Services: Sermons and Prayers

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.