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               St Clement Church Community Sunday Service 24.7.22

 

Good morning to you all as we celebrate our 6th Sunday of Trinity service.  This Service of the Word is for you to read at home if you’re unable to attend St Clement in person on Sunday.

I hope you’ve been able to keep cool during this unprecedented hot weather!

Much love and may Christ’s love sustain you always. 

Rev Di and family xx

 

 

Let us pray;

Creator God, you made us all in your image: may we discern you in all that we see, and serve you in all that we do: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 

Hymn: O praise ye the Lord’


 

Our prayers of Penitence

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.

 

Let us confess our failures truly to serve God and our neighbour:

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.

 

May Almighty God have mercy upon us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 

Let us pray our Collect for the 6th Sunday after Trinity

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 our Lord.  Amen.

 

 

Readings:

Genesis 18. 20-32

Colossians 2. 6-15 (16-19)

 

Hymn; Angel voices ever singing’
 

Gospel: Luke 11. 1-13

(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke. 

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’)

 

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.

 

And forgive us our sins,

for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.’

And he said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.” 

And he answers from within, “Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.” 

I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.

‘So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 

Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

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

 

Reflection

There’s no getting away from the fact that we live in an age of communication, with ways to contact each other that were totally unimaginable 50 years ago, and the youngsters of this generation will no doubt see, in their lifetimes, even more developments that are only just dreamt of now.

I must admit, I’ve definitely been left behind in the world of technology, not only with mobiles, but ipads, tablets, twitter, and facebook, so much so, that I have to rely on my grandson to keep me up to date nowadays.

And the Covid pandemic has certainly brought technology to the fore hasn’t it, Zoom meetings are now an accepted part of life, even church life.  Our house rabbit Wilson is famous for joining in with Zoom meetings, and just as famous for ending them by biting through the camera cable…….   

But all these different methods of communication available to us, bring an increase in attempts at communication with us, and I say "attempts," because many of them are unsuccessful.

For instance, spam emails, and I don’t mean the tinned meat variety!

Our phone answering machines playing back unwanted messages; and may even be recorded announcements recorded yet again.

As well as all those nuisance calls attempting to hack into our bank accounts to be avoided, though if you’d like to know how to deal with calls from Mumbai then just ask Ken……..

And then, there are times when we're the ones who want to communicate, we send an email or text and no response comes, we leave a phone message, and it gets lost. Or the person we're trying to contact is; "in a meeting," or "away from their desk," or "on another line."

Or what about when we’re sitting in a restaurant ready to order, and start to wonder whether the waiting staff have been kidnaped and it's up to us to pay the ransom.

And, added to all this, is that communication can often turn out to be a lost cause, due to how we’re feeling at the time.  Any one of us can enter into a communication full of distraction, because of something else going on in our lives at the time, which prevents us from hearing, or responding in ways that the other person will appreciate. 

So, it can look as though sometimes; "human communication" is a contradiction in terms.

But the problem is, we often assume communication with God, traditionally called prayer, is beset with the same problems.

Perhaps we imagine God as a stressed Company Director who returns from lunch to a desk covered with pink slips entitled; ‘WHILE YOU WERE OUT’, and that on one of them he notices our name as the person to call back, but only snorts to himself, crumples the paper, and throws it away.  You know, like something from that ‘Bruce Almighty’ film if you’ve seen it.

Well, today's Gospel reading reminds us that communication with God isn’t like that, and that the responsibility to keep in touch rests, not with God, but with us.

Jesus tells a story about a neighbour that I’ll call; "The Midnight Nuisance." Remember that back in those days, nobody had electricity, so no email, T.V. or mobile phones, can you imagine that folks!

So, in those times, when it night fell, most people went to bed, because it became dark indeed, and they rose at first light.

Moreover, when people made bread, they only made enough for that day because there was no way of preserving it and it went stale very quickly.  When Jesus mentions "our daily bread" in the prayer he taught his disciples, he meant daily, and they’d understand that.

So what would happen when a guest arrived on our doorstep late in the day and a sacred obligation was felt to practice hospitality, but the bread baked that morning was all gone?

Well, we might go over to a neighbour’s house, it was a culture that practiced solidarity, and the neighbour might feel as obliged to provide our guest with something to eat as we do.

On the other hand however, maybe this neighbour is already in bed, he might have several small children, and they've finally fallen asleep. He doesn't want to get up and wake them when you call.

Will he answer the door?

Well, Jesus says he will.  Perhaps he does this out of a sense of duty, or maybe just to get you to go away and leave them in peace, hoping he can get back into bed without waking everyone up.

In any case, he puts the bread he has left over into your hands, enough to feed your guest. You tell him; "Thanks!" and then return home through the blackness of the night.

I think Jesus offers this story to give us hope. If people will get out of bed to help in a situation like that, ordinary, tired people, risking waking their children, then shouldn’t we think that God, whose mercy endures forever, may be as approachable by those who pray to him?

That those who search for his house through the darkness, who knock on his door in need, will have that door opened for them, and have thrust into their hands something far more than a few crusts of bread?

Because our God is more generous than we are, even when we’re at our very best.

