4.10.20 Printable services to use at Church or home

                                

                                        

        

 

               St Clement Church Community Sunday Service

 

Good morning everyone and ‘WELCOME’ to our Sunday service, whether you are following it in your own home or our church building.  

The Vicar is on duty with the Royal Navy at Culdrose this week so I have the privilege of taking this week’s service.

Autumn has well and truly set in but nature is thoroughly confused – well, it is in our garden. One shrub has berries on it from the flowers that bloomed in the spring but it also has another, magnificent, set of flowers. Even more strange, are the primroses – yes – primroses that are blooming and very happily! I don’t ever remember seeing primroses in September – well, not until now!

Strange times – in so many ways – but don’t forget, Covid IS still with us, and increasing, so please take care. No one is immune. We are all at risk, so please ensure that you take all the necessary precautions even though we’re fed up with all the restrictions and want life to get back to normal – whatever that is … I think I’ve forgotten - it was so long ago!

Stay safe and God Bless.

With Love to you all,

Liz xx

 

Let us pray;

Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image: teach us to discern your hand and in all your works and your likeness in all your children; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 

Our prayers of Penitence

As we celebrate the grace and goodness of God, we remember our failings and weaknesses:

 

When we have lived by our own strength, and not by the power of your resurrection.   In your mercy, forgive us and help us.

 

When we have lived by the light of our own eyes, as faithless and not believing.         In your mercy, forgive us and help us.

 

When we have lived for this earthly life alone, and doubted our home in heaven.        In your mercy, forgive us and help us.

 

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

 

Let us pray our Collect for the 17th Sunday after Trinity

Almighty God, You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in You: pour Your love into our hearts and draw us to Yourself, and so bring us at last to Your heavenly city where we shall see You face to face; through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

                                                                                           

Our Reading is taken from the Gospel of Matthew (21. 33-46)

(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.  Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’)

 

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: ‘Listen to another parable There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watch tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way.                                                                                                Finally, he sent his son to them, saying, “They will respect my son.” But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.”                                                                                                                                                      So, they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.                                                                                                                                     Now, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’                                                                                                        They said to him, ‘He will put the wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.’

Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read the scriptures: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes?”                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Therefore, I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.’

When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them.                                                       They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.

 

(This is the Gospel of the Lord.  Response: ‘Praise to you, O, Christ’)

 

Reflection

 

Over the past few weeks, we have read a number of the parables, stories that Jesus tells to explain important doctrine or moral points.

But, let’s be honest, when Jesus says, ‘Listen to another parable …’ He might just as well say, ‘Get ready for another confrontation between the Pharisees and me.’ For each parable particularly challenges the Pharisees, scribes and chief priests.

 They hear what Jesus says and they realise that He is talking about them.

Jesus is not afraid of having a ‘real go’ at the Pharisees. They see Him breaking the law and healing the sick on the Sabbath; they see him eating with the wrong people; He won’t answer their questions; He calls them hypocrites and blind leaders; He has a seemingly endless list of accusations against them. Not only that, but He is preaching about the kingdom of God and not just preaching, but preaching with authority.

AND, no matter how hard they try to ‘trap’ Him, He escapes their traps.

So, is it that Jesus is just looking for a fight with the Pharisees and He’s looking to highlight all their attitudes and behaviour that He feels are wrong, or is it that He is unwilling to give up on them?

If Jesus willingly confronts the Pharisees to try to draw them back to the kingdom of God, what is it that they are doing that is excluding them from it? Or is it that they are excluding themselves?

Jesus tells so many parables - I wonder, are they just for the ‘powers that be’ or do they have a real relevance for each one of us?

Let’s look at today’s story – in a vineyard. If we see the vineyard as the life that each and everyone of us has been given, and this includes every aspect of it - the people, our work, our church, our daily decisions and choices, our circumstances, our hopes, dreams, fears and all the events in it, then suddenly, this parable does have a direct relevance.

So, the vineyard is our life but what about the ‘fruits’ that we must produce – what are they? Surely, we need to look at Jesus to see how He lived His life – with love, mercy and forgiveness, generosity, compassion, wisdom, truth, healing, reconciliation, joy, thanksgiving, peace, humility – the list is endless – and these should be the fruits we produce in the vineyards of our lives.

Sadly, like the Pharisees, scribes and high priests, we don’t always live our lives as we should and so we exclude ourselves from the kingdom of God.

The vineyard, our work in the vineyard, and the fruit produced, come together to show us to be sharers in God’s kingdom; or not.

If we imagine this parable as a mirror held up in front of us so that we may see and recognise in ourselves what Jesus sees and recognises, then, it is NOT about Jesus condemning us but about Him recovering us from the places of our self-exclusion, a ‘call us back to life,’ and to lead us home.

Jesus doesn’t exclude us, or anyone else from the kingdom of God. He doesn’t have to; we do it by ourselves and we’re pretty good at it. That’s what the Pharisees do. They exclude themselves.

