Service sheet for St Nathanael's

                                                          The Fourth Sunday after Trinity

                                               5th July 2020

Collect

Gracious Father,
by the obedience of Jesus
you brought salvation to our wayward world: draw us into harmony with your will,
that we may find all things restored in him, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

Hymn MP 119 Jesus is Lord,

 


Bible readings Zechariah 9.9-12 Romans 7.15-25a Matthew 11,16-19, 25-30

Reflection                                                          Written by Revd Michael Freeman

This weekend sees the re-opening of many pubs, cafés and restaurants with their invitation to come and refresh ourselves as the rigours of lockdown are eased. Many churches are also re-opening today, the very Sunday when we hear Jesus’ invitation to the weary to come to him for rest and refreshment. What do we learn from his words?

Firstly, Jesus welcomes each one of you, and wants to give you a less stressed-out existence in this world of seemingly constant pressure and ever-increasing demands. He offers us a life that is more than a treadmill. That, however, is not the same as saying that when we become Christians we have nothing more to do. “Take my yoke upon you,” he says, “and learn from me.” A yoke was a device for helping with heavy work such as for oxen hauling a plough or a milkmaid carrying her buckets.

But Jesus does not give us endless complex rules as the Pharisees did. He does not demand that we do something extraordinarily hard and difficult. Rather, he asks that we follow his example of gentleness and humility, that we give full rein to the love and generosity that are part of human nature (as so many have done in recent weeks) and leave selfishness behind. As he summed it up on another occasion: “Love one another as I have loved you.” As Paul told the Romans, it was his constant concern for himself that made following God’s way difficult, not what God asked of him.

So week by week we come to him in prayer and worship and prepare ourselves to take his yoke and continue living and working for him. As we prayed in our collect, “Draw us into harmony with your will that we may find all things restored in our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

We share the Peace     The Peace of the Lord be always with you; and also with you.

Prayer written by Jean Hynes

Father of all we meet in prayer and ask your wisdom to enlighten and encourage us. We know that our insecurities can diminish our faith, so we ask for your strength and love to overcome these uncertainness’. We ask for your blessings for Fiona, Bruce and Michael as they lead us in new methods of worship within our church families may they feel your guiding hands and your presence with them as they also face new unknown challenges in their ministry. Be near to all who face hardships whether through illness in mind or body or through unemployment. Father help them know you are beside them always. Amen

The Fifth Sunday after Trinity

12th July 2020

Collect

Almighty God,
send down upon your Church
the riches of your Spirit,
and kindle in all who minister the gospel your countless gifts of grace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Hymn MP 153        Make me a channel of your peace

 


Bible readings Genesis 25.19-end Romans 8.1-11 Matthew 13.1-9, 18-23

 

Reflection                                         Written by Bruce Pennie

As I write, the rules around the lockdown are generally being relaxed; we have come through the worst of the 1st peak in Covid infections and Covid related deaths. But the pandemic is not over. We watch anxiously as restrictions are re-imposed in Leicester, Germany sees a surge in cases and infections begin to soar in many countries which had previously seen relatively few. A new phrase has entered public debate: ‘The R Number’; the number of people that, on average, an infected person will pass their infection onto. If ‘R’ is less than 1, the number of infections will decline; if above 1, the number of infections will escalate. It is similar to what Jesus is describing in the parable of the sower. Seed that is kept for personal consumption, or sown into unfavourable situations, will not produce new seed. The ‘R number’ will fall below 1 and, eventually, there would be less and less seed to sow. Seed sown into favourable conditions will have an ‘R number’ of 100, 60 or 30. Declining church attendance suggests that collectively we have had an ‘R number’ of less than 1 for some time. Each person who comes to faith probably has several people influence them along the way, so it is difficult to say that person X was brought to faith by person Y. Yet, if on average over the whole of our lives, each of us brings just 2 people to Christ, the Community of Faith doubles in each generation. For Covid, our aim is to keep the ‘R number’ below 1. Christ sets us a target of 30, 60 or even 100. Now there’s a pandemic we would welcome. Get sowing!

We share the Peace The Peace of the Lord be always with you; and also with you.


Prayer written by Jean Hynes

Father quieten our anxious hearts and minds as we prepare to meet you in quiet prayer. Be near to us as we continue to face a future with mixed emotions. Help us realise you are Lord of all. Forgive us our doubts and fears help us hear your voice above our uncertainness say “ I am with you always” Thank you for the support of family, friends and neighbours, for in them we see your love for us. Guide our government as they reach difficult decisions, help them make right and just decisions we ask in your Son Jesus Christ’s name. Amen

Hymn MP No. 156 May God's blessing surround you each day

The Sixth Sunday after Trinity

19th July 2020

Collect
Creator God,
you made us all in your image:
may we discern you in all that we see, and serve you in all that we do; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Hymn MP 44 Father we adore you


Bible readings Genesis 28.10-19a Romans 8.12-25 Matthew 13.24-30, 36-43

Reflection                           Written by Revd Fiona Pennie

I wonder during this time of lockdown have you felt closer to God or further away?
Has not being able to go into church to pray freed you up to meet God in the paths and hedgerows, as St Francis would suggest, or have you felt far removed from God and struggling to connect with him?

