.
Follow – I was invited a few years back by a friend to attend a quiet morning. And other than the location I had no information. Upon arrival I was greeted by a few signs that said ‘Come’. But it was only as the morning progressed that I discovered the importance of this word. In our Bible we hear on several occasions the word come but if we look deeper into these words over 80% of them reference Jesus or other prophets calling us to come to God or that people have come before God. As we explored just a small handful of these, it became clear that this calling of us to come before God was a calling which was from a familiar voice, repetitive and a reminder that we are invited frequently throughout the church year to stop, reflect and come afresh before God.
Today’s message of come is in an unusual format, but one that I personally find moving. Our reading from Ephesians is labelled with the subtitle – Prayer for the Readers. This calling to come and follow is sent as a prayer from apostle Paul for all who hears or read this passage and asks for this… It asks for strength in our inner being with the Spirit, one where God may dwell in our hearts through faith and one where we are rooted and grounded in love. It’s a prayer that asks these things for us and all who hears and requires that all we do is listen to God’s call and come as we are being open to receive. For me they are moving words where someone who does not know me, or even knows of my existence is asking for me, asking for each one of you and many others to just come and receive a love that is greater than any words or feeling can comprehend. To receive what has been requested but to also receive more.
So, receive – By following, we will receive. We will receive from God both spiritually and physically. In our Gospel reading we hear about two miracles – the first is the feeding of the large crowd with only two fishes and five loaves. This is an image that assures all who follow will receive. However, they will not just receive a small amount, but receive abundantly. We know this because there is reference to twelve baskets of left overs. This reminds us that as we follow and as we give time and commitment to God we will keep being fed. For many this miracle is linked to the spiritual feeding that occurs by coming forward at communion to receive bread or God’s blessing.
The second miracle in the Gospel reading demonstrates the physical coming of Jesus to walk and guide us. Whilst in the boat in the middle of sea, miles from land, the disciples see Jesus walking on the water towards them. At first showing fear, Jesus encourages the disciples to be calm, not to be afraid and accept Jesus is with them – Jesus comes among them and journeys with them to the shore and continues with them on their journey.
But two themes – come and receive – come with two additional hidden messages as well. Willingness and Thanks or Thanks and Willingness – it’s hard to know what order to pitch them in. We need to have a willingness to come and follow, we need to take a step and allow God into our lives, at the same time we need to the Thankful for what we receive from God and for what he gives us. We also need to be willing to share what God gives us with others, in the feeding of the 5000 it was a small lad who gave his lunch to others therefore we need to be thankful for other’s skills and gifts, while receiving thanks from God for the gifts and skills that we share. Our relationship with God is a relationship that doesn’t live on expectations of gifts or being rewarded, but it’s a mutual relationship of give and take both ways and it is in this two-way relationship that we willingly give ourselves in coming and that we receive in our giving to others and allowing God to be with us.
By regularly following and receiving God in our lives with willingness and thankfulness we will find ourselves in a deeper relationship each time we cycle through this path. Therefore, I encourage us all to be a little more attentive each day by offering ourselves at the start of each day afresh to God’s call, to throughout the day remain open to seeing God at work in our lives, and at night let’s find time to be thankful. Thankful for what we have received that day and thankful for what God has given to each one of us. Follow and receive, with willingness and thankfulness. Amen

Intersessions

Knowing that our loving God
supplies all our needs,
let us pray to him now
on behalf of the Church and the world.

Father, we offer this time and the love of our hearts as we pray for the Church with all its varied ministries; for the youngest to the oldest baptised members, for those of mellow faith and those who struggle with doubts.

Loving Father: give us today our daily bread.

Father, we offer our commitment to pray the news each day and share the pain we read about, longing for your peace and your justice in a world tense with aggression and distorted with selfishness.

Loving Father: give us today your daily bread.

Father, we offer our homes and our relationships for you to work in and transform; we offer you our meetings and conflicts and all differences of opinion for you to use your glory.

Loving Father: give us today our daily bread.

Father, we offer you our solidarity with all who suffer or are heavily burdened; hear us as we pray for their comfort and refreshment, wholeness and restoration, but above all our consciousness of your presence in their pain, and you love for them.

