Sunday Worship 21st June – 2nd Sunday after Trinity

Welcome to worship today. As usual, there is a playlist set up at the top to play the whole service, including hymns. Or you can go down the page and play each video separately, or read the words if you prefer.

If you are reading this before Sunday morning at 11.30am, please join us at our Zoom Coffee. Details available from Revd Liz.

YouTube Playlist

Service written out

In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Grace, mercy and peace
from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
And also with you.

Hymn

Prayer of preparation

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.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
The first commandment is this:
‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
There is no other commandment greater than these.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Prayers of Penitence

God so loved the world
that he gave his only Son Jesus Christ
to save us from our sins,
to be our advocate in heaven,
and to bring us to eternal life.
Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith,
firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments
and to live in love and peace with all.

Silence

Most merciful God,
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we confess that we have sinned
in thought, word and deed.
We have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.
In your mercy
forgive what we have been,
help us to amend what we are,
and direct what we shall be;
that we may do justly, love mercy,
and walk humbly with you, our God.
Amen.

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon us,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

The Collect – Prayer for the week

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

Bible reading

Jeremiah 20: 7-13

Psalm 69: 8-11, 18-20

We haven’t often used the psalms in our worship unless in Book of Common Prayer services. I am taking the opportunity this summer to include them again. The great richness of the psalms is in the variety of emotions that they show. Truly we can bring anything that we are feeling to God.

For your sake have I suffered reproach;
shame has covered my face.

I have become a stranger to my kindred,
an alien to my mother’s children.

Zeal for your house has eaten me up;
the scorn of those who scorn you has fallen upon me.

I humbled myself with fasting,
but that was turned to my reproach.

Answer me, Lord, for your loving-kindness is good;
turn to me in the multitude of your mercies.

Hide not your face from your servant;
be swift to answer me, for I am in trouble.

Draw near to my soul and redeem me;
deliver me because of my enemies.

Hymn

Gospel Reading

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew
Glory to you, O Lord.

Matthew 10: 24-39

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon – the Revd Liz Hassall

I’d like you to start by bringing to mind a person. Someone you know well and respect. Now imagine that they have said something completely out of character. Maybe they’ve suddenly sworn at you or said something blatantly racist, or made a mean comment about someone else.

How do you feel?

It shakes you, doesn’t it? Suddenly, that person isn’t the one you thought they were and it makes you re-evaluate who they are and how much respect you should have for them.

The gospel passage is a bit like that for me. Suddenly, Jesus seems to be acting out of character. This is not the lovely friendly Jesus that we tend to imagine. This is the Jesus who had a difficult message to bring to his followers, which they didn’t want to hear and we don’t really like to hear either.

This, however, is the real Jesus. What’s the point of knowing someone only on the surface? We can all be polite to each other but it is only when we let down our guard that we really know each other, warts and all.

When you look at a passage from the gospels, the first thing to do is figure out who is speaking. Here, it’s Jesus. Then, you need to see who they are speaking to. Is it the crowds? Or the Pharisees? Here, it is the disciples – the closest followers of Jesus, the ones who knew him best. He’s getting ready to send the disciples out on mission as healers and preachers in their own right. They’ve learnt enough from him and now it is time to go and see what they can manage without his constant presence.

I’m guessing that the disciples were going into this without any real idea of what was going to happen. Jesus is trying to explain to them, but they won’t really understand until they have gone and discovered how much people will reject them and what sacrifice they are being called to make.

The whole point of this passage is to prepare the disciples for an unfriendly welcome and the potential danger of working in mission. They may very well be in danger, but Jesus reassures them of the love that God has for each of them. He reassures them of the value that they have to God as people and there is a reminder of the promise of eternal life, which can’t be harmed by any earthly foe.

So far, so good. Then Jesus makes that unusual statement:

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Hang on, you might say – isn’t Jesus called the Prince of Peace? Now he’s saying he isn’t coming to bring peace.

Jesus then goes onto talking about a household. In that culture it was usual for a bride to move to live with her groom and in-laws. So, the three comparisons: turning a man against his father, a daughter against her mother and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – these could all be within a single household. The household was the most important unit in Jewish life. Your family ties were the most important ties.

The sword that Jesus is bringing is a sword that will cut through those ties because what Jesus is asking is for a commitment to him that is deeper and more important even than the ties to family.

When Jesus says “I have not come to bring peace”, I think he is talking about that superficial peace that you strive for among family members, that papers over the cracks and allows you to keep sharing a house amicably despite differences of politics or religion. It may come to the point where you have to stand up for the Jesus way at the expense of a peaceful and quiet life. It may come to the point when you have to challenge a parent or child on their life-choices because you can’t keep your integrity before Jesus unless you do. That is the sword that can divide us from our families.

