Opening Prayers

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.

 

O God, the protector of all who trust in you,

without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:

increase and multiply upon us your mercy;

that with you as our ruler and guide

we may so pass through things temporal

that we lose not our hold on things eternal;

grant this, heavenly Father,

for our Lord 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

Genesis 24.34-38, 42-49, 58-67

 

Read by Sean Carnegie

So he said, ‘I am Abraham’s servant. The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become wealthy; he has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female slaves, camels and donkeys. And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and he has given him all that he has. My master made me swear, saying, “You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; but you shall go to my father’s house, to my kindred, and get a wife for my son.”

 ‘I came today to the spring, and said, “O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, if now you will only make successful the way I am going! I am standing here by the spring of water; let the young woman who comes out to draw, to whom I shall say, ‘Please give me a little water from your jar to drink,’ and who will say to me, ‘Drink, and I will draw for your camels also’—let her be the woman whom the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.”

‘Before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah coming out with her water-jar on her shoulder; and she went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, “Please let me drink.” She quickly let down her jar from her shoulder, and said, “Drink, and I will also water your camels.” So I drank, and she also watered the camels. Then I asked her, “Whose daughter are you?” She said, “The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.” So I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her arms. Then I bowed my head and worshipped the Lord, and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me by the right way to obtain the daughter of my master’s kinsman for his son. Now then, if you will deal loyally and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so that I may turn either to the right hand or to the left.’ And they called Rebekah, and said to her, ‘Will you go with this man?’ She said, ‘I will.’ So they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse along with Abraham’s servant and his men. And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,
‘May you, our sister, become
thousands of myriads;
may your offspring gain possession
of the gates of their foes.’ 

Then Rebekah and her maids rose up, mounted the camels, and followed the man; thus the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.

Now Isaac had come from Beer-lahai-roi, and was settled in the Negeb. Isaac went out in the evening to walk* in the field; and looking up, he saw camels coming. And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she slipped quickly from the camel, and said to the servant, ‘Who is the man over there, walking in the field to meet us?’ The servant said, ‘It is my master.’ So she took her veil and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent. He took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

 

Romans 7.15-25

Read by Sebastien Grech

Gospel Reading

Matthew 11.16-19, 25-30

 

Hymns

 

Let all the world in ev’ry corner sing,
“My God and King!”
The heav’ns are not too high,
God’s praise may thither fly;
the earth is not too low,
God’s praises there may grow.
Let all the world in ev’ry corner sing,
“My God and King!”

Let all the world in ev’ry corner sing,
“My God and King!”
The church with psalms must shout:
no door can keep them out.
But, more than all, the heart
must bear the longest part.
Let all the world in ev’ery corner sing,
“My God and King!”

 

 

Will you come and follow me
if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know
and never be the same?

Will you let my love be shown,

will you let my name be known,

will you let my life be grown

in you and you in me?

 

Will you leave your self behind
if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind
and never be the same?

Will you risk the hostile stare

should your life attract or scare,

will you let me answer prayer

in you and you in me?

 

Will you let the blinded see
if I but call your name?
Will you set the prisoners free
and never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean
and do such as this unseen,
and admit to what I mean
in you and you in me?

 

Will you love the ‘you’ you hide
if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside
and never be the same?

Will you use the faith you’ve found

to reshape the world around

through my sight and touch and sound

in you and you in me?

 

Guide me, O my great Redeemer,
pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but you are mighty;
hold me with your powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me now and evermore,
feed me now and evermore.

Open now the crystal fountain,
where the healing waters flow.
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer,
ever be my strength and shield,
ever be my strength and shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside.
Death of death, and hell’s Destruction,
land me safe on Canaan’s side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises
I will ever sing to you,
I will ever sing to you.