And Jesus knows how anything this gracious is difficult for our small minds and tough hearts to accept, so as the gospel reading continues, he makes the point again in different terms.

He recognises that most parents at least try to be good ones, even if they sometimes fail.

For instance, if children in our care ask for fish fingers for tea, we don't throw a live snake at them, do we?   Or if they ask for a hard-boiled egg as a snack, not that I could imagine that happening in my household, we wouldn’t hand them a scorpion.

So, when it comes to caring for the children in our families, we don't act like numpties, so why should we suppose that when it comes to his children, God would act like a numpty either?

The Lord God of heaven and earth doesn’t crumple and throw away the WHILE YOU WERE OUT slip that's marked with our name. No, far from it.

But, it might be a lot easier if he did, then we might regard ourselves as off the hook regarding prayer, our communication with God.

We may be out to lunch, but God is always waiting by the phone.

As one prayer puts it, the Lord is; "always more ready to hear than we to pray," and, the Lord is ready to give us; "more than we either desire or deserve."

The language of prayer that tells us God has neither a distracted mind nor a small heart.

And Jesus ends today's Gospel with an attack on tunnel vision. Often what we ask of God is too small, for instance, we ask for what might be a part of our lives, rather than our life itself.

Jesus promises that the heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him, what bigger gift can we ask for? What bigger gift can we be given?

It’s astounding to realise that God gives his own self away in response to our prayers, our communication with him, even though at times we may forget to honour and reflect that generosity.

May our receiving and our giving always be abundant, for all of it comes from God. Amen.

 

 

Affirmation of our faith

Let us declare our faith in God:

We believe and trust in God the Father, source of all being and life, the one for whom we exist.  We believe and trust in God the Son, who took our human nature, died for us and rose again. 

We believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God and makes Christ known in the world. 

This is the faith of the Church. This is our faith. We believe and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

 

Hymn; Alleluia, sing to Jesus’


 

Our Intercessions this week are written by Daphne Hawkins 

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ let us pray to the Father.

Merciful Father, we pray for your presence as we gather here in our spiritual home, asking that you will unite us with all who are with us in spirit from their homes wherever they may be. This time is special to so many.

We bring before you the Holy Church of Christ, Archbishop Justin, our Bishops Philip and Hugh; we pray you will be with them, give them strength and vision in our world of challenge and change. We pray for our own Reverend Diane and her loyal family. We thank you for her love and commitment to our church and our community.

Lord, in your mercy Hear our prayer

 

Merciful Father, at this time of conflict, hatred, violence and warfare we pray for all world leaders and international organisations which serve peace and understanding, that they may be strong in helping to settle differences fairly with respect for the rights of all nations and with an end to the evils of war.

We pray that political leaders will negotiate peace and may learn to trust again. We pray that the super powers may be aware of the value and responsibility they hold. We pray for peace in our world where there could be so much beauty, love, kindness and peace.

Lord, in your mercy Hear our prayer

 

We pray for our own government torn apart by hatred, bitterness and revenge. May our leaders come together to resume positive planning to ensure that families, especially children, come out of homelessness, poverty, hunger and despair.

We have experienced unprecedented situations. May we all work together to go forward. Lord, we need your guidance to face the future with hope, prayer and understanding.

Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer

 

Lord, we pray for our community, for all who come to rest and relax and share the beauty of our countryside and sea shore. May we share our gifts with patience and enjoy the summer sunshine and gifts around us.

Dear Lord, we bring to you all who suffer in body, mind or spirit and especially pray for those unknown to us and those who seem to be alone, no one to love, care or even say a prayer for them.

We remember Reverend Diane and Ken, Margaret, Terry and Dot, Sally, Gavin, Paul and Jan, Stephen, Lyn, Maureen, Brian, Felicity and Ted.

Dear Lord, please give to all in trouble and affliction, comfort, courage, peace and hope, knowing they are never alone. You are always there.

Lord, in your mercy Hear our prayer

 

Welcome, Lord, into your calm and peaceful kingdom all out of their earthly journey who have departed to be with you. Grant them rest and peace. We remember those who have gone before, those we love but see no more. We pray they are with you in eternal rest.

Lord, in your mercy Hear our prayer

 

O God, help us to live one day at a time; not to be thinking about what might have been; not to be worrying about what may be. Help us to accept the fact that we cannot undo the past and we cannot foresee the future. Help us to remember that we will be never tried beyond what we can bear; that a father’s hand will never cause his child a needless tear, that we can never drift beyond your love and care.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of St Andrew, St Clement and the Blessed Virgin Mary, we commend ourselves and the whole creation to your unfailing love.

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

 

Gathering our prayers and praises into one, let us pray with confidence as Jesus 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.

 

Hymn; Lead us heavenly Father, lead us.

 

 

The Peace

We are the body of Christ.  In the one Spirit we were all baptised into one body.  Let us then pursue all that makes for peace and build up our common life.  May the peace of God be always with us.  Amen.

Blessing

May God the Holy Trinity make us strong in faith and love, defend us on every side and guide us in truth and peace.  And may the presence of God watch over us, the power of God protect us, those whom we love, and may we never forget that wherever we are, God is with us always, to the end of the age.  Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Page last updated: 21st July 2022 7:05 AM