We pray in the silence of our hearts those known to us who need your prayers today.

We have been especially asked to pray for—–

Loving Father: give us today our daily bread.

Father, we offer our thanks for lives well lived and faithful souls entering by the gate of physical death to eternal life with you.

Prepare us all to meet you face to face.

We pray today for the family and friends of—- Berrin Paull

Loving Father: give us today our daily bread.

Father, we give you our lives as well as our words of praise, so that each moment from now on becomes an offering of love.

Merciful Father
accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

Ordinary Time (Service for use at home)
As our liturgy is now set until October, please save this document.

Each week I will send out, the collect, readings and sermon for those who still wish to worship form home and those unable to yet join us in persons for various of reasons.

The Greeting

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, And of the Holy Spirit
Amen

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

My brothers and sisters,
as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word,
let us call to mind and confess our sins.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name. Amen.

May Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.

The Collect:

Almighty Lord and everlasting God,
we beseech you to direct, sanctify and govern
both our hearts and bodies
in the ways of your laws
and the works of your commandments;
that through your most mighty protection, both here and ever,
we may be preserved in body and soul;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen

Readings:

Ephesians 3: 14-end
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

John 6: 1-21
After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”
When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going.

Sermon
See above

Affirmation of Faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us with power from on high.

We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Intercessions 
See above

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

Peace

God is love, and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
and also with you.

The Blessing

The peace of God which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia.

 

7th Sunday after Trinity – 18th July 2021
(Ephesians 2:11-22 & Mark 6: 30-34-53-56)
Open our ears, O Lord to hear your word and know your voice. Speak to our hearts and strengthen our will, that we may serve you today, now and always. Amen.

When I read this week’s set readings on Tuesday, after the news on Monday I thought what perfectly good timing. God does work in mysterious ways. Today we are presented with a model of ministry, that we all need to take note off, and respond to accordingly. Maybe easier to notice after I have unpacked, but today we are encouraged to reflect on our ministry in all aspects of life. By that I don’t mean, our role in church, our workplaces, our communities etc. I mean our own positions of being.
One my early learning curves in curacy was the importance of ‘being’. That wasn’t just about being presence with a big smile on my face, being full of energy, or even being in my role. It was also about being with heartache when we lost someone from a congregation, when we heard about a hard diagnosis, when enough was enough. It was about being honest when things got too much, when vision was taken away, when life was just – well blah. It was also about being together, in prayer, in the all the fun times and challenging times and even sometimes just being in pure silence. It was about being human and showing this to others too.
When we often speak about Jesus and his being, we often find ourselves talking about this great man, who gave all the time, who was always there and who never seemed to stop. But our readings today remind us that Jesus was in fact human and as a result showed many aspects of being.
In our reading from Pauls letter to the Ephesians, Paul is setting out the important aspect of Jesus’ leadership. He is talking about the breaking down of barriers between groups of people, the drawing together of those from different traditions and backgrounds to come together into Jesus’ presence and service. In order to do this, he explains that we need to be like Jesus. That means being as you among others, regardless of differences, of abilities, of wealth, or traditions. Ministry can be really powerful by just being present as we are and nothing more.
In our Gospel reading, we have two more models of being in ministry. The first one I want to pick up on, is when the crowds follow Jesus, and they meet for a second time on the lakes side. We hear that Jesus, and his friends had got into the boat to go to a deserted place. Jesus at this point is tired, exhausted in need of rest and refreshment. But seeing the need of the people, Jesus continues his ministry among those who need him. There are two things in this for us to take away. The first is that, sometimes when we are weary and in need of rest, being as we are among those who are in need of our ministry is OK. And that in doing so, we need to remember that Jesus is always there for us too.
The second point to pick on is that this is OK sometimes but not all of the time. There are times when we all also need rest and restoration points in our ministry too. To allow ourselves to be fed and nurtured in order to give to others. Just like we need food and drink, we also need this in spiritual forms too. Jesus was not afraid to get into the boat for some time just to be with God and be with those who support, feed and are close to him. In other bible readings we hear Jesus going up the mountain side alone to pray, in the Easter story Jesus’ need to pray in the garden of gethsemane, and we hear of Jesus going into the hills for solitary prayer. We to need time and space just to be with God and be fed and nurtured.
‘Being’ in ministry is not easy, it means that we become vulnerable, and we become aware of our true being that maybe we would just like to push under a rug. But ‘being’ in ministry also opens lots of doors to share God’s love with others and allows us to shadow Jesus’ ministry which is what is asked of us as disciples.
As we come of out of lockdown over the next few weeks and at the same time have more leisure time and summer breaks, feeling weary and tired but also excited and ready go, our being is something that can be developed and reflected upon. We can be open with each other about how we are copying with changes. We maybe have more space to plan in some time of rest and restoration either alone, or with family and friends. We can also learn to listen to the new normal and learn how to be refreshed or become aware of our new limits. Being in a true state in our ministry is something that we are called to do but being balanced in ministry for others and ministry for self is just as important. So please be gentle on yourselves, learn your limits, and as we reflect on our own beings, let us commit to holding each other in prayer and journeying alongside each other too, as we journey forward and learn to ‘be’ in the new that lies ahead. Amen