If we are not producing kingdom fruits, we exclude ourselves and reject our share in the kingdom. We live neither as the people God knows us to be nor as the people we truly want to be. In some way we have stepped out of ourselves and sidestepped our life. That’s the truth with which Jesus confronts the Pharisees. It’s the same truth with which Jesus confronts us.

What does self-exclusion look like?

Could it be:

  • Struggling with perfectionism, self - condemnation and whether we’re good enough?
  • Feeling that we have to be in control, be right, have all the answers?
  • Carrying grudges, anger, resentment?
  • Looking at others and making judgements on their belief, choices or lifestyle?
  • Letting go of people in our lives rather than reconciling and healing a relationship?
  • Going through life on auto-pilot, going through the motions but never really being there?
  • There is more critic and cynicism than thanksgiving and celebration?
  • Hanging on to some old guilt that we believe could not be forgiven?

There are so many things and actions that make us step away from sharing in God’s kingdom.

The antidote to our self – exclusion from God’s kingdom begins with first recognising that self – exclusion. That means that we must look at the vineyards of our lives and ask ourselves - how’s my garden growing? What do I see? Is there fruit? Is there life? Am I sharing in God’s kingdom?

God doesn’t give up on us – so we mustn’t give up on ourselves.

In the story Jesus predicts His own death by describing the killing of the vineyard owner’s son. He knows that He will have to die. BUT, He also says that ‘the stone the builders reject will become the cornerstone.’ As the cornerstone is the foundational piece of a building, Jesus explains that by His own death He will found and build the church. The church will, no longer just be for people who always see, say or do the right things and follow the rules. The church will be built by other people, like the disciples … and US!                                 May we take each step forward in FAITH and produce our fruits in the kingdom of 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.

 

Our Intercessions this week are written by Helen Dunbar

 

God does everything possible for our spiritual growth and wellbeing, but still we choose hostility and rejection.

 

Let us pray with complete faith and trust to God who has loved us into being and cherished us all our life.

 

Loving God, guide your Church into ways of spiritual beauty and gracious wisdom. May your word be spoken out with passion and heard with humility and joy. Sustain and feed us so that we bear fruit in abundance. Strengthen us in our daily living and may we know the power of your presence in our daily lives. We thank you for the joy of human love and for all those among whom we live and work.

 

We pray for our loved ones who worry us with their health or circumstances, or life direction. We pray for those among our friends and families who do not know you, or whose faith has been shaken.

 

God does everything possible for our spiritual growth and wellbeing, but still we choose hostility and rejection

Lord of all, give your Church such maturity and wisdom that we may not be swayed from our purpose and calling by trivialities or worldly pressures, but know increasingly our dependence on you in all things and proclaim your Gospel with steadfastness and joy.

 

Lord hear us, Lord graciously hear us.

 

Lord, we thank you for all those who spend their lives trying to make ours better – for those in public service, for all people who commit themselves to charitable works, and for all those who help others to find you.

We pray for our teachers and doctors and all healthcare professionals. We also pray for Archbishop Justin, for Bishop Philip and for Suffragan Bishop Chris, for our own Diane and her family. For our own Church community; we ask your blessing on all we have come into contact with and talked to in the last few days; help us to reach out to all in need of compassion and understanding. We pray for all those coping with stressful situations, whether in the workplace or at home, or in life generally and feeling the world is a dark and dreary place. Dear Lord, surround them with your love in their times of trouble and help them reach a better place.

 

Let us pray for the peace of the world, for statesmen and rulers, that they may have wisdom to know and courage to do what is right. For all who work to improve international relations; that they may find the true way to reconcile people of different race, colour and creed. And for men and women the world over, that they may have justice and freedom and live in security and peace.

 

Lord hear us, Lord graciously hear us.

 

We give thanks for being blessed to live in such a beautiful county, surrounded by the sea; verdant countryside, and wonderful colours of the autumn leaves. We also give thanks for all the animals and birds and not forgetting our pets that give us so much love and happiness.

 

Lord hear us, Lord graciously hear us.

 

Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen. Bless all the royal family and be their light and guide in all they are called to be and do in life. Enfold them in your love now and always.

 

Lord hear us, Lord graciously hear us.

 

Comfort those who suffer in mind, body or spirit. We pray for those known to us, for Father Harold, Nicky, Esther and Janet.

 

We pray for the recently departed – for Rod whose funeral Revd Di took this week and we pray for his partner Charlotte.

 

Lord hear us, Lord graciously hear us.

 

We pray for those whose anniversary falls at this time and we remember Adam Dunbar.

 

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.

 

Almighty God, as we begin another week, deliver our eyes from tears and our feet from stumbling. Walk with us on our journey of faith as we live our lives and touch the lives of others, each and every day.

 

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.

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Page last updated: 2nd October 2020 7:59 AM