Online service 26th July 2020

Welcome to the Service for the 7th Sunday of Trinity: Also available via YouTube

Online service 26th July 2020

Celtic Morning Prayer Sunday 26th July

 

YouTube Link

Jesus Christ is risen from the dead

Alleluia!

 

Gospel Acclimation:

Rejoice, Heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!

Christ our King is risen, Alleluia!

Exult, all creation! Rejoice O earth, in shining splendour! Alleluia!

Christ our King is risen. Alleluia!

Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!

Christ our King is risen. Alleluia!

Darkness vanishes forever! Christ dispels the darkness or our night! Alleluia!

Christ our King is risen. Alleluia!

 

Confession

Almighty God, Our heavenly Father,

We have sinned against you and against our neighbour

In thought, word and deed;

Through negligence, through weakness, and 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.

Words of forgiveness:

Almighty God, Who forgives all those who truly repent,

Have mercy upon you, Pardon and deliver you from all our sins,

Confirm and strengthen you in all goodness And keep us in life eternal

Through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen.

 

Hymn: And Can it be?

Recorded remotely by the Choral Scholars of St Martin-in-the-Fields in their homes, and edited together.

 

1 And can it be that I should gain
an interest in the Saviour's blood?
Died he for me, who caused his pain?
For me, who him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

2 He left his Father's throne above -
so free, so infinite his grace -
emptied himself of all but love,
and bled for Adam's helpless race.
'Tis mercy all, immense and free;
for, O my God, it found out me!

3 Long my imprisoned spirit lay
fast bound in sin and nature's night;
thine eye diffused a quickening ray -
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light,
my chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

4 No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in him, is mine!
Alive in him, my living head,
and clothed in righteousness divine,
bold I approach the eternal throne,
and claim the crown, through Christ, my own.
The last two lines of each verse are repeated. Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

 

Bible Reading: Matthew 13 vv 31 – 33, 44 - 52

31 He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; 32 it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

33 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”

 

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; 46 on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; 48 when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51 “Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” 52 And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

 

Reflection

“O lord open my lips and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise”

“Winston Churchill said

If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time - a tremendous whack.”

And in the reading from Matthew today there is no doubt that Jesus is certainly doing that.

The small parables in today’s reading are packed full of power and shamelessly repeat over and over again to us the same point, that is the seeking and finding of the Kingdom of Heaven and giving all Joyfully to be part of it. Furthermore, it is then what the Kingdom of Heaven creates, that is an attitude of Joy and a climate of nurturing. This is the obsession that should inhabit our body, mind and soul, it is the one and only all possessing totally encompassing aim of our lives. It is as straightforward and utterly compelling as that.

All the parables we have just heard have in common that they start from the very, very familiar and ordinary and move to the extraordinary. Those listening to them would have been totally familiar with mustard seeds, large trees and birds, bread making and leaven, fishing with a drag net and having to throw back fish that were not edible, digging fields and finding treasure, merchants searching for pearls.

What those listening would have been taken by surprise by was how Jesus transformed the familiar personal and ordinary tasks to become extraordinary, stunning and just so all encompassing. He had no need of fireworks or loud music or any of the trappings we use to make the ordinary seem wonderful. Instead what he did was give people a new vision that the Kingdom of Heaven Is among them and us. We learnt that his mission was to give sight to the blind. And there he is in this reading working out that mission in the reality and hardness and ordinariness of life.

These parables of the Kingdom of are still being worked out Today…

We are now living in the Covid-19 era. We have all had to re-learn how to pray without the help of the Sunday church service to support and encourage us. We have had to re learn how to pray in the very ordinary circumstance in which we live. This is exactly what the parables speak of. What could be more personal or ordinary than making bread, fishing, digging a field, or a hard-working merchant? What could be more ordinary than us cooking, digging the garden, doing the washing and all the other “ordinary” things we had more time for during lock-down. And we turned to these ordinary things for security and comfort. Somehow instead of them being chores they represented things that had not changed…the washing was still there and still had to be done. And somewhere in the psyche we know that in the ordinary there is Christ waiting to be found, longing to be found. So longing He stands in plain sight.

The 14-century mystic Julian of Norwich wrote:

"The fullness of joy is to behold God in everything." Which is even more telling as in her time there was the Black Death.

And in these parables in our Gospel reading the Kingdom of God is in everything they tell us of ….they are a key to aid our understanding of the Kingdom of God. But just like in the parables this key of understanding is hidden in the ordinary and if we don’t ceaselessly look, like the merchant, we shall miss it. I cannot stress too much how important these parables are…

We need to be like all the characters in them, we need to be content with our ordinary lives, for this is where we have been set, but we need to be vigilant and rather like the mustard seed we need to Grow profusely in our knowledge and relationship with Christ and then in our discipleship feed and shelter others through that relationship and with that knowledge of Christ. We need to be like the yeast which often was used to illustrate corruption, but Jesus turns the meaning around and uses it to turn things to the good we need to allow Christ to turn us around and we need to discern how we can work with and in that need just like the yeast does in the dough. We need to be like the drag net including all in the kingdom vision, not judging who can come in but instead having the faith to leave that to God.

We need to be like the person digging the field when we find the treasure that is a glimpse of the Kingdom of Heaven we have to give our all to own it…that is internalise it. We need to be like the merchant, that is to seek this Kingdom of Heaven in the course of our lives, but seek it ceaselessly as if our life counted on it….and it does!

Take these parables one by one and like the buried treasure and uncover the personal meaning to you as in all the parables we have heard today, they spoke to each person in their ordinary lives. They will speak to us in our ordinary lives.

To finish…

I am going to read you a short poem by R.S. Thomas who wrote profoundly of the parable… The Pearl of Great Price.

I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the
pearl of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying

on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.”

 

Let us let the Son break through into our lives and like the mustard seed let us nurture it and see it grow to become something of Joy and Nourishment for the All of the dragnet”.

Thank you for listening. Amen.

 

The Song of God’s Glory

At The Name of Jesus every knee should bow.

Christ Jesus was in the form of God;

But He did not cling to equality with God.

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow.

He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant

And was born in the likeness of men.

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow.

Being found in human form He humbled Himself

And became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow.

 

Therefore God has highly exalted Him;

And bestowed upon Him a name above every name

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow.

 

And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord

To the glory of God the Father

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow.

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be forever. Amen

At The name of Jesus every Knee should bow.

Lord, have Mercy upon us.

Lord Christ, have mercy upon us

Lord, have Mercy upon us.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

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.

That we may rejoice in the resurrection,

Risen Christ, give us hope.

That we may know that you have conquered death

Risen Christ, give us hope.

That we may know that you have triumphed over the grave,

Risen Christ, give us hope.

That those in doubt and despair may see your light,

Risen Christ, give us hope.

That those who are troubled in mind may know your peace,

Risen Christ, give us hope.

That those caring for the terminally ill may know your power,

Risen Christ, give us hope.

That those who mourn may discover the joy of life eternal,

Risen Christ, give us hope.

 

Blessing.

Almighty Father,

who in your great mercy made glad the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord;

Give us such knowledge of His presence with us

That we may be strengthened and sustained by His risen life

And serve you continually in righteousness and truth,

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Music: You shall go out with Joy

 

 

 

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