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St Clement Church Community Sunday Service

 

Good morning

Welcome to our morning service on this the first Sunday in August. Where has this year gone?

Today’s service, apart from telling us that God will give us his kingdom and that we should sell all our possessions and give to the poor, is about being alert and waiting. I certainly do a lot of the latter but, I’m not so sure about being alert – what about you?

Love

Liz x

 

Heavenly Father, please help us to find fulfilment in your presence. Help us to live in such a way that our actions serve as a reflection of your grace and mercy. Teach us to seek first your Kingdom in a life that brings glory to your name. Amen

 

Hymn: 333 All my hope on God is founded

 

Prayer of Penitence

Almighty and most merciful Father, we have wandered and strayed from your ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against your holy laws. We have left undone those things that we ought to have done; and we have done those things that we ought not to have done; and there is no health in us. But you, O Lord, have mercy upon us sinners. Spare those who confess their faults. Restore those who are penitent, according to your promises declared to mankind in Jesus Christ our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, that we may live a disciplined, righteous and godly life, to the glory of your holy name. Amen

 

Collect Eighth Sunday after Trinity

Almighty Lord and Everlasting God, we beseech you to direct, sanctify and govern both our hearts and bodies in the ways of your laws and the works of your commandments; that through your most mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now, and for ever.

 

Readings

Genesis 15. 1 – 6

Hebrews 11. 1 – 3, 8 – 16

 

Hymn: 368 Guide me O though great redeemer

 

(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke (12. 32 – 40) -                          Response: Glory to you, O Lord)

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell all your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’

Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks.

Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.

But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.’

 

Reflection

Di often jokes at weddings that she’s prepared a two-hour sermon – well, today’s Gospel reading really could give at least a lengthy sermon – ‘Don’t be afraid,’ ‘sell your possessions,’ ‘give to the poor,’ ‘be alert’ – there really are numerous ideas that could be followed. But, I’m going to look at ‘waiting.’

Waiting is a reality of life. How often do you find yourself having to wait … for a delivery, for a checkout, for a bus, for someone to show up, for something to happen, for things to change? I suspect that waiting is a major part of all our lives and I also suspect that most of us don’t like waiting. We become impatient, even angry, waiting for the doctor or the waiter who is slow and inattentive. Look how we behave when a drinks machine is slow to deliver or a lift is slow to begin to move. Lots of buttons are being pushed – the machine’s and ours.

Certainly, children don’t like waiting. Birthdays, Christmas, summer holidays, being old enough to …it seems so long to have to wait Remember those car journeys – you’ve barely left your neighbourhood and the children are asking, ‘Are we there yet?’

Adults spend their lives waiting for: just the right job, that special someone, a promotion, retirement. Some people wait for the diagnosis, others for the cure; some wait for the day the pain will stop and the grief will end. Others wait for the answer to their prayers. Many of us wait for the day when we have enough time, enough money, enough freedom and the day we will live happily-ever-after.

Let’s face it, waiting at some level occurs every day. We each of us could name the things or people for which we wait. Indeed, sometimes we live with an overwhelming feeling of waiting but have no idea what we are actually waiting for!

Everyone, everywhere, throughout time waits. Jesus doesn’t eliminate waiting. Indeed, it seems as though He encourages it. He tells the crowd, ‘Be like those waiting for their master to return.’ Jesus is telling us to listen for the knock, to watch and to be alert. He’s inviting us to be present to the reality of God in each other, in the world and in ourselves. This is the God who is always present in ordinary circumstances in our lives, even in our waiting.

Sometimes, when times are difficult and we’re waiting and the pressure gets unbearable, we may find ourselves tempted to ask, ‘So where is God in all our waiting?’ But, maybe the better question is ‘Where are we?’

A year ago, isolating at home with Covid and with Martin in ICU at Treliske, I spent each day partly shouting at him to fight and the other half praying that, if he couldn’t come back and take his choirs and do his garden, then would the Good Lord please take him home. One afternoon I received a Facetime call from my elder son – he was in theatre – telling me that he was very sorry but ICU had just called him to say that nothing further could be done and Martin was slipping away. I texted Di and then sat waiting for the final call. It came from my younger son at 6:30pm. Where was God? He rushed through the front door in the guise of Di who threw her arms around me regardless of the fact that I had Covid.

A group of children was asked, ‘Where did you see Jesus today?’ A very surprised and excited child cried out, ‘You mean He was here today?’ Sadly, I suspect it is not only that child who would ask that question.