This is radical stuff, challenging and not for the faint-hearted.

What it comes down to is this – for us as well as for the first disciples – when we acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, we have to recognise that our loyalty to him is the most fundamental tie we have, above all ties of family or friendship.

Perhaps when you hear that, you think “well that’s going a bit too far, isn’t it”? That’s a fair comment. It is a hugely demanding call and one which is not easy to follow wholeheartedly. Still, if Jesus really is the Son of God and the Saviour of All, can there be anything more important than that?

It is unlikely for each of us that Jesus will call us completely away from our families, but we may well have to stand up to them for what is right and for the sake of the things that Jesus taught.

Jesus goes on, saying “anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me”

It is not a mistake that Jesus picked out the ties between parent and child for a demonstration of how we are to relate to him. Parents are hard-wired to love their children. When you have a small baby or child you have a biological imperative to do anything to protect them. Jesus did not say: do not love your children or love your children less than you do now. He said love him more. That is the challenge to live up to. We are to strive to give God a place in our lives equal or higher to the place we give our families.

So how do you feel about Jesus now, in the light of this passage? Have you learned something more about him? Is it something shocking enough to change your view of him, or can you still follow him?

In all of this we need to remind ourselves who Jesus is. Any normal human who came and demanded this kind of sacrifice would be a tyrant and utterly unreasonable. Jesus can demand our full lives because he offers so much in return. Yes, he asks for our full capitulation to his Lordship, but he is Lord. He is God. Through him we gain access to the overwhelming saving love of God. That same God who counts the hairs on our heads and values even the sparrows. No matter how much we love Jesus, he will always love us more.

So, are you willing to try and answer that call of Jesus to be a disciple? Are you willing to sacrifice your wishes and go where God would have you go? Can you trust God to love your household, can you love God enough to stand up for what is right even when your closest loved ones disagree?

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to need help with that. So I’m going back to the Collect for today to ask God to dwell within us and give us the strength to love him more.

Lord, send your Holy Spirit
and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love,
the true bond of peace and of all virtues.
Amen.

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is,
seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God, begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge
the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is
worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.
Amen.

Hymn

Intercessions

As faithful disciples, let us pray to our Lord and Master for the Church and for the world.

The response to the prayers is Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for wisdom for all our church leaders, praying especially for Paul, bishop of Whitby as he leads the diocese at the moment and for Bishop Stephen as he prepares to become our next archbishop. We pray for all church leaders struggling to discern how to balance accessibility of church buildings with keeping people safe.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray that the Word of God will be heard in the dark places where people have not known the power of redeeming love. Have mercy on the weak and vulnerable who are precious in your sight and save them when they are oppressed. We pray for all those in ethnic minorities whose lives are made more difficult by the the colour of their skin. Help us all to be aware of our own privilege and to use that privilege for the good of those who are persecuted.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for our families and for all who live and work nearby. We pray for business owners making difficult decisions and for workers who have been made redundant. Keep our eyes open to the needs of our communities and show us how we can help.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for everyone whose faith is being challenged at the moment, who are finding the burden of the cross too heavy to carry. Give them courage and show us who needs our support.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all those who are sick, especially those suffering with Covid-19. We pray for those whose treatment has been postponed and those struggling with pain or illness.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who took up their cross and followed Jesus in this life and have now passed to eternal life with him. May the light of heaven shine upon them as they rise in glory.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, you show us what life could be.
Help us to plant seeds of hope in places where life is tough,
So that people can find your love and your way.
We offer this small prayer, like a mustard seed,
For your Kingdom to come among us.

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Today, I am using the traditional language Lord’s prayer. Please pray in whichever language or version you prefer.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

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.

Offertory Prayer

God of life, saviour of the poor,
receive with this money
gratitude for your goodness,
penitence for our pride
and dedication to your service
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Peace

God is love and those who live in love live in God
and God lives in them.

The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you.

Hymn

Blessing and Dismissal

The peace of God, which passes all understanding,
keep your hearts and minds
in the knowledge and love of God,
and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
and the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be with you and remain with you always.
Amen

Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord
In the name of Christ, Amen.

Copyright Notices

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Common Worship, material from which is included in this service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council.

One Reply to “Sunday Worship 21st June – 2nd Sunday after Trinity”

  1. Thank you Liz for a lovely service. I have enjoyed the services on line so much. They feel like services just for me and I feel humbled and uplifted in equal measure. Gods word is for everyone and with your “teaching” so very real and bang up to date.
    Thank you and all who have helped with services.

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