Opening Prayers

God the Father forgives us in Christ and heals us by the Holy Spirit. Let us therefore put away all anger and bitterness, all slander and malice, and confess our sins to God our redeemer.

 

Father, you come to meet us when we return to you:

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

 

Jesus, you died on the cross for our sins:

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

 

Spirit, you give us life and peace:

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

 

Lord, you have taught us

that all our doings without love are nothing worth:

send your Holy Spirit

and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love,

the true bond of peace and of all virtues,

without which whoever lives is counted dead before you.

Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ’s sake,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen

 

Readings

Books at organ

 

Genesis 21.8-21

Read by Iris Bachmann

 

 

 

Romans 6.1-11

Read by Esther Makinde

 

 

 

Gospel Reading

Matthew 10.24-39

 

Hymns

 

Morning has broken
Like the first morning,
Blackbird has spoken
Like the first bird.
Praise for the singing!
Praise for the morning!
Praise for them, springing
Fresh from the Word!

Sweet the rain’s new fall
Sunlit from Heaven,
Like the first dewfall
On the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness
Of the wet garden,
Sprung in completeness
Where his feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight,
Mine is the morning,
Born of the one light
Eden saw play.
Praise with elation,
Praise every morning,
God’s re-creation
Of the new day!

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways;
reclothe us in our rightful mind,
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard
beside the Syrian sea
the gracious calling of the Lord,
let us, like them, without a word
rise up and follow thee.

O Sabbath rest by Galilee,
O calm of hills above,
where Jesus knelt to share with thee
the silence of eternity,
interpreted by love!

Drop thy still dews of quietness,
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm!

 

Reflection

 

Jesus and Disciples

 

In the gospel stories about Jesus, he is often seen to be at pains to explain to his disciples what it means to follow a life of faith. He is anxious for them to understand the costliness of the commitment.

Jesus says: Do not think that I have come to bring peace…I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother…one’s foes will be members of one’s own household…whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

One writer has described this attitude to life as being like the difference between a tissue paper flower and an alpine meadow in spring. The kind of fulfilling life we think we are going to gain (by accumulating wealth and prestige at other people’s expense, over indulging our tastes, feverishly totting up as many experiences as possible in case we lose out on anything), turns out to be disappointing and never as satisfying as we had hoped; there is always something else we think we really must have or try. In comparison the way of Jesus gives an inner sense of rightness, calm and integrity which is richly fulfilling and enables others to become their true selves as well.

Fear is a common theme in our readings today. We would be inhuman not to fear cataclysmic, life-changing events. But there are subtler fears that gnaw away at us: fear of loss of status, fear of being vulnerable, fear of showing how we really feel, fear of intimacy, fear of being found out, fear of being stupid – the list is endless. And it is these subtler fears that deaden us, that prevent us from living the abundant life that Jesus calls us to, perhaps even more so than the greater ones, because we avoid them.

Three times in Jesus’s conversation with the disciples we heard from Matthew this morning he says to them do not fear. He uses the image of a sparrow to show how much God cares for us. Sparrows were the cheapest living thing sold for food – two for a penny – and yet not one sparrow will fall to the ground without being noticed by God. Jesus tells the disciples: And even the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

 

Intercessions

from Peter Day

 

Crucifix image

 

Let us join together in prayer.

In this time of trouble and confusion, O Lord, we pray that you will keep us in your mercy and protection.

We pray for those who are ill, and those who are fearful of illness.

We ask for God’s help for those who are thrown out of work, and those who have far too much work to do. We pray for the isolated and the lonely, that they may be comforted and given hope.

At this time of international anger, protest and concern, we pray for the deep and urgent changes necessary to make this a fairer world for all people.  And we pray that our national and international leaders may be guided to make wise decisions for the wellbeing of our future world.

We give thanks for all those who love their neighbours: in particular for those who care for the sick, and the many who continue to provide the services our society relies upon.

We pray for those who are deeply worried about people they love.

We pray for those who have recently died, and for those who grieve for them, and for those whose anniversaries we remember.

We give thanks for St Peter’s, and for those who are working to reopen this church for private prayer and then for worship. We pray for God’s blessing on Julia, on Sarah, on Matthew, and their families. And on all who need our Church, who worship at it and support it.

Oh Lord, every day in this parish, hundreds of prayers are offered to you by many people inside and outside this Church, like arrows shot to heaven. They echo our thoughts and fears, our joys and our sorrows. Oh Lord in your mercy hear our prayers now, and listen for those we will utter up in the coming weeks and years.

Merciful God, accept these prayers for the sake of your son our Lord Jesus Christ.

AMEN

Closing Prayers

Hydrangea

Loving Father,

we thank you for feeding us at the supper of your Son:

sustain us with your Spirit,

that we may serve you here on earth

until our joy is complete in heaven,

and we share in the eternal banquet

with Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

 

Read this week’s Vicar’s Message.

 

 

 

 

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