Sunday Worship 19th July 2020 – 6th Sunday after Trinity

Welcome

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 – see the contact page on the main menu.

YouTube Playlist

Here is another short video to watch, which is a 3 minute reflection from our new archbishop.

Service written out

Hymn – O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness

Gathering

Greeting

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

The Lord be with you
and also with you.

The Spirit of God hovered over the water
and brought life to all creation.

Come, Holy Spirit
and renew the face of the earth.

Silence is kept.

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

Prayer of Penitence

Human sin disfigures the whole creation,
which groans with eager longing for God’s redemption.
We confess our sin in penitence and faith.

We confess to you
our lack of care for the world you have given us.
Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

We confess to you
our selfishness in not sharing the earth’s bounty fairly.
Christ have mercy.
Christ have mercy.

We confess to you
our failure to protect resources for others.
Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

May the Father of all mercies
cleanse you from your sins,
and restore you in his image
to the praise and glory of his name,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Gloria in Excelsis

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

Merciful God,
you have prepared for those who love you
such good things as pass our understanding:
pour into our hearts such love toward you
that we, loving you in all things and above all things,
may obtain your promises,
which exceed all that we can desire;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 44: 6-8

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Psalm 86: 11-17

Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth;
knit my heart to you, that I may fear your name.

I will thank you, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
and glorify your name for evermore;

For great is your steadfast love towards me,
for you have delivered my soul from the depths of the grave.

O God, the proud rise up against me
and a ruthless horde seek after my life;
they have not set you before their eyes.

But you, Lord, are gracious and full of compassion,
slow to anger and full of kindness and truth.

Turn to me and have mercy upon me;
give your strength to your servant
and save the child of your handmaid.

Show me a token of your favour,
that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed;
because you, O Lord, have helped and comforted me.

HYMN – King of Glory, King of peace

Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43

Alleluia, alleluia.
You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honour and power,
for you created all things.
Alleluia.

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

At the end

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

Sermon

Last week Stephen introduced us to the parable of the sower, this week we have the parable of the weeds. Again, this is one of the very few parables that has an explanation of what it means.

There is a field with the intended harvest and the pesky invading weeds. The good seed is the people of the kingdom and the weeds are everyone else.

It is a story that any gardener will find familiar. It tells of the difficulty of telling apart young plants because they look the same. A question I have often asked (and often got wrong) is “Is this a weed”?

Let’s find out more about these weeds in the gospel story.

The weeds that Jesus was probably speaking about at the time were the bane of existence for farmers. They were bearded darnel or LOLIUM TEMULENTUM. In the early stages of growth it looks just like wheat and is difficult to distinguish until it’s grown bigger, by which time the roots of both plants would be intertwined. Bearded darnel is slightly poisonous, causing dizziness and sickness and has a bitter taste. Definitely not something you want in your wheat by the time it goes to be ground into flour.

The question for me is what do we do about this story? How are we meant to react in response to it. We are all people of the kingdom – so what are we meant to do about the weeds?

The message I take away from this story is to leave the weeds to God. How much time do people spend judging one another? How much time do we spend figuring out whether someone is a true Christian or a good person or not? That is a waste of time. It is not the job of the harvest to sort out the weeds – that task belongs to the farmer.

The picture of wheat and weeds is not perfect. For a seed, it is already pre-determined which plant it will be. We are different. We can make choices about how we live our lives and whether we turn more towards the way of Jesus, or away. A plant cannot turn itself into a weed, a weed cannot turn itself into a plant. Yet every day we can move closer to Jesus or further away.

It is only God and Jesus and the Spirit, who know us well enough to see whether we are wheat or a weed.

Sometimes, it is very obvious that we are surrounded by weeds: people who damage those around them with their lack of love. We all know that we don’t live in a perfect world, that there are people in the world who are cruel, manipulative, crooked or spiteful. We also know that sometimes we can have these traits.

While it is not our place to judge, it is our responsibility to call out to God our despair at the strength of the weeds and to call on him to help. The answer is to pray. When you see problems in the world, pray about them. Cry out to God in rage, showing him the damage that is being done by the enemy. He will tell you when it is your job to take action about something. Otherwise, concentrate on growing up as a good seed, ready for harvest.

