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               St Clement Church Community Sunday Service 10.7.22

 

Good morning to you as we celebrate our 4th Sunday of Trinity Service.

We’re holding a Eucharist in our church building at 10.15, this Service of the Word is for those who aren’t able to be with us in person, but will be worshipping with us in spirit. 

Sending love and prayers and may Christ’s love sustain you always. 

Rev Di and family xx

 

Let us pray;

Eternal God, comforter of the afflicted and healer of the broken, teach us the ways of gentleness and peace, that all the world may acknowledge the kingdom of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Hymn; ‘O Worship the King’

 

Our prayers of Penitence

In a moment of quiet reflection, we lay aside all pretence towards God and bring our fears and failings to the risen Christ:

 

Jesus, Emmanuel, God-with-us, forgive our unwelcoming hearts.. 

Lord, have mercy.

Jesus, Son of God, Servant of humanity, forgive our self-centred lives..

Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, Prince of Peace, Hope of the nations, forgive our bitter conflicts..

Lord, have mercy.

 

May Almighty God, who sent his Son into the world to save fallen humanity, bring us his pardon and peace, now and for ever. Amen.

 

Let us pray our Collect for the 4th Sunday after Trinity

Gracious Father, by the obedience of Jesus you brought salvation to our wayward world: draw us into harmony with your will, that we may find all things restored in him, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Readings:

Deuteronomy 30. 9-14

Colossians 1. 1-14

 

Hymn; ‘Father hear the Prayer we Offer.

 

Gospel: Luke 10. 25-37

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

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’)

 

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’

But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’

Reflection  

I remember when training for ordination, having to study work by the theologian Karl Barth.  I was in the library at Trinity College with my friend Jane, and she was reading a book by him that must have weighed at least ten pounds, and if any of you have read his work, I think you’ll agree, it’s an acquired taste.

I’d already lost the plot at the earlier lecture, but all I can say is that Jane was a more dedicated student than I, or she had a greater appreciation of Barth than I did, because she was engrossed in the book for over three hours.  

She kept reading and rereading a chapter, but, she just couldn't get the gist of it.  So she kept biting her fingernails and drinking more black coffee until finally - on about the fifth time through - she got it; she really got it.  

Her hours of intensive study had finally paid off, and I was astonished when she left the library at a remarkable pace, ran outside into the college grounds and screamed.

After her screaming fit, no doubt brought about by some sense of joy at having finally figured out the mind of Barth, not to mention too much caffeine, she told me she was surprised that her surroundings had not changed because of her newfound understanding.  

The trees were right where they had always been, the buildings looked exactly like they had before, and she was disappointed, the world around her had not benefitted from her newfound knowledge.  Then it suddenly struck her, unless she did something with all her hours of study, it would be worthless.

I would think it would compare with a medical student finally understanding the complex workings of the human body, and realising all that knowledge would be worthless if he or she didn’t apply it.

And it's true in church.  Each Sunday morning when I or Liz stand here and deliver a sermon, we’re giving up what we’ve laboured over all week.  

We speak to you the words that for the past several days have been forming in our heart and mind, we share with you our latest thoughts on the scriptures, and then we all leave and on our way home go past people walking their dogs or shopping or generally are just out and about.

 In other words, like Jane’s experience, the trees are right where they were an hour before, and the buildings look exactly the same.

Any sermon, - even the very best sermon - is still just a combination of words and nothing more.  And the world outside these four walls doesn't give a hoot about any of them, walking the dog or deciding what to buy for lunch takes precedent.

Why?  Maybe it's because the outside world knows that it's not words that get things done. Unless words are turned into action, they are meaningless, and I think that’s how Jesus looked at it too.

By the time we get to the encounter between Jesus and the lawyer, Jesus has decided there's been enough talk, it's time to do.  He has "set his face" towards Jerusalem and is determined to embody his words by action.

Because there comes that time when words no longer get the job done, there's nothing more to understand, there’s nothing more to say. It's time to do.

Jesus has come to that point in his life and ministry, and it’s as he makes his way to Jerusalem that the lawyer asks him the question.  "What must I do to inherit eternal life?"  

"What is written in the law?" Jesus replies.  "What do you read there?”

 "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself." says the lawyer.

"You have given the right answer," Jesus says to him.  And then, he says these pivotal words, "Do this, and you will live."  "Do this..."

In other words, don't talk about loving God with all you’ve got, Jesus says, "Just do it."

But the lawyer doesn’t want to ‘do’, he wants to keep on talking.  "And who is my neighbour?"

What he's really saying is, "Let's keep this on an intellectual level.  Let's stay in the library or the classroom or the church building.  I don't want to venture out into the sunlight of the real world.  As long as we can keep on talking and listening, we can pretend there isn't a real world out there in need of the God we’re talking about.  Let's stay here and talk about this."