Prayers from Christine

Ordinary Time (Service for use at home)
As our liturgy is now set until October, please save this document.

Each week I will send out, the collect, readings and sermon for those who still wish to worship form home and those unable to yet join us in persons for various of reasons.

The Greeting

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, And of the Holy Spirit
Amen

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

My brothers and sisters,
as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word,
let us call to mind and confess our sins.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name. Amen.

May Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.

The Collect:

Lord of all power and might,
the author and giver of all good things:
graft in our hearts the love of your name,
increase in us true religion,
nourish us with all goodness,
and of your great mercy keep us in the same;
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

Readings:

Ephesians 2: 11-end
So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision”—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands— remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So, he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So, then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

Mark 6: 30-34, 53-end
The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

Sermon
See above

Affirmation of Faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us with power from on high.

We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Intercessions & Lord’s Prayer
See weekly sheet

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

Peace

God is love, and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
and also with you.

The Blessing

The peace of God which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia.

5th Sunday after Trinity – 4th July 2021
A reflection for this week’s Gospel

he Sacrament of Failure
(Leonard Sweet’s sermon, “The Sacrament of Failure” has stayed with me since Colgate Rochester Divinity School/BexleyHall/Crozer’s commencement service in 1976.)

“Just who does he think that he is,” they all said,
“Doing all of these deeds of great power, widespread?”
Whereupon when they took much offense at him,
The chances they reaped for their healing were grim.
A lesson he gave to his friends was to leave,
Move on, when it’s clear good news won’t be received;
Not taking your marbles away in a huff,
But trusting God’s grace for them still is enough.

You won’t change the world, and not always succeed,
He sent then his friends out to do what good deeds
They could! But when failing, he told them to shake
The dust from their feet, that their spirits not break.

Some call it, of failure, a sacrament, now,
A physical sign that God lives, despite how
We’re tempted to think that it’s all up to us;
It’s God’s time in which the whole world will be blessed.

INTERCESSIONARY PRAYERS SUNDAY 4th. July

If we are not ready to listen to the truth, we will not hear it.

God has drawn us down any different routes to this shared worship today.
Let us still our bodies and alert our minds and hearts in his presence .

Heavenly Father, we are only the Body of Christ because your Spirit binds us together with your life.
Give us real concern and love for one another, supportive and encouraging, without malice or
Bickering, so that we can be sent out strong in our weakness and littleness.

GIVE US YOUR GRACE:
TO HEAR YOUR WORD WITH JOY.

Heavenly Father, all the kingdoms and states are answerable to your authority, and much evil
Is allowed to flourish through the silence of good people; give us all the courage to speak out your truth, whether it is popular or not.

GIVE US YOUR GRACE:
TO HEAR YOUR WORD WITH JOY.

Heavenly Father, be in all our listening at home, on the phone, at school and at work; may we give our full attention to you and to one another, happy to grow wiser through each conversation.

