Online Service 5th July 2020
Welcome to the Service for the 5th Sunday of Trinity: Also available via YouTube
Words of Welcome
Welcome to our Sunday service online and distributed by post for worship at home.
The Lord Be with You
And also with you
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.
Hymn: Lord of All Hopefulness
Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
whose trust, ever child-like, no care could destroy,
be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.
Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,
your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.
Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.
Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day. Amen.
Come, let us return to The Lord and say together:
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.
Words of Forgiveness:
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.
Reading Psalm 122
I rejoiced with those who said to me,
‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’
Our feet are standing
in your gates, Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is built like a city
that is bound firmly together.
To it the tribes go up –
the tribes of the Lord –
to praise the name of the Lord
as was decreed to Israel,
to give thanks for the name of The Lord
For there the thrones for judgment are set up,
the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
‘May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls
and security within your towers.’
For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your good.
Psalm 122 is one of the Psalms of Ascent- that is the psalms specially written and sung by worshipers as they made the journey up to Jerusalem for the annual feasts. They are songs of celebration, songs of pilgrimage, that mark a journey to take us further in and closer to God.
I’d like to read you a short quote from Hannah Hurnard’s wonderful book Hinds feet on High places, which I highly recommend:
The life of a praying person is a journey farther up and farther in, to places God Himself has spoken about to the attentive heart.
Well today is a day of ascents. Every day is of course, an opportunity for us to pilgrim further into God and the mysteries of His love.
Today though, maybe some of us feel that even more so, as many rejoice in the re-opening of our Church buildings, closed as they have been for the last three and a half months.
For many, it’s going to feel like a homecoming- although the home is not quite as we left it- we have new ways of being, distancing, and some of us may look different, wearing face coverings perhaps. We can’t as yet sing together- and all of this is because the Coronavirus is still with us; so out of love for each other, we take every step we can to reduce the risk of transmission to each other, especially as we gather in Jesus name.
So the song of ascent that we sing today is a song in our hearts, rather than on our lips. But for all that, it is no less a song of praise.
For some of course, returning to the church building is not a possibility, and for still others, it hasn’t been possible to attend for a long time, due to access issues and health that doesn’t permit attending in person.
One of the most healthiest and most humbling parts of the last three months has been the realisation that the House of God is not the Church building, no matter how beautiful and beloved it is- as St Andrew’s certainly is.
Rather, the house of God, the place where The Holy Spirit dwells, is in the hearts of His people- we are the body of Christ.
Right where we are then, bidden or unbidden, God is here, right alongside us. And right where we are today, we can rejoice with those who say to us ‘let us go to the house of the Lord’, because here, at home; in our magnificent Churches and Cathedrals; in our kitchens; on our streets; in all places of worship; on our beaches, towns, cities and countryside- right where we are, is the house of The Lord- our feet are standing in the gates of the Kingdom of God.
When we are fortunate enough to gather together in person for Worship rejoice- but even when we are by ourselves at home we are never alone- For Christ is in us, the hope of Glory in our lives- and we are each part of that wonderful song of salvation that the Holy Spirit sings over us and through us.
Another extract from Hinds feet on High Places:
When you continue your journey, there may be much mist and cloud.
Perhaps it may seem as though everything you have seen here of the High places, was just a dream, or the work of your own imagination…
But you have seen reality, and the mist that seems to sometimes swallow it up- is the illusion.
Believe steadfastly in what you have seen. Even if the way to the High Places appears to be obscured, and you are led to doubt whether you are following the right path, remember the promise;
‘Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying this is the way, walk in it; when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left’
Always go forward along the path of obedience as far as you know it, until I intervene, even if it seems to be leading you where you fear I could never mean you to go.
Brothers and Sisters, we are in Christ, and Christ is in us- and we are one body in Him, as we journey into the future seeking to heal and restore our lives and our land, and looking for signs of His Kingdome our time. Amen.
Music: I was Glad
Prayers of Intercession
Holy God, we lift our prayers to you in the power of The Spirit, and united in Christ,
trusting that you hear our prayers and use them in your will and purpose for this world.
We pray for all affected by the Coronavirus, in our town, our country and every nation of the world. Come with your healing, peace and comfort to all
Lord, in your Mercy:
Hear our prayer
We pray for all in authority throughout the world, Governments and leaders,that they may work with compassion and righteousness for the goodness and wellbeing of all.
Lord in your Mercy:
Hear our Prayer
We pray for all who are going back to work this week, some fearful, some joyful. Minister to all hearts and minds we pray
Lord in your Mercy:
Hear our prayer
We pray for all affected by prejudice, violence and injustice. Change hearts and minds that all may seek to work for unity, peace and justice
Lord in your mercy:
Hear our prayer
We pray for all who are sick and troubled in Body, mind and Spirit, seeking your healing and restoring touch. Bless those who are bereaved, and receive into your rest and glory all those who have died.
Merciful Father, hear and accept these prayers
For the sake of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen
May the peace of The Lord Christ go with us
Wherever He may send us;
May He guide us through the wilderness
Protect us in the storm
May He bring us home rejoicing
Once again into His doors.
Go in strong and growing faith.
Trust in the tenderness of Christ to heal a bruised and broken world.
Thanks be to God. Amen.