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.
This Sunday we celebrate the Festival of St Luke.
The last few days have brought back the sun which has lifted all our spirits. While we will not be able to celebrate in quite the same way as usual, next Sunday, 25th October we will celebrate ‘Harvest.’ Gifts of goods (in a suitable bag, please) or gifts of money (in an envelope) that can be taken to the Food Bank will be gratefully received.
Even in these difficult times we have much to be thankful for and it is important that we always remember those not as fortunate as ourselves.
Thank you for joining us this Sunday morning.
With love Liz x
Let us pray;
God, our Judge and Saviour, teach us to be open to your truth and to trust in your love, that we may live each day with confidence in the salvation which is given through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our prayers of Penitence
As we join in worship today, let us seek the renewal of our lives in the light of God’s love for us, revealed by Jesus Christ:
Jesus, Saviour of all, who revealed the breadth of God’s love, forgive us when we fail to show care to those who are different….
Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, Son of God, who revealed the depth of God’s love, forgive us when we are too busy to pray, or to seek God’s will….
Christ, have mercy.
Jesus, Son of Man, who revealed the cost of God’s love, forgive us when we have made light of our failings….
Lord, have mercy.
May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our failings, and bring us to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Let us pray our Collect for today
Almighty God, You called Luke the physician, whose praise is in the gospel, to be an evangelist and physician of the soul: by the grace of the Spirit and through the wholesome medicine of the gospel, give your Church the same love and power to heal; 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 forever. Amen.
Our Reading is taken from the Gospel of Luke (10. 1 - 9)
(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.
Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’
The Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go.
He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore, ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!” And if anyone is there who shares in the peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the labourer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.”
(This is the Gospel of the Lord. Response: ‘Praise to you, O, Christ’)
Reflection ( Luke 10 1-9)
Today is St Luke’s Day. Luke wrote the third Gospel sharing the life and teachings of Jesus and he wrote the Acts of the Apostles which told the story of Jesus’ continued ministry through the church that was born at Pentecost.
For all that Luke wrote, we know very little about his life. Paul, in his letter to the Colossians tells us that Luke came from Antioch. We also know that he is a physician. He is also a Gentile, which is surprising that a non-Jew writes so much of the New Testament. The Book of Acts tells us that he travels with St Paul on missionary journeys.
Traditionally, he is said to live to the age of 84 years and dies as a martyr in Achaia.
During his life, Luke gathers eye-witness accounts from those who have been closest to Jesus. He obviously interviews Mary, the mother of Jesus, for no other Gospel contains such precise detail about the birth and early days of our Lord.
As we know, Luke is a physician but God also has in store for him another calling – to be sent out to preach the Gospel. Hence, the Gospel appointed for today, St Luke’s Day, is Luke’s own account of Jesus sending the seventy to go ahead of Him into the places that He has yet to go.
When we think of Jesus’ followers, we tend to think of the twelve apostles, but there are more.
Today’s Gospel reading tells us that Jesus sends out another seventy and this is during His lifetime. It’s a kind of ‘training time’ while Jesus is still with them. Their mission is exactly the same as Jesus’ own ministry – “to cure the sick’ and “say to them, ‘the kingdom of God has come near to you.”
Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem and He will probably travel through many towns and villages that He has never visited before. So, He sends out, in advance, these seventy and they are to go in pairs. We can assume that Jesus does this for safety and so that each has the support of the other. Let’s be honest, if you’re going to do something dangerous or risky, you really need to have somebody with you.
“The harvest is plentiful” is as true today as it was in Jesus’ time.
Interestingly, in questionnaires that ask about religious affiliation today, the ‘nones’ are the fastest growing group. Church attendance is down, especially among young people.
Increasingly, many people come up with their own ideas of what they believe, not willing to follow traditional beliefs or church rites or rituals.
Many people, if asked what their religious beliefs are, would say, “Well, I believe in God but I don’t go to church – it’s not for me.” Probably, they would also say that they believe that we should be kind to each other, but it’s a rather ‘do-it-yourself well – meaning mish-mash of religious views.
As Jesus’ followers, these are many of the people that Jesus is sending US out to, today.
Jesus warns the seventy to expect resistance and rejection, and, it’s the same today. More Christians are being persecuted for their faith today than at any other time in human history, including the Roman persecutions of the first century. If not persecution, we might meet the mish-mash views, or, we may meet indifference in our increasingly secular society.
Jesus’ advice on the mission is to ‘go light.’ The equivalent for us would be, ‘Don’t let stuff get in the way or conflict with your ministry of the Gospel.’ Once you find like-minded people, work with them.
Notice how Jesus only tells His followers what they should do; He doesn’t say anything about measuring their success. If people don’t accept your message, He says, shake their dust off your feet and move on.
In our congregations it’s very difficult to avoid measuring success. We live with membership figures, giving levels, budgets, annual reports and so on. It’s very easy to measure our work by these figures – and that’s how many people will measure our ministry – but that is contrary to Jesus’ instructions.
The ministry and the message we should be bringing is the ministry and message that Jesus brings. What we do and say is about Him and from Him.
He has no hands but our hands to do His work today;
He has no feet but our feet to lead men to His way; He has no voice but our voice to tell men how He died; He has no help but our help to lead men to His side.
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.
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.
St Luke, Saintly Physician, was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write an account for us of the life of Jesus and the beginnings of our Church. In faithfully detailing the humanity of Jesus, he also demonstrated his divinity and his genuine compassion of all human beings.
Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer.
Dear Lord be with us at this difficult time, we face the winter months with a certain amount of trepidation, as the covid virus continues to spread. We pray for those whose lives and livelihoods are affected and ask for your help and guidance. May hospitals be adequately supplied and informed so that they are well able to treat the ill. And may all with symptoms not be afraid to come forward for treatment. Give strength to all doctors and nurses who give everything they have to care for the sick.
We pray for our church family whether they are here in Church or at home this morning. We ask for your blessing on all those in need in our community, the elderly, the housebound and those in care homes, and hospices and for those who with skill and compassion, look after them. 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 Revd Di, our hard working vicar and ask your blessing on her and her family.
We ask that those who govern and advise may seek out God’s will and the good of all in each crisis, dilemma and debate.
We give thanks to all who are seeking ways to preserve our planet and reverse the deterioration of our earth’s precious resources. We think in particular of Prince William and Sir David Attenborough’s Earthshot prize, announced last week. Lord, help us to notice the world around us and appreciate and be reassured and encouraged by the changing seasons and nature reinventing itself.
Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer
Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen. Bless all the royal family and be their light and guide in all that they are called to be and do in life. Enfold them in your love now and always.
Comfort those who suffer in mind, body or spirit. We pray for those known to us, for Nicky, Esther, Charlotte, Sue and Kate.
We pray for the recently departed; for our dear Father Harold, a priest here for many years, who was a wonderful force of love, humour and strength among us, a good friend to all and who will be always remembered with great affection. Our thoughts and prayers go to his loving family.
Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.
To crown all things there must be love, to bind all together and complete the whole. May the peace of Christ always rule in our hearts. Amen.
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 blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among us, those whom we love, and remain with us always.