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               St Clement Church Community Sunday Service

 

Good morning to you all as we celebrate our Sunday service, whether in your own home or our church building.  

As things stand at the moment, our services in church will be the same as our Sunday community service as emailed round to everyone, so please bring your copy with you if attending.

A ‘safe’ Eucharist service is currently feasible for most churches, during which those present would receive Communion in one kind (no Wine!)

Would you please send me an email if this is something you would like, perhaps for now on a monthly basis, or whether you prefer the service as it stands for the time being.

Please rest assured that surfaces will be cleaned each Sunday morning before our worship and hand sanitiser is available for your use as you enter and leave the building.

Please continue to keep yourselves safe when you go out and about, and don’t forget your masks when shopping!

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

Rev Di and family xx

 

 

Let us pray;

Faithful Lord, whose steadfast love never ceases and whose mercies never come to an end: grant us the grace to trust you and to receive the gifts of your love, new every morning, in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 

Our prayers of Penitence

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

 

When we are quick to criticize others, but slow to praise them…

Lord, have mercy.

When we bear grudges, and find it hard to forgive…

Christ, have mercy.

When we let evil go unchallenged, and are afraid to speak the truth…. Lord, have mercy.

When we do not trust in God’s unfailing love…

Christ, have mercy

 

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

 

 

Let us pray our Collect for the 7th Sunday after Trinity

Generous God, you give us gifts and make them grow: though our faith is as small as a mustard seed, make it grow to your glory and the flourishing of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.  

                                                                                           

Our Reading is taken from the Gospel of Matthew (13. 31-33, 44-52) Jesus put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’

He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’

‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. 

So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

‘Have you understood all this?’ They answered, ‘Yes.’ And he said to them, ‘Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’

 

Reflection    

I’ve preached quite a few sermons since my ordination ten years ago, during which I’ve probably inflicted many hours of suffering on you good people!

But even if I had all that time available again, I still wouldn’t be able to bring out all the wealth of meaning in the reading we’ve just heard from Matthew’s gospel, but I am going to try and touch on what Jesus said about the kingdom of heaven….

Matthew tells us that Jesus tried to give people some idea of the kingdom of Heaven by using seven different images. Over the last two weeks we’ve heard the parable of the sower, and the weeds in the wheat, and today we hear five more images of what the kingdom is like.

A Sunday school teacher was once talking about this with her class. She wanted to find out if the children understood the idea of getting into heaven by believing in Jesus.

She asked them: “If I had a big car boot sale and sold all my belongings, and then sold my house and car and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into heaven?” All the children shouted “No!”

“If I cleaned the church every day and looked after the flowers, would that get me into heaven?” Again, the answer was “No!”

“So how can I get into heaven?” she asked them. A six-year old boy shouted out, “Please, miss, you’ve got to be dead!”

Understandable for a six-year old maybe, but it’s also the idea that many adults have about heaven – it’s a place we go to when we die, as long as we’ve been good.

Within the limits of our language we think of heaven as somewhere where God rules supreme, where there’s no sin or evil, where we’ll have perfect peace.  But it’s not ‘somewhere else’ – it starts here on earth and we can be part of it now.

It’s true that just before his death Jesus promised that he was going ahead to prepare a place for his followers, but that doesn’t mean we only get to know heaven after we die.

Before Jesus came, Jewish people believed the kingdom of God would be an earthly kingdom – one where they, as God’s chosen people would rule, instead of being oppressed by the Romans.

But Jesus gives us a different, new idea, of heaven, we only have to think of the prayer Jesus taught us; the Lord’s Prayer – “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” – it’s a prayer that God’s kingdom will come on earth.

We might already have experienced a bit of that kingdom, perhaps in the relief we have when we can give our troubles to Jesus in prayer; the peace and calm that he can bring in times of distress. Some people talk of somehow being lifted onto a higher plane, a higher level of feeling.

The five images in today’s gospel tell us about different aspects of heaven. The mustard seed tells of growth, from tiny beginnings to worldwide coverage – the word being passed on from one person to another.

The yeast speaks of the transforming power of Christ in the world, through the people of the world.

The treasure in the field represents the great value of the kingdom of heaven, precious beyond words, so valuable that we should be eager to make the greatest sacrifice to be part of it.

The pearl is very similar, a thing of great value, but notice there’s a difference with this image – Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is like the merchant – the kingdom is within the man himself as he recognises that valuable thing.

What is it that these four images tell us about God’s kingdom? They tell us that although heaven is a realm beyond our earthly understanding of space and time, it can also be within us.

In the 1980s there was a pop song called; ‘Heaven is a place on earth’ sung by Belinda Carlisle. Well, it’s not one place, and it’s maybe not in the way she meant, but if heaven is a place on earth, it’s within us.

And when we discover that treasure and take it to heart, it transforms us. We become the kingdom.

But we have a choice whether we take it to heart or not, and that’s what the final image is about. It’s about a great net thrown into the sea that brings in fish of many kinds. In due course they are sorted out, the good from the bad. At one level it means that those who turn their backs on God will be eventually judged, and until then we have to live in a world with evil people.

But it also means that those who have sought God’s kingdom will finally experience the full revelation of God’s glory.

So in other words, never mind trying to get yourself into heaven – try to get heaven into yourself.   And as we nurture the kingdom within us, we discover that good and bad are interwoven, like the wheat and the weeds. It’s not always clear how we should cope with this – sometimes we have to make very difficult decisions, sometimes we just have to be patient, but in the end all will be well.

For as St Paul says; neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  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

Let us pray:

Jesus, the teacher, enables the ordinary, unlearned people to understand God’s wisdom – the eternal laws of his Father’s Kingdom.

May the Spirit pray through us as we try to put into words the longings of our hearts for the Church and for the world.

 

Father we thank you for all who have helped us to pray and to grasp something of your great love and power. We ask your blessing and empowering for all who teach and minister in your name; we ask for our Sunday worship, whether we are worshipping at home or in Church, to be an overflowing of our daily walk with you, an expression of our deepening love.

 

We pray for our church leaders, for Archbishop Justin, Bishop Philip and Suffragan Bishop Hugh. And we ask God’s blessing on Revd Di and all her family.

 

Father, we thank you for the advances of medical knowledge and pray that all the hard work which has been going on to make a safe and successful Covid vaccine will come to fruition very soon, enabling us to mix freely with our love ones, friends and all in our community again.

We pray for those whose lives are affected by any type illness or disability. Dear Lord, please give them comfort and reassurance, healing, wholeness and peace.

 

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. We pray for the grace to forgive, and for the healing of body, mind and spirit.

 

Lord, help and guide all who help make our communities a safer place, especially with the holiday season getting back to a new kind of normal here in Cornwall. We ask God’s blessing on all who visit our county and pray that visitors will appreciate our beautiful county and treat our environment with respect, as we hope local people will as well.

 

We pray for our Queen and all members of the royal family, be with them, Lord, as they carry out their duties.

 

Father, we call to mind all those we have known and loved who lived among us and now have died. We pray for all who made that journey unnoticed and alone.  We ask that they may all know your mercy and the everlasting peace and joy of heaven.

 

Father, we thank you for your wisdom and truth, your understanding and generosity. We acknowledge our total dependence on you, and praise you for providing us with all we need.

 

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.

 

 

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: 23rd July 2020 1:31 PM