GIVE US YOUR GRACE:
TO HEAR YOUR WORD WITH JOY.

Heavenly Father, we pray for those whose pain screams silently and incessantly;
For those who have no one to confide in, no one to listen.
We pray for your love to enfold them, your peace to calm them and your healing to transform them.
(we prayer for Doreen and Joyce)
GIVE US YOUR GRACE:
TO HEAR YOUR WORD WITH JOY.

Heavenly Father, prepare us all during this life for the life to come;
We commend to your keeping all those who have recently made their journey through death.
(we pray for Bryan)
GIVE US YOUR GRACE:
TO HEAR YOUR WORD WITH JOY.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for making your ways known to us and guiding us into your truth.

Merciful Father,
Accept these prayers
For the sake of your Son,
Our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Ordinary Time (Service for use at home)
As our liturgy is now set until October, please save this document.

Each week I will send out, the collect, readings and sermon for those who still wish to worship form home and those unable to yet join us in persons for various of reasons.

The Greeting

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, And of the Holy Spirit
Amen

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

My brothers and sisters,
as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word,
let us call to mind and confess our sins.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name. Amen.

May Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.

The Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God,
by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church
is governed and sanctified:
hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people,
that in their vocation and ministry
they may serve you in holiness and truth
to the glory of your name;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen

Readings:

2 Corinthians 12: 2-10

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Mark 6: 1-13

Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.

“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.

These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”

They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

Sermon
See above

Affirmation of Faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us with power from on high.

We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Intercessions & Lord’s Prayer
See weekly sheet

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

Peace

God is love, and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
and also with you.

The Blessing

The peace of God which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia.

 

 

Sermon: Sunday 27th June
(2 Corinthians 8: 7-end & Mark 5: 21- end)

Lord may our ears be opened to hear your words and our minds and hearts be challenged by the message you give. Amen.

Although not two of the easiest readings to preach on, there is actually so many themes that could be pulled out. Themes include, healing, lessons on faith, right and wrong relationships with Jesus, the drains of life and the two miracles themselves. But the one theme I want to pick up on today is one thing I noted last week, and that is the fear of faith.

As human people, we have range of fears. Some fears are long term fears, some come and go depending on events going on. Some fears may be small and have little impact, others maybe huge and affect who we are or how we live our life. When I was reflecting on my fears, I realized that some were practical fears and they affect the way I live, whereas other fears I could do nothing about. But there were also fears that I did not realize were a problem until I became face to face with it and looking back now, they seem really silly. Although may be not obvious fears arise in our two readings today, so let us take a deeper look.

The story begins with Jairus who comes running to Jesus for help with his daughter because she is dying and this is his overwhelming fear. His fear is so great that as a leading figure of his community he is putting his reputation to one side and risking everything by reaching out to Jesus for a miracle. Now interestingly to note, is that once Jairus had pushed his way to the front of the crowed and reached out to Jesus, Jesus does not question the times where power has overruled faith, or how Jairus has not always believed. Jesus gets up and goes without any question asked.

As they walk along, we hear about a nameless woman who reaches for Jesus and touches his clothes. Her fear is that she will never be well again, also she fears, because in these days she was seen as unclean, she would never be part of the community again. She also fears the risk of being seen, being discovered by the crowds and rejected, because of what could be an embarrassing exposure. However, again for this woman, her fears are so overpowering that she reaches out for Jesus.

Now at this point, Jesus stops as he feels the power has gone from him. He stops to find out who had touched him. Now the woman could have run away, she could have acted normal among the crowd. But instead, when Jesus asked whom, the woman revealed herself. Why? Well, there could have been a number of reasons, could she herself yet believed at her instant healing, and therefore needed others to see to believe. Or was she so filled with God’s spirit that she wanted to share with others the great work of Jesus. Either way, Jesus notes what she has done is correct and blesses her before sending her on her way

Meanwhile, in this moment Jairus, and his people would have been frantic, the fear becoming more overwhelming. They were on the way to Jairus daughter, and instead someone had stopped them in their tracks. And maybe when reaching home, hearing that it is too late, Jairus would have been angry and upset that someone has denied his daughter to be well for their own health. But the story doesn’t end here. Jesus says, “Do not fear, only believe.” The little girl is then asked to get up, and amazingly she does and is alive.

