This Weeks Services ,Readings and Prayers

August 9th  9th Sunday After Trinity

Prayer for this time

Heavenly Father,
our ever present help in trouble,
our fortress and our God:
calm the anxious fears of all who turn to you;
give strength and healing to those who are sick,
and courage and skill to those who care for them;
grant wisdom and clarity to those in authority;
and humble us all to call upon you,
that we may be saved not only in this life,
but also for that which is to come.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

A Simple Order of Morning Prayer in Ordinary Time

O Lord open our lips,
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

We sing to you, O Lord, and bless your name,
And tell of your salvation from day to day.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Worship the Lord.
All praise to his name.

Silent prayer for the coming day. :

Eternal God,
we praise and thank you for the day
on which you created light
and saw that it was good;
the day on which the disciples
discovered the empty tomb
and met the risen Christ.
This is the day that you have made;
we rejoice and are glad in it.
Blessed be God for ever.

Jubilate Deo (Psalm 100)

The Lord is gracious, his steadfast love is everlasting.

O be joyful in the Lord, all the earth:
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with a song.

Know that the Lord is God:
it is he that has made us and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise:
give thanks to him and bless his name.

For the Lord is gracious; his steadfast love is everlasting:
and his faithfulness endures from generation to generation.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and shall be for ever. Amen.

The Lord is gracious, his steadfast love is everlasting.

Bible Reading

FIRST READING 1 Kings 19.9–18

When Elijah reached Horeb, the mountain of God, he came to a cave, and spent the night there. Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’He answered, ‘I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.’

He said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.’   Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind;  and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.

When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.   Then there came a voice to him that said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’He answered, ‘I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword.   I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.’   Then the LORD said to him, ‘Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram.   Also, you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place.

Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall kill; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall kill. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.’

PSALM 85.8–13

I will listen to what the Lord God is saying, for he is speaking peace to his faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to him.   Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.

Show us your mercy, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.

Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.   Truth shall spring up from the earth and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

Show us your mercy, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.

The Lord will indeed grant prosperity, and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness shall go before him, and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.

Show us your mercy, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.

SECOND READING Romans 10.5–15

Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that ‘the person who does these things will live by them.’ But the righteousness that comes from faith says, ‘Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?”’  (that is, to bring Christ down) ‘or “Who will descend into the abyss?”’  (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).

But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.   The scripture says, ‘No one who believes in him will be put to shame.’   For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’  But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’

The Gospel of Christ according to Matthew 14. 22-33

Glory to you, O Lord.

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking towards them on the lake. But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’

Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So, Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came towards Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’

Praise to you, O Christ.

REFLECTION: Coming home?

Revd Claire Maxim, CEO, Arthur Rank Centre

Bible Reading: Genesis 46:2-47:12

Jacob and his sons and their families move to Egypt (Genesis 46:2-7, 47:7-12)

God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, ‘Jacob, Jacob.’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then he said, ‘I am God,[a] the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again; and Joseph’s own hand shall close your eyes.’

Then Jacob set out from Beer-sheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to carry him. They also took their livestock and the goods that they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and they came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him, his sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters; all his offspring he brought with him into Egypt.

Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob, and presented him before Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. Pharaoh said to Jacob, ‘How many are the years of your life?’ Jacob said to Pharaoh, ‘The years of my earthly sojourn are one hundred thirty; few and hard have been the years of my life. They do not compare with the years of the life of my ancestors during their long sojourn.’ Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from the presence of Pharaoh. Joseph settled his father and his brothers, and granted them a holding in the land of Egypt, in the best part of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had instructed. And Joseph provided his father, his brothers, and all his father’s household with food, according to the number of their dependents.

Reflection

Christians up and down the land are considering how to return to church buildings and use them for worship safely. This is complex, not only in terms of how to enact all the guidance from government and denominations, not only in setting timescales and expectations, but also in terms of individual responses and needs.

Jacob and his large family made the move of a lifetime, from Canaan to Egypt. Many of the individuals are named in the full Bible passage, including the matriarchs (although not the wives further down the generations). There is a sense that no-one was left behind, that this family may have been complicated, but that every member mattered. Those church leaders trying to plan and manage a return into buildings at the moment are mostly mindful that this move will inevitably fail to include everyone physically. During lockdown we have seen great creativity and ingenuity in the use of technology to gather worshipping communities, but just as not everyone can Zoom, so not everyone can physically access church buildings.

The return to buildings throws into sharp relief the issues of access and accessibility faced by many people as part of their daily lives. People who cannot hear well need to be able to see faces; those who cannot see well need good lighting and appropriate help in services; those who cannot read need support to navigate wordy liturgy; those who cannot get into church buildings need to be included by their church community.