I don’t know about you but I have not managed to do so many things I thought I would ‘get round to’ dur-

ing this time of lockdown. Worry, anxiety, busyness, apathy, have all meant that I haven’t ‘achieved’ as much as I might have expected or hoped.
I thought I might have found time to read my bible more, or spent more time praying...but I didn’t.

I did find time in those early days to get out in the garden and do some weeding though...and the garden

does look better for it.
The picture we have this week from the Gospel of wheat and weeds growing together reminds me that we are each children of God. He understands that whilst the weeds might hinder our growth it is more important to let us grow. He loves each of His children and recognises that we will be affected by sin and evil, but he will rescue us in the end.
Jacob, in our Genesis passage, is on the move and far away from any recognisable Holy Place and there he has a dream of a ladder going to heaven. When he wakes up he realises he has met with God even in this most unlikely of places.
The message God has for Jacob is the same for us;

“Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

So do not be worried if in this time of Covid19 God has seemed distant, He is still there. However I would recommend a bit of weeding and praying because it will help us recognise God at work in our lives.

We share the Peace The Peace of the Lord be always with you; and also with you.


Prayer written by Jean Hynes

Guide us Father through this coming week, let us not become so wrapped up in our sufferings and hurt that we become hardened of heart to the sufferings and hurts of other people in our wider world. Though this pandemic has brought real unimagined suffering into our world it has also brought us time to appreciate the beauty all around us. Help us not become complacent to the real suffering of so many people. Father help our hands become your hands and offer the hand of friendship and words of encouragement to lighten the darkness so many people are suffering in these unusual times may God’s mercy enlighten their darkness and fill them with his peace. Amen

Hymn MP No. 156 May God's blessing surround you each day.

The Seventh Sunday after Trinity

26th July 2020

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

Hymn MP 192 Praise to the Lord


Bible readings Genesis 29.15-28 Romans 8.26-end Matthew 13.31-33, 44-52

Reflection               Written by Bruce Pennie

When you think of heaven, what picture comes to mind? Isaiah describes a throne room with seraphs flying around. The Revelation of John pictures a gleaming city. Jesus talks of a ‘mansion with many rooms’ and also of ‘Paradise’ which is usually depicted as a garden – echoing the Garden of Eden. Maybe you think of angels sitting on clouds plucking golden harps, or St Peter, stern-faced, standing at a gate with a ledger in his hand. All of these are very ‘place’ centred images. Heaven is somehow ‘up there’ above the clouds – as first described in Genesis, but in a way that does not fit with our modern understanding of space.

This section of Mathew’s Gospel gives us an entirely different way of thinking about the dwelling place of God or ‘Kingdom of Heaven’. One that is not centred on place but value and relationship. The funeral service quotes 1 Timothy, drawing on the Book of Job: “We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out”. Yet as Paul writes to the Romans, even death – when we leave behind all the ‘created’ world - cannot separate us from the love of God. What we do take into the next life, into the Kingdom of God, is love; love that is expansive like an enormous tree or permeates us like yeast through flour; love that is as valuable to us as buried treasure or a fabulous pearl. So that when we are caught up into the Kingdom, like fish in a net, we are the ‘good fish’, the ones worth keeping; we find that, having treasured him, we are now the master’s treasure.

We share the Peace The Peace of the Lord be always with you; and also with you.

Prayer written by Jean Hynes
We pray today in our quiet time of reflective prayer for God’s guidance as we seek ways to further his work in our parish and in our Walton Team. We pray for fresh expressions to further his work, and though we fear the uncertainties’ of what lie ahead of us in St Nathanael’s and our Walton Team of churches, we pray your love will guide us through to a brighter secure future, when all our churches can become beacons of your love in our communities. Guide Fiona and all your clergy to lead us into churches dedicated to spreading your gospel of encouragement and love. May they become beacons of light for future generations to come... We ask in your Son Jesus Christ Amen.

Hymn MP No. 156 May God's blessing surround you each day.

