Sunday, 14th June

First Sunday after Trinity

Greeting

O Lord, open our lips

And our mouth shall declare you praise!

Blessed are you, creator of all,

to you be praise and glory for ever.

As your dawn renews the face of the earth

bringing light and life to all creation,

may we rejoice in this day you have made;

as we wake refreshed from the depths of sleep,

open our eyes to behold your presence

and strengthen our hands to do your will,

that the world may rejoice and give you praise.

Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Blessed be God for ever.

 

Prayers of Penitence

Loving Father,

with open arms you welcome us home,

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

 

Lord Jesus, by your cross you defeated sin,

forgive us, and mend our hearts,

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

 

Holy Spirit, come,

fill us with your life,

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

 

Receiving God’s Love

May the God of love and power

forgive us and free us from our sins,

heal and strengthen us by his Spirit,

and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Reading: 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.

Thought for the week

Jesus’ message to his disciples in which he tells them that the harvest is plentiful but that the labourers are few is a message which, in our current situation, may resonate with us even if not in the same context that it was meant by Jesus. I am sure most of us will have heard or seen the reports in the news media asking for local help in harvesting the crops which were growing in our fields across the country. Without that help, crops would be ruined leading to a shortage in our shops and, as a consequence, people would not only go hungry, but communities would suffer the longer term financial impact. Thankfully, the response to those calls for assistance resulted in people from all walks of life stepping forward to lend a hand in gathering the crops and so the shops are still able to provide us with the foodstuffs we need. Those cries for help were answered.

 

Of course, the metaphorical message that Jesus was conveying to his disciples then was about the harvesting of a different crop. Jesus and his disciples had been travelling extensively throughout the land, showing compassion, curing illness and diseases, and spreading the brilliant news of God’s new Kingdom. In doing so, they had been sowing the seeds of a new harvest which, like any crop, needed to be nurtured, nourished, and grown further afield in order to feed all who were desperately hungry for the spiritual ‘food’ of the Kingdom of God.

 

Jesus knew that his flock needed more shepherds to tend and care for them so, of course, the obvious choice would have been his disciples. After all, they had accompanied him throughout most of his ministry and had borne witness to all that he had done. Goodness, how must they have felt? Can you imagine how you would have felt when Jesus gave you that power and authority? Think about it for a few moments. When I did it sent a shiver down my spine. On one hand, they must have felt excited that they were being trusted with such a mission and yet, surely, they would have felt a sense of trepidation.

We know that it was a great success. We also know that this would not be the last time that Jesus would send them out to preach, heal and sow the seeds that would grow into the new covenant, the Church of Christ that we know today. Even upon leaving them, he told them that they would do even greater works than he had done (John 14:12), and, of course, that is exactly what happened.

Let us not forget that the power and authority that was at work in the earthly ministry of Jesus and his disciples then is still very much alive with us today. We have seen so many wonderful examples of our Lord at work in our community and across the country over these troubling times. This has shown that the seeds of God’s love and goodness continue to be sown and that there may be some shoots of renewed hope for a new harvest to come in the days ahead. Let us give thanks and praise for that to our Lord.

Amen

 

Intercessions

Lord, be thou a bright flame before me,

be thou a guiding star above me,

be thou a smooth path below me,

be thou a kindly shepherd behind me,

Today, tomorrow, and forever. Amen                                    St Columba 521 – 97

 

Lord God, we thank you for your abiding love and care,

we ask that you rule in our hearts,

that you direct our decisions and guide our actions,

that you let your kingdom grow in us,

that we may live and work to your praise and glory,

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God for ever and ever. Amen

 

Loving Father, we pray that you sustain all who are suffering,

for all who are infected with the Corona virus,

we give our grateful thanks for the dedication and commitment of all the doctors,

nurses, and associated health care workers who have worked tirelessly

within the hospitals, and care homes across the country to help those affected.

We pray for all who have lost their lives in their dedication to helping others.

We ask that you give strength and bring comfort to all families who have lost

loved ones.

 

Open 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.

 

Lord, set your blessing on us

as we begin this day together.

Confirm in us the truth

by which we rightly live;

confront us with the truth

from which we wrongly turn.

We ask not for what we want

but for what you know we need,

as we offer this day and ourselves

for you and to you

through Jesus Christ, our Saviour

Amen