If we showed our surprise and excitement, Jesus would say, ‘Yes! I was here, I am here and I will be here.

We are told to ‘have our lamps lit.’ Why? Because there is something to see. We need to move out of darkness and come into the light. We need to see what is right in front of us, what is all around us and what is within us because the Father wants us to have the kingdom.

We’re also told to be alert! This isn’t a threat or punishment, it’s an invitation to be blessed. ‘Blessed are those whom he finds alert.’ Jesus isn’t inviting us to be awake, to be ready and to be watchful. He is calling us to be fully alive and to remain alive. Blessing and life are synonymous in God’s kingdom. It’s as if Jesus is saying to us, ‘Be alert, be blessed and I will come and serve you. I will feed you the bread of life. I will serve you the cup of salvation.

All this, Jesus says, happens at an unexpected hour. Like a thief in the night the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.

So, when is this unexpected hour? When will all this happen? The most unexpected hour may well be the hour spent in a hospital waiting room; the hour sitting next to the phone waiting for news of a loved one; the hour praying for a miracle; the hour in which we wait for clarity and a way forward; the hour waiting for the grief to end and life to return to normal; the hour in which it seems that nothing is happening, life is not the way we want, and there is nowhere to go

Or maybe, the unexpected hour is today, right here, right now.

Amen

 

Affirmation of our faith

We believe in God the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son who lives in our hearts through faith and fills us with His love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit who strengthens us with power from on high.

We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Hymn: 285 For the beauty of the earth

Intercessions

Everlasting God, we give you thanks for this new day and as we gather here to worship you, we pray that we may be so filled with joy through our belief in you that our hearts overflow with love for you and for all we meet along our journey.

Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

Holy God, give your wisdom and heavenly grace to all bishops, priests and deacons, especially to our bishops, Philip and Hugh, our greatly loved priest, Diane and to all others who hold office in your church, that, by their service, faith may abound and your kingdom increase.

Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

Creator God, in this uncertain time as the war between Russia and Ukraine continues and unrest grows between China and Taiwan, drive away despair from our politics, revive our dreams of justice and truth, restore our passion for what is good and right and give to our leaders wisdom and sensitivity to work for unity and the common good so that our children and grandchildren may enjoy the kind of European peace which our generation has known.

Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

Father God, we pray that, in our communities, all will be welcome and accepted regardless of nationality, colour or status and that we will seek always to serve you in one another.

Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

Loving God, we pray that all those who seek healing of body, mind or spirit will be touched by the loving hand of God and know his peace and his presence alongside them each and every step of their journey. We especially remember Ken and Diane, Terry and Dot, Daphne and Dave, Barrie and Sandra, Ollie, Margaret, Brian, Paul and Jan, those known to each of us and those who have no one to pray for them.

Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

Gracious God and Lord of Life, look in mercy on the departed that they may see your salvation and find their peace and final rest in you.

Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, hear these prayers we offer you in His name. By the power of your Holy Spirit work within us and among us to bring your kingdom’s values into this world. Let your will be done so that all people may live only for your praise and glory.

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. 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.

 

We can’t wait by Catherine Pulsifer

We can’t wait to grow up                                                                                                                            and do different stuff.                                                                                                                                  We can’t wait to finish school                                                                                                                     Oh we think that will be cool!                                                                                                                     We get a job, then we can’t wait until Friday                                                                                         Weekends are great, our job is just okay.                                                                                                  We can’t wait to marry                                                                                                                                  Then we will be happy.                                                                                                                                But wait, now we can’t wait to have children                                                                                          Having a family is a given.                                                                                                                          We can’t wait until we retire                                                                                                                      Then we will be inspired.

But the waiting becomes wishing                                                                                                            wishing our life away, not really living.                                                                                                    Enjoy the moment, the current time                                                                                                             as once it’s gone, you never get back your prime.                                                                                 Don’t wait until tomorrow, enjoy it today                                                                                                                                     Before you know it, you will be older and grey.                                                                                        And you will regret wishing your life away.                                                                                                     So, don’t wait;                                                                                                                                                     Today, life is great.

Hymn: Onward Christian soldiers

The Peace

Jesus says to His disciples, ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled or afraid.’

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

 

Blessing

May the strength of God sustain us; may the power of God preserve us; may the hands of God protect us; may the way of God direct us; may the love of God go with us this day and forever. Amen


Page last updated: 5th August 2022 6:15 PM