Online Service 18th October 2020
Welcome to the Service for the 19th Sunday of Trinity: Also available via YouTube
18th OCTOBER SERVICE
LUKE THE EVANGELIST
Anthem “Lead me Lord” (Rev’d Sigrist and family/ friends)
We meet in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“We celebrate today the feast of St Luke the Evangelist. Described by St. Paul as the “beloved physician”. Saint Luke’s Gospel announces that the Good News of Salvation is for all, regardless of gender, social position or nationality. Let us celebrate this feast in our prayer today”
The Lord be with you.
All And also with you.
Come, let us return to the Lord and say:
All : Lord our God,
in our sin we have avoided your call.
Our love for you is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that goes away early.
Have mercy on us;
deliver us from judgement;
bind up our wounds and revive us;
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Kyrie (sung. Listen to)
Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord hard mercy.
May the God of love
bring us back to himself,
forgive us our sins,
and assure us of his eternal love
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Father Son and Holy Spirit
We say together The Benedictus or (The Song of Zechariah) from Luke ch 1 verse 68- 79
1 Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel,
who has come to his people and set them free.
2 He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour,
born of the house of his servant David.
3 Through his holy prophets God promised of old
to save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all that hate us,
4 To show mercy to our ancestors,
and to remember his holy covenant.
5 This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
6 Free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
7 And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
8 To give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of all their sins.
9 In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
10 To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be. Amen”
ALMIGHTY God, who called Luke the Physician, whose praise is in the Gospel, to be an Evangelist, and Physician of the soul: May it please thee that, by the wholesome medicines of the doctrine delivered by him, all the diseases of our souls may be healed; through the merits of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Reading: Luke chapter 10 verses 1 to 9
10 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. 2 He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore, ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. 3 Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ 6 And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the labourer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; 9 cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
“O Lord open my lips and my mouth shall declare your praise
The Kingdom of God has come near you… Sometimes in a biblical passage a certain word or phrase seems to possess our thoughts and prayers… “The Kingdom of God has come near” is one that seems to be such from the reading we have just heard.
And it brought to my mind powerful images not unlike this story which I shall recount to you now….
Early in the morning just as the sun is rising when the air is clear, and the day new and unused I find few things more uplifting than cycling along a narrow winding costal road near my home. The road is edged on one side by a small strip of woodland and the sea and on the other side by a large woodland which rises steeply upwards towards the skyline.
It was on one of the days when I was cycling along, as the sunrose I saw the tide coming in on my left and on my right the early light of the sun as it rose beginning to tint the leaves on the trees There is a certain spot where as the sun rises it shines through the leafy canopy and lights up the floor of the woodland, catching pure beauty in its beams. It is a numinous space, where silence dwells… it is a place of infinite beauty. As I was passing it and absorbing the intense beauty, I was alerted to rustles and breaking twig noises on the sea side of the road. I looked away from the woodlands, and saw just in front of me a magnificent roe deer. For a brief time, we travelled side by side, deer in the woodlands running, and me on the road cycling…. until the deer broke through the undergrowth on my left and darted across the road in front of me, to the wooded area on my right and ran through the beams of the rising sun, finally disappearing into the depths of the woodland. Leaving only a memory and excitement. There were local stories of deer in the woodlands, no firm sightings just the occasional story…accompanied by signs… little fragments of evidence, bark being rubbed off trees, maybe a hint of a deer footprint or a very minute bit of red/brown fur on a twig.
Now when I cycle past that place, I still see the deer, in my mind’s eye, it was real and has in its way “blessed” the place by its presence. It had come near.
And that is what we have today in the possessing phrase “The Kingdom of God has come near” ……. The Kingdom of God has come near...that is the exciting thing. We are the people living in that excitement…. we have been given sight …. all be it fleeting, of the Kingdom of God, we have those little fragments of evidence, biblical, historical and behavioural.
As you know this is the feast day of St. Luke, who saint Paul called the Beloved physician. Luke gave us maybe the most poetic and descriptive of the gospels. In Luke we find the 3-great prayer-hymns, the Benedictus, the Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittis which all speak of the coming of the Kingdom of God in lyrical terms.
We have just heard the great prayer-hymn of the Benedictus, proclaiming of the Kingdom of God coming near. We hear that the coming of John the Baptist heralds the way and when that Kingdom comes it will “guide our feet into the way of Peace”. Our Gospel passage too speaks of the coming near of the Kingdom of God.
So, what is this Kingdom of God that has come near and is coming near?
It is about that action of coming near…coming near and bringing and receiving Peace….