We need help to grow well and, elsewhere in the gospels, Jesus explains to his disciples what that help will be: the Spirit is given to help those who are listening.

A few weeks ago, I got together online with some people I was in a choir with 25 years ago. I leave you with Jesus’ words to the disciples as set by Thomas Tallis.

If ye love me, keep my commandment and I will pray the Father and he shall give you another comforter. That he may bide with you forever. Even the spirit of truth.

ANTHEM – If ye love me

Affirmation of Faith

We say together in faith

Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God almighty,
who was, and is, and is to come.

We believe in God the Father,
who created all things:

for by his will they were created
and have their being.

We believe in God the Son,
who was slain:

for with his blood,
he purchased us for God,
from every tribe and language,
from every people and nation.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit:

the Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’
Even so come, Lord Jesus!
Amen.

Hymn – All over the world

Intercessions – prepared by Guy

Creator God, we are your children so we call you on you as our Father. Father you know the whole world is groaning, the whole world is afflicted with pain and loss caused by the Corona Virus. Give us all, whoever we are, wherever we are, patience to endure and strength to overcome these present troubles. Hold our hands father and hug us as we would hug each other if we could. And in your great love deliver us from the depths and darkness of our present and fill us with the light and comfort of your presence.

Abba, father, so we pray

Father, we pray for those who minister your word and teach your way, and especially we pray for Liz and Stephen. You have asked much of them recently- to guide us from afar, to hold our hand when they cannot be near, to be with us when we must all be apart. We thank them for all they have done and will yet do, and we thank you Lord for the strength and comfort you have brought to them in their recent ministry. We ask that you stay by their side so they can stay by ours.

Abba, father, so we pray

Father, you have made this earth and all its nations. Cast your wisdom upon those who rule your world, upon those who have to make impossible decisions, upon those who must chart a course through all the perils of unknown regions. Help them to bring the ship of your creation safe home. And give us all the wisdom of magnanimity. Take from them and take from us our anger and our keenness to blame so that we all may play our part and help us all reach calm waters

Abba, father, so we pray

Father, you are the first and last, our only hope, our only God. Look with loving kindness on all those who are trembling and afraid, whether for themselves or for others. Deliver them from their depths, fill them with the knowledge of your faithfulness and give them hope to light their darkness. And for those whose earthly end has come, grant them safe passage to the light and warmth of your presence and peace and happiness for all eternity.

Abba, father, so we pray

Father, we are your children, and we ask for your support and your guidance through the dark and uncharted seas in which we find ourselves. Throughout the world your whole people is groaning. Still our fears and heal our hearts. Fill us with your love so that we may wait patiently for calmer, sunlit waters. Stay close to us on our journey. Help us to be no longer children but to grow up into Christ. And help us to follow him, rejoicing.

Abba, father, so we pray

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

Peace to you from God who is our Father.
Peace from Jesus Christ who is our peace.
Peace from the Holy Spirit who gives us life.
The peace of the triune God be always with you
and also with you.

Spiritual communion

Today I will read the institution narrative from St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, then offer a time of silence, finishing with the prayer for spiritual communion and the Lord’s prayer.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NIVUK)

For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: the Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits you have given me,
for all the pains and insults you have borne for me.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,
I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.
O most merciful redeemer,
friend and brother,
may I know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

Prayer

Silence is kept.

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe,
creator of light and giver of life,
to you be glory and praise for ever.
In Jesus your light has shone out;
and you have given your Holy Spirit
as a mighty stream of life-giving water
to refresh and renew the face of the earth.
Let your light shine in us
that we may be beacons of justice
and bearers of hope.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

Hymn – Thou whose almighty word

Blessing

May God
who clothes the lilies and feeds the birds of the sky,
who leads the lambs to pasture and the deer to water,
who multiplied loaves and fishes and changed water into wine,
lead us, feed us, multiply us,
and change us to reflect the glory of our Creator
now and through all eternity;
and the blessing …

The Dismissal

Go in the light and peace of Christ.
Thanks be to God

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.

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