Today we hear two stories, but they are connected for a reason. Both share this theme of fear, and that in fear Jesus can help. However, they also teach us and emphasise Jesus message – Do not fear, only believe. Jairus was a man of power, he was used to getting his own way, and others would help in all situations. Whereas the woman, may have been rich before trying to pay for her medical bills, but was now present as a poor woman who did not fit into society. However, both had faith in Jesus, and both were healed.

Jesus’ actions of overriding death is a one that is questioned my many and is yet another detailed conversation. But I believe Mark noting these two stories together, shows Jesus for the person he was. With that message that regardless of who we are, where we come from, our wealth, status or position – God is here for all of us as long as we do not fear but believe. Therefore, do not be afraid, and know and trust there is enough for all.

Intersessions by John

As God has called us by name out into full, abundant life,
let us lay before him now our concerns
for the Church and for the world.

When I say: Lord, we believe:
Please respond with: help our unbelief.

Father, chip away from your Church
all the built-up layers
of complacency or despondency,
of over-comfortable familiarity
or under-active expectation,
until we see again with the freshness and wonder of deepened faith.

Father, we call to mind societies and systems of our world.
Question our assumptions and challenge our destructive choices; break away the unnoticed scales of prejudice which blind us, so that our world may become increasingly under your reign of justice, righteousness and love.

Lord, we believe: help our unbelief.

Father, replace our pride with humility until we learn from young children the lessons of wonder and trust.
Keep the childlike as a living flame in all of us, whatever our age, and enable us to rediscover your glory all around us.

Lord, we believe: help our unbelief

Father, as the sick were brought to Jesus by their loved ones, so we bring to you now all those whom we long to be healed.

We pray in the silence of our hearts those known to us who need your prayers—-
We have been especially asked to pray for:
Joyce Holt and Doreen Rostron.
May they hear your voice and sense your touch.

Lord, we believe: help our unbelief.

Father, earth-bound we grieve at the loss of loved ones through death; yet we also rejoice in you calling them out into the fullness of everlasting life.
We pray today for Bryan Warrington.

Lord, we believe: help our unbelief.

Father, we thank you for the amazing truth that you always reach out to us in compassion, and always have time for us.

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son
our saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Ordinary Time (Service for use at home)
As our liturgy is now set until October, please save this document.

Each week I will send out, the collect, readings and sermon for those who still wish to worship form home and those unable to yet join us in persons for various of reasons.

The Greeting

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, And of the Holy Spirit
Amen

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

and also with you.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

My brothers and sisters,
as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ in word,
let us call to mind and confess our sins.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you
and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry
and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name. Amen.

May Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.

The Collect:

 

Gracious Father,
by the obedience of Jesus
you brought salvation to our wayward world:
draw us into harmony with your will,
that we may find all things restored in him,
our saviour Jesus Christ. Amen
Readings:

2 Corinthians 8: 7-end
Now as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you—so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.
I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. And in this matter I am giving my advice: it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something— now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means. For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has—not according to what one does not have. I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. As it is written,
“The one who had much did not have too much,
and the one who had little did not have too little.”
But thanks be to God who put in the heart of Titus the same eagerness for you that I myself have. For he not only accepted our appeal, but since he is more eager than ever, he is going to you of his own accord. With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his proclaiming the good news; and not only that, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us while we are administering this generous undertaking] for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our goodwill. We intend that no one should blame us about this generous gift that we are administering, for we intend to do what is right not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of others. And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found eager in many matters, but who is now more eager than ever because of his great confidence in you. As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker in your service; as for our brothers, they are messengers[j] of the churches, the glory of Christ. Therefore openly before the churches, show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you.

Mark 5: 21- end
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” So he went with him.
And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?’” He looked all around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Sermon
See above

Affirmation of Faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us with power from on high.

We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Intercessions & Lord’s Prayer
See weekly sheet

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

Peace

God is love, and those who live in love live in God and God lives in them.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
and also with you.

The Blessing

The peace of God which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia.