Sunday, 21st June

Together in Prayer

Second 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 10:26-39

“So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light;and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

“Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven. “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

Thought for the week

I’ve just finished another zoom call, this time with other curates for some training on ‘discipleship.’ It’s been a good time and raised some fascinating questions.

We tend to think of discipleship in two different ways. Either personally, about whether we feel we are ‘a good Christian’ (whatever that may mean?!), or we may think of making disciples, of spreading the good news and evangelism.

I wonder what you think about when you think of discipleship? When you think of your faith, do you think of yourself as a disciple of Jesus? I wonder, if someone asked you why you are a Christian, how would you respond?

The training with this focus is quite timely. Our gospel reading this week is set in the context of Jesus sending out the twelve disciples, to take the good news of God’s kingdom to nearby towns and villages. Nigel spoke last week about being sent as workers in the harvest and being equipped for the task. But our reading today takes the challenge of that vocation much further and makes some shocking claims.

There is the uncomfortable challenge to family loyalties and the even more unsettling consequences to disowning Jesus.

It’s clear – following Jesus is not going to be easy.

What would be easy, is to read these words with a tone that could make us feel a little unnerved. But the central theme here is loving God above all else, about living for him above all else, and Jesus is letting his friends know what’s at stake. Being a Christian is not simply about being a good person, and it’s not restricted to faithfulness to one’s family, being a Christian is about a relationship with Jesus that affects our whole life. It’s where the love of God impacts every aspect of our being and doing.

To help us understand this, it’s important to know that God is not only a divine judge, but a loving Father, who – because he so loved the world – gave up on his own family ties for the sake of that love. He gave his Son for you. His Son was judged for on our behalf.

I had been attending church for many years before this became clear to me, that God’s love is not a general love, but it’s specific, it’s personal. It’s for me, and it’s for you – the whole of you.

Enjoying and growing in this love is the beginning, middle and end of discipleship. It helps us live the way we were meant to live. It helps us know that God calls each one of us, and gives us gifts to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others – to spread not only the message, but the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:16-20). Yes, this means a radical change in life’s priorities, but that is what love does best, God’s love enables us to be what he has called us to be.

Brother Lawrence, a Carmelite monk who lived in 1600’s, made a choice one day to do nothing else in his life except to love God. From then on, everything he did he did for the love of God, whether it was repairing shoes, doing the washing up, or attending prayers. In each task of every day, he found a way to do it for the love of God.

I find that an inspiring way to think of discipleship. I wonder how that might inspire you? What might that look like for you in the week ahead?

Collect for the Second Sunday after Trinity

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.

Intercessions

Lord, you love us, and have called us

to be your children and to serve you,

you call us to heal

you call us to love others

you call us to stand with the oppressed,

Anoint us and enable us through your Holy Spirit

to be the people you long us to be,

that your church throughout the world

may express your kingdom on earth,

Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer

 

Your love, O Lord, knows no bounds,

We pray for justice, peace and reconciliation

We remember and pray for those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic,

We pray against racism in all its forms, and turn to you

to be remade anew,

we pray for change in structures, systems, and hearts,

we pray for forgiveness,

that we may see as you see,

and honour your image in every person.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer

 

Heavenly Father, we draw near to you,

in faith that you draw near to us.

Thank you that you hear the cry of our hearts,

We lift to you our communities,

our neighbours, friends,

local businesses and schools.

We ask for your blessing upon us,

We ask that your good news

Will transform hearts and lives.

Fill us and send us with your good news

That your kingdom will come on earth.

Come, Holy Spirit, and pour upon us

Your abundant love,

Make us aware of your presence

in each day of this coming week.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

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