We as Christ’s Disciples are sent out…We are to live in that uncomfortable and yet exciting consciousness that indeed we are already sent out…we are in fact out… And now we are out we are to be like the disciples in Luke. This passage is directly addressed to us… Rather uncomfortably we are to go out without any bag, money or our securities…. but go out in our innocence, our trust and our faith in God…. we are not to take with us all the baggage of stigma that the groups who live on the margins are labelled with…those who are homeless, unemployed, refugees, disabled, elderly, youth……. We are therefore able to meet with those on the margins without having any of the preconceptions that labels give. We are to take that Gift and Knowledge that All are disciples, not the stigmas, and to take the Kingdom of God that is the Gift of peace… and as st Luke tells us at the end of the gospel make that knowledge known to All….no exceptions.
Further we are to go out sandal-less. That is to walk in humility, leave our “status” literally in the shoe rack, and have knowledge and excitement that the ground we are walking on is blessed and holy, being sandal-less acknowledges the presence of God. Sandal-less is to be agenda-less we just feel where we are and let that place, those people speak their truths and into that we speak our truths…. we offer the peace of the Kingdom of God…we bless their homes by remaining in them homes, and eat what is offered…accept each other as we are we accept their blessing. This is a harvest so it does require labour, and if the labour is rejected…we are not welcome, then and only then we move on find where the welcome is. And where the welcome is, is indeed where Our Lord is and wishes us to be even if it is the hard and difficult work of harvesting.
Somewhat strangely we are to greet no one on the road…. and really, it’s not so strange, it is telling us that we are not to get diverted we have a single task and a single task alone…To single-mindedly join in with Christ’s mission of Bringing about the Kingdom of God…Bringing it Near…. revealing its proximity.
The Kingdom of God…that is Characterised by Peace….To Bring Peace, Salvation…Luke is telling his readers that Jesus as we learnt in the Benedictus would guide our feet (sandal-less therefore humble)… into the way of Peace or the way of the Kingdom….that is how the Kingdom comes near….and Is coming near… through humility, drawing alongside those in the margins and offering them our peace that is the Christ within and acknowledging the Christ within them. Remembering at all times that the Christ within us is the pure Good, wholly loving and totally concerned for the other, and that is the Christ within All…it is the Peace filled kingdom that lives in All. We are tasked to go and take nothing but our humility, and the peace of Christ as we go and allow the Kingdom of God to draw near to all, in and with and through our humble and respectful and peaceable actions…. Allow the Kingdom of God to come near.
Let us pray that we may be humble bringers and receivers of the Kingdom of God, to All who we encounter.
I leave you with the wise, words of Rowan Williams….
“When I encounter another, I encounter one who is called to such a unique joy; my relation with them is part of God's purpose in bringing that joy to perfection - in me and in the other. This, surely, is peace on earth….it must be grounded in this passionate amazed reverence for others.” Rowan Williams.
Thou art the Christ, O Lord
sung by St Martin’s Voices
1 Thou art the Christ, O Lord,
the Son of God most high:
for ever be adored
that Name in earth and sky,
in which, though mortal strength may fail,
the saints of God at last prevail.
2 O surely he was blest
with blessedness unpriced.
who, taught of God, confessed
the Godhead in the Christ;
for of thy Church, Lord, thou didst own
thy saint a true foundation-stone.
3 Thrice fallen, thrice restored.
The bitter lesson learnt,
that heart for thee, O Lord,
with triple ardour burnt.
The cross he took he laid not down
until he grasped the martyr's crown.
4 O bright triumphant faith,
O courage void of fears.
O love most strong in death,
O penitential tears!
By these, Lord, keep us lest we fall,
and make us go where thou shalt call.
To Jesus Christ, the divine physician, let us pray:
R. Heal your people, Lord
Open the ears of those who are deaf to your word,
– that they may hear and believe the good news of salvation. (R.)
Bind up the wounds of the broken-hearted,
– that they may rejoice in your love. (R.)
Inspire compassion in the nations of the world,
– that they may open their borders and their resources to those exiled by war, famine, persecution and disease. (R.)
We pray for all in the health care professions,
May they be gifted with wisdom, discernment and a caring nature. (R)
We pray for those who have died, those who’s anniversaries occur about this time and for those who are bereaved, that they may know the comfort of our heavenly Father, Son and Holy Spirt. (R)
Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us
All: 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.
All: God of power,
may the boldness of your Spirit transform us,
may the gentleness of your Spirit lead us,
may the gifts of your Spirit equip us to serve and
now and always.
May God who made both heaven and earth bless us.
In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Go in Peace to Love and Serve the Lord
Anthem “The Peace of Christ” (Rev’d Sigrist and Family/Friends)