Sunday 14th June 2020
Opening prayers We’ve come to worship God, who loved us before we were yet born, who knows us even better than we know ourselves, whose presence never leaves us, and whose love for us never ceases.
This is our God.
Let’s worship together!
In you alone we put our hope, God the Father, Creator and Sustainer, who gives all good things seen and unseen.
In you alone we put our hope, God the Son, Saviour and Redeemer, who died for our sins and rose again.
In you alone we put our hope, God the Spirit, Teacher and Comforter, who moves us to sing “Our God reigns!” In you alone we put our hope.
Hymn 1 O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the works thy hand hath made, I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder, thy power throughout the universe displayed:
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee: how great thou art, how great thou art! Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee: how great thou art, how great thou art!
When through the woods and forest glades I wander
and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees; when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur, and hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze:
And when I think that God, his Son not sparing, sent him to die, I scarce can take it in that on the cross, my burden gladly bearing, he bled and died to take away my sin:
When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
and take me home — what joy shall fill my heart; then shall I bow in humble adoration, and there proclaim: my God, how great thou art:
Reading 1: Psalm 116:1-2,12-19
I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live. What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord, I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.
O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your servingmaid.
You have loosed my bonds. I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!
Prayers of confession
Good God, gracious Father, creator of us all, have mercy on us.
O Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, our brother, have mercy on us.
True Spirit, moving over us,
Lord and giver of life, have mercy on us.
Look at our world, broken by sin.
Look at our hearts, broken in grief.
Look at our minds, shaken in confusion.
Have mercy on us.
Forgive our shortsightedness and open our eyes.
Forgive our hate and empower us to love. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Have mercy on us.
On those who are angry, on those who are hurting, on those who are weary, on those who work for peace, on those who protect and serve, on those who suffer loss, on those who are vulnerable, have mercy, Lord.
Give wisdom to those who lead, give patience to those who wait, give healing to those who hurt.
Have mercy, Lord.
Father, from one man you made every nation of humanity,
you make the sun shine and the rain fall on the wicked and the good,
you so loved the world that you gave your only Son, have mercy.
Jesus, you took on human flesh and became the brother of the human race, you suffered great injustice to bear the sin of the world,
you are the tree of life whose leaves bring healing to the nations, have mercy.
Holy Spirit, you moved the apostles to speak the languages of all nations,
you let your Word go out to all people, you call and gather your church from all the world, have mercy.
See our world and our nation. Help the helpless, strengthen the weak, soften the hardened, warm the loveless, cool the angry, cleanse our hearts. Mercy!
Father and maker of all, you let this world stand because you are gracious. Work that same grace within us that we love because you first loved us, that we imitate you as your beloved children, and live our lives in love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus, Savior of all people and lover of all souls, show us what love is yet again by setting your selfless love before our eyes. You welcomed tax collectors and zealots, and taught them all the way of love. When you were dying you forgave those who didn’t know what they were doing. You gave your friends who deserted you your greeting of peace. Empower us to love, forgive, and give us your peace; Jesus Christ our Lord.
Holy Spirit, you caused Scripture to be written that we might learn love that is the fulfillment of the law, and that we might know Jesus and follow him in love. You give the spark of faith and you fan faith into flame. Move us to put our faith and hope to work with an active love, that we listen before speaking, think before acting, and consider the needs of others before our own.
Reading 2: Matthew 9:35 – 10:8 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’ Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.
Psalm 116 is a very public psalm. It became part of the Egyptian Hallel. An act of worship in 516 BCE that remembered the Exile and the return to Israel of the exiles from around the Babylonian Empire. It became part of the liturgy remembering the exile and the return from exile and so you can imagine Jesus and the disciples singing this psalm together in synagogues and at the Temple. In a sense this a psalm that in many ways speaks to our current situation of almost exile in our homes away from each other and our spiritual home of church and when we meet for the first time after lockdown, the words of this particular psalm should be sung or at least read in recognition of all that God has done for us.
Lord I am your servant. That is the sentence of the Psalmist that stands out to me today. ‘Lord, I am your servant.’ The Psalmist’s response is a result of all the Lord has done for him. The whole Psalm is about God has saved the Psalmist from all the horrors that could befall someone and this is the Psalmist’s response. Lord, I am your servant. This begs the question: ‘How do we respond when we come through difficult times. Will our response be one of it’s all over let’s carry on as normal or will it be a greater commitment to seeing God’s work done in our communities and our towns.
We are not quite in the time when we recovenant ourselves to God. We’re not far away but not quite there yet. And yet here we have a reminder that we are who we are because of the Grace of God. We really don’t have a choice but to say ‘Lord I am your servant.’
And make no mistake about it God is calling us to be his servants. I can think of no other time when the need for spiritual, emotional and physical support has been this high. God is calling us to get our hands dirty and help bring in the harvest. Jesus tells his disciples: ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.’ We who have experienced the mercy, love and Grace of God are ebing called to go out into the fields and help bring in the harvest.
What is our mission? It is the same mission Jesus gave the twelve apostles when he sent them out. He said: ‘As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.’ In other words go out and show people that the God we serve is a gracious, loving and merciful God, that has not abandoned us to the darkness. We need to be like Jesus who when he saw the crowds had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. We have experienced the Shepherd. We have experienced his guidance and his support. We like the Psalmist can sing of his goodness. Lets help others experience it as well.
Prayers of intercession God of grace and light,
Found within and out with the structures of humanity, You cannot be contained,
But on occasion choose to dwell in hearts and homes.
Glance lightly upon the hearts and homes dear to us,
The people and places where we seek blessing.
Build up our homes:
Where the happy may find peace;
The sad may find comfort;
The hungry may find food; The weary may find rest.
Build up the places where we work:
Where the honest may find reward;
The dedicated may find delight; The imaginative may find new horizons.
Build up our community:
Where the isolated may find friendship; The marginalised may find welcome; The unloved may find acceptance.
Build up our nation, loving Lord, And bless those entrusted with the care of our society’s fabric.
May they use their skills, their calling, their hard graft
To fashion communities of grace and understanding,
Where generosity of heart and mind and soul May be not only the gilding of our daily life But its very core.
Help us all, this day, to be living stones, and not dead weights,
Dreaming dreams, and living gloriously the joy and kindliness
Of a faith that edifies everything that life should be.
In the Name of our Saviour, our cornerstone,
we pray. Amen
We say together the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples: Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that 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.
Lord, you have my heart, and I will search for yours;
Jesus, take my life and lead me on.
Lord, you have my heart, and I will search for yours; let me be to you a sacrifice.
And I will praise you, Lord. (I will praise you, Lord.) And I will sing of love come down.
(I will sing of love come down.)
And as you show your face, (show your face,) all: we'll see your glory here.
Lord, thank you for revealing your unconditional love to us through your word. Thank you for making it possible for us to share this love today.
As we go about the rest of the day and week, open our eyes that we may see wondrous things in the word that the speaker has shared. Let those who joined with us with broken hearts leave this place when they are revived and restored.
Help us to continue living and walking according to your word and not by what we see. Father help us to turn our eyes away from worthless things so that we can focus on our Lord and Saviour Jesus. We pray this trusting and believing in you, Amen.