This period of lockdown has revealed much more about church than the (in)accessibility of our buildings. People who do not normally go into churches have engaged with worship online. They have done so from where they happen to be, wearing what they want to wear, sitting (or lying) where they are, with the knowledge that they can leave at the click of a button or the swipe of a screen. Getting in and out of church is suddenly simple. No-one has judged me for what I wear, or worried about where I sit, or handed me lots of books and leaflets. I’ve been allowed to bring a coffee, be comfortable, say the responses or not, join in with singing or not, concentrate on every syllable or let it all wash over me, arrive late or leave early, answer doorbells, juggle family, and the only person who has judged is God.

There is a necessary acceptance that in putting worship online people will use it as they choose. This acceptance is, I suggest, largely absent from our physical gatherings, and crucially, it is often absent from the way we do mission. When we introduce one friend to another, we take time and effort and care that both are comfortable. Do we take the same care when we introduce our friends to Jesus?

Prayer

Jesus, I love you and I am thankful that you love me.Help me to introduce you, my friend and brother, to my friends.Show me how to speak simply about you, in words my friends understand.Help me not to judge the ways other people show their love for you,Show me how to live and reflect your love into the world.Amen.

Response

  • What’s your favourite lockdown church moment? What made it special? Could it have happened in a church building and if not, is there anything you can learn and apply to returning to a church building?
  • What can you do to make going to church physically as unthreatening to a newcomer as engaging online?

The Benedictus


In your tender compassion, O God,
the dawn from on high shall break upon us.

Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel
for he has come to his people and set them free.

The Lord has raised up for us a mighty Saviour
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets God promised of old
to save us from our enemies
from the hands of all who hate us.

To show mercy to our forebears
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

Free to worship him without fear
holy and righteous before him all the days of our life.

And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

To give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

To shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and shall be for ever. Amen.

In your tender compassion, O God,
the dawn from on high shall break upon us.

Prayers

Heavenly Father, your Son Jesus calls us to step out onto the water with him, and to leave the safety of our boats, and to walk toward Him in faith. By the power of the Holy Spirit working within us: may we hear that call, declare ‘Jesus is Lord’, and walk on the road that leads to eternal life.  (Short Silence)

Lord, in your mercy; hear our prayer

Gracious Lord, you know how our emotions play a major part in how we respond to different situations. We ask today that You help us to control them and as they arise.

Father, your Holy Word confirms that anger, hate, jealousy, malice and pride will be replaced by your warm and comforting love.

May peace, tranquillity and compassion be ours as we concentrate our thoughts on your wisdom, and find perfect rest in You. (Short Silence)

Lord, in your mercy; hear our prayer

Heavenly Father, as churches reopen, may those who have been touched by on-line ministry during the Pandemic find their way into a deeper Christian community. 

May each church continue to be the loving hands and feet of Christ in their local communities, and in the greater world. We thank you Heavenly Father for the creativity that has been birthed out this season of isolation. 

We rejoice for the lives that have been eternally impacted through these avenues of creative communication. We ask that you continue to empower the church to learn, grow and adapt in these changing times. 

As churches re-open, give wisdom to our church leaders: and guide them in the practical decisions that must be made, in preparation for these events.  (Short Silence) 

Lord in your mercy, Hear our Prayer

Loving God, we thank You for the gift of life and pray for those whose lives are troubled by illness, grief, poverty or injustice.

At this time, we pray for the people of the Lebanon. We pray that in the darkness of all who suffer pain and anguish, Your light will shine, bringing them the assurance and hope they need.

We remember at this moment in time, those known personally to us who are suffering: thinking especially of – – – –

(Short Silence)

(add names of those requesting prayer)

Lord, in your mercy; hear our prayer

Heavenly Father, we remember with deep gratitude those who have left a mark on our lives. This past week we have seen the passing of John Hume, a man who trained for the Priesthood and made it his mission to bring peace to Ireland. We thank you for his example. (Pause)

Lord God, we place in your loving keeping all those who have recently passed from this life (Pause), those we have loved but see no more (Pause), and those whose anniversary of their parting falls at this time (Pause). (add names of the recently departed or on Anniversary list)

Lord, in your mercy; hear our prayer

Merciful God, we thank you for the promise that when two or three are gathered together in your name, you will be among them.  

Hear our prayers, O God. Strengthen our faith we beseech thee, that when the storms of life threaten to overwhelm us, we will remember Jesus’ comforting words: “Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Pause)

Merciful Father: Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

The Lord’s Prayer is said.

The Collect for Trinity 9

 Almighty God, who sent your Holy Spirit to be the life and light of your Church: open our hearts to the riches of your grace, that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in love and joy and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

The second collect, for peace.
O God, the author of peace and lover of concord,
to know you is eternal life,
to serve you is perfect freedom:
defend us in all assaults of our enemies,
that we, surely trusting in your protection,
may not fear the power of any adversaries;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The third collect, for grace.
Eternal God and Father,
by your power we are created
and by your love we are redeemed:
guide and strengthen us by your Spirit,
that we may give ourselves to you
in love and service of one another;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with us all, evermore. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God.