And that, my friends, is the context for the parable Jesus told... the story of the Good Samaritan.  

But I don't have to go into the story, do I, because you know it so well. Okay, you’ve forced me, I'll do it!  Try this; a man is travelling from Jericho to Jerusalem.  He is accosted by thieves who steal his possessions and leave him for dead.  Two religious types, a priest and a Levite, see him lying in the ditch but they cross over and keep going.  

A Samaritan comes along, takes pity on the man, binds his wounds, takes him to the next village, leaves him with an innkeeper, pays for his medical care, and offers on his return to pay for anything extra.

But then, we knew all that, didn't we?

What we might not have considered though is the reaction of everyone Jesus told the story to, not only the lawyer but also all those standing around.  

They're in shock.  Not the fact that the priest and Levite would refuse to help the man, that doesn't surprise them at all.  There were a number of reasons why they wouldn't... and couldn't.

They had important religious functions to attend, and what if the man were dead?  Touching him would render them unclean.  Unclean, they couldn't take part in anything and would have to quarantine themselves for days on end. Their decision not to get involved would have been completely understood by all those who listened to the story.  

What stuns them is that the hero in the parable is a Samaritan, giving help to a Jew.  I'm sure if Jesus were telling that story today, it might be about a member of the Taliban helping one of our soldiers,  hard to believe, but Jesus' example, when he first told this story, was that extreme.

The Samaritan represents the most unexpected source of mercy.   

So what’s the point of the story?  I think it might just be that God doesn't care where love comes from, God only cares that love is done.

Not studied about, and anything learnt not applied, not talked about, just done. 

There's a time for talking and there's a time for doing, especially when it comes to love. Don't study it, don’t talk about it, just do it.

After all, Jesus wasn't on his way to Jerusalem to conduct a session on Karl Barth.  The last words he spoke to the lawyer were, "Go and do likewise." "Go and do."  And then, that's exactly what Jesus did, all the way to the cross.

May he find us willing to do the same, to go and do, to recognise a need in others and fix it, be it by offering encouragement, a listening ear, or a helping hand, just do it.  After all, there comes the point when there's nothing more to say.

Let us pray;

Father, give us the courage, when the time comes, to stop talking about our life of faith and just do it.  May we use Jesus as our example; for it is in his name we ask it.

 Amen.

Hymn; ‘Lord of all Hopefulness’

 

 

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.

 

 

Our Intercessions this week are written by Helen Dunbar

Let us pray for the Church and for the world and let us thank God for his goodness.

 

Lord of all truth and goodness, we pray for those in positions of authority in the Church all over the world and in each gathered community, that in all the storms we may be enabled to hear God’s calming voice and deepen our trust in him. May every congregation be a community of love, and every Christian witness to your grace. Help us to be strong to face the challenges which are ahead and make us a living fellowship as we seek to serve our community.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

Here at St Clement, we ask God to bless our community and all people living in this beautiful place. We pray for all church leaders, for Archbishop Justin, for bishops Phillip and Hugh, and we ask your blessings on our own dear Diane and her family.

 

We pray for all in authority in our troubled world, the continuing war in Ukraine and hardship caused by inflation and many families facing hardship with the increased cost of living here at home. Help us to appreciate what we have and be grateful for the many blessings we enjoy compared with others in less fortunate parts of the world.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

We ask God’s help and love for all people who have suffered abuse, for all who suffer long-term effects of torture, war or disease. For those affected by natural disasters, that they be provided relief, and we think of all those who have suffered terrible flooding in Sydney, Australia. We pray for the grace to forgive, and for the healing of body, mind and spirit.

 

Lord, we pray for all young people and children who have to cope with illness and need help in not only the physical aspects of their treatment, but the emotional hurdles they have to get over on their road to recovery; especially those suffering with cancer and degenerate diseases.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

Lord, be with all those who help make our communities a safer place, police officers, fire fighters, our local and national leaders. We pray for all in government making difficult decisions that will have a great impact on our future. We pray for our Queen and all members of the royal family, be with them, Lord, as they carry out their duties.

 

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

As the summer holidays approach, we ask God’s blessing on all children, teachers, teaching assistants and carers, as they and their families embark on their summer holiday, that they may return to school in a few weeks time refreshed and ready to start a new school year.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind or spirit, give them hope in their troubles and bring them the joy of your salvation, we remember Ken and Diane, Daphne and Dave, Terry and Dot, Barrie and Sandra, Jenny, Ollie, Margaret, Brian, Gavin, Stephen, Lyn, and Paul and Jan.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

We pray for the recently departed: for Sarah, whose funeral took place on Friday and we ask for your love and blessings on her grieving family.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

Hymn; ‘He Who Would Valiant Be’

 

 

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: 7th July 2022 1:53 PM