 

Reflection

Rev’d Julia Porter-Pryce

 

(c) Rochdale Arts & Heritage Service; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

 

The story of finding a wife for Isaac, the son of Abraham, is one of the great narratives of the Old Testament. The portion we heard this morning contains the third and fourth scenes of a longer story, each featuring a different combination of characters. The plot moves in a leisurely way, with points of humour to be relished in the telling. For all these stories were only written down centuries after they had been passed on orally by professional storytellers.

The story begins with father Abraham, an intensely determined and utterly believing man of God. He sends his servant to his brother Laban to fetch a wife for Isaac his son and heir. The servant and Laban show complete trust in the plan. But whether or not they believe it to be God’s plan is not clear.

One of the themes in this story is the hidden guidance of God. The servant knows that he has been strangely led. But God has done nothing directly. There have been no signs or signals. There have been no requests for guidance made in prayer. Only the willing acknowledgement of the fact of being led.

The word used for ‘led’ in this story is the same word that was used to describe the journeying of the Israelites through the wilderness after their escape from slavery in Egypt and the same word used in the psalms to request well-being in times of trouble. We hear it in Psalm 23: he leads me beside still waters…he leads me in paths of righteousness…

The story of Isaac and Rebecca is not about the great things God has done. It tells of an ordinary life event but one in which life is accepted and understood as a gift from God. God does not intervene or intrude. But it offers a view of the world in which there are no parts of human experience that lie beyond the purpose of God. How things emerge are attributed to God’s watchful presence. It may seem naïve to think about life in this way. But it demands a mature faith to see that God’s faithfulness cannot be expected in advance of events. But with faith it is possible to look back on events and to notice God’s hands at work.

 

Intercessions

Crucifix

From Esther Makinde

 

 

 

Let us Pray:

It is a good thing to praise the Lord for He is good and His mercies are for ever. And only the Living can praise the Lord as we are doing today.

Almighty Father we praise and thank You for keeping us alive to come and worship you again today. Thank You Father for this special favour which we really appreciate and ask that You keep your watch over us and protect us from any evils and mishaps especially from the ongoing coronavirus that we may continue to rejoice in Your loving care.

Lord in Your Mercy, hear our prayer.

Eternal Lord, bless your churches all over the world with their Bishops and Clergies especially our clergies here Julia, Sarah and Matthew and all those who volunteer their time and energy for the smooth running of our worship here at St Peter’s.  Bless all of them and their families.

Lord in Your Mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord of all creation, bless the world leaders with the right wisdom to rule their subjects in the just and humane way for equality and same opportunity that all lives matter in whatever they do and whichever method they may use to rule their subjects. We also pray that it may please You Lord to streaghten and provide for them to continue to have their subjects in mind for any rules and regulations they may use to soften the hardships of the present coronavirus.

Lord in Your Mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord of all unity, bless our community and all of us living in it with unity, love and friendliness that we may continue to live in peace and harmony.

We pray that you bless all our key workers especially our NHS frontline workers and protect them from any harms relating to their jobs.

We pray that You guide our youths and keep them away from all mischief and crimes and give them the assurance that only the wealth realised through hard work always lasts as opposed to ill gotten wealth.

Lord Heal the sick and provide for the jobles

Lord in Your Mercy, hear our prayer.

Consoling Lord, we pray for all those who have recently departed this world in whichever way that You console and give their families the fortitude to bear their loss. And for the departed, we ask that you let them Rest in Perfect Peace as well as those whose anniversaries fall at this time.

Eternal rest grant unto them, oh Lord

May thy light perpetual shine upon them. 

Lord of all hopefulness, we put our trust and hopes in You, that You are always there for us and as we are going out on our ways in this new week we ask for your guidance and protection from any harm that we may come back to give You thanks and praise.

Merciful Father, accept these Prayers for the sake of Your Son Our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen

 

Closing Prayers

 

Hydrangea

 

Eternal God,

comfort of the afflicted and healer of the broken,

you have fed us at the table of life and hope:

teach us the ways of gentleness and peace,

that all the world may acknowledge

the kingdom of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Read the Vicar’s Reflection for the week.

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