 Third Sunday after Trinity      28th June 2020

Collect God our saviour,

look on this wounded world

in pity and in power;

hold us fast to your promises of peace won for us by your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen

 

Hymn     28th June MP 62 Great is thy faithfulness,

 

Bible readings   Jeremiah 28.5–9, Romans 6.12–23, Matthew 10.40–42

 

Reflection Written by Revd Fiona Pennie

I have seen several amusing memes on Facebook, and indeed the TV around folk putting weight on through this time of lockdown. Overeating, my love of food, my weight and consequently my health have long been a source of struggle in my life, so whilst they have made me smile I have also felt the emotion behind them.

Our passage from Romans refers to sin exercising “dominion” or control over our mortal bodies.

In verse 14 we read ‘sin will have no dominion over you , since you are not under the law but under grace’.

It is a difficult passage to get our heads around, but I am reminded of the verses from Matthew 22 verse 36-40 about the greatest commandments or laws, which includes ‘And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’

Jesus reminds his followers then and now that Love is at the centre our of relationship with Him, each other and ourselves. I have often spoken to folk at the darkest times of their lives where they are struggling in relationships, feeling wronged by another and suffering. This commandment reminds us that we must first love God and ourselves before we can love our neighbour.

This lockdown has meant that I have not been able to run around caring for everyone. I have had the luxury of time to think and pray. I have had time to think carefully about what I eat, to shop carefully and not buy the sugary treats to have to hand when I am bored. The shops are no longer convenient and I was ordered to do one hour’s exercise a day. This and the order to STAY AT HOME has really helped me control my weight. The ‘law’ has changed the way we normally think and has helped me focus on working out strategies to help me be free from the control food has over my life. Paul, writing to the Romans, encourages them with the thought that the old system has gone and people need to adopt a new way of thinking about things. We are now not under law but under grace, therefore the power of sin over us has been broken and we can regain control.

So one thing I am grateful for, in this most difficult of times, is the way the Gospel and Paul’s writing has helped me reframe the view I have of myself. I hope and pray that you too have found yourselves being blessed, drawing closer to God the father, the son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

 

We share the Peace The Peace of the Lord be always with you; and also with you.

 

Prayer       Written by Jean Hynes

Our Fathers Day celebrations so much different than previous years as our Mothers Day celebrations were. Covid 19 has taught us new ways to celebrate with our families from a distance. We give thanks to our heavenly Father for the love, protection and support our earthly Fathers have shown us and we ask for God's blessings for them. Father in heaven be near to all our families ,and although we may be separated from loved ones we are united by love. Thank you Father for all the daily things we usually take for granted, for though we get frustrated with periods of inactivity, it has brought a new appreciation of our world. Thank you for bird song for the trees in glorious blossom and for flowers bringing promise of new life. We give you thanks and praise  Amen,

 

Hymn MP No. 156 May God's blessing surround you each day. 

Fifth Sunday of Easter      10th May 2020

 

Collect  

Risen Christ,

your wounds declare your love for the world

and the wonder of your risen life:

give us compassion and courage

to risk ourselves for those we serve,

to the glory of God the Father.

 

Hymn  MP 21   Bind us together 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuhIBLp5aHM

 

Bible readings  Acts 7:55-60 ,1 Peter 2:2-10, John 14:1-14

 

 

Reflection written by Revd Fiona Pennie

Two of our passages today refer to stones. The passage from Acts tells the story of Stephen. He testified to seeing Jesus in Heaven at God’s right hand so the crowd covered their ears, dragged him out of the city and threw stones at him until he died. The passage from Peter’s letter likens Jesus and ourselves to stones being build into something beautiful like a temple but also acknowledges that stones can make us stumble. So we have two ways of looking stones. Firstly negatively with stones used as weapons or a trip hazard and then positively to create something wonderful

Peter uses stones as a metaphor for people. He calls us “living stones”. We can, through our behaviour and thoughts, be both good and bad.

Saul, stood by and watched Stephen die, he thought he was doing a good thing as Stephen and his fellow Christians were blaspheming God and upsetting the old Jewish order. Saul had yet to encounter Jesus for himself and learn that He was indeed God’s son and therefore see that his previous actions were not good but bad. But just as Stephen asked, Jesus did not hold this against Saul and forgave him.

None of us are perfect but as Christians we are called to follow Jesus, to acknowledge His love for us and to live in the knowledge that we can be with him forever. The Gospel passage is one I use frequently at funerals as it speaks of this Hope we have, not because we are perfect, but because God loves just as we are. It is from this place of being loved that we are able to change our behaviours and thoughts and become the “living stones” of the church.

 

 

Prayer Written by Jean Hynes

Change is never an easy option,but change and adapt has been the focus of our lives for the past six weeks.  So we turn to Christ  and ask him to change us and adapt us.

Help us Father to adapt to a new form of worship, a new form of sharing with our St Nathanael's church family. 

We pray for all our families and friends in these challenging times. 

We pray for all NHS workers ,for our community, for everyone finding life difficult and all who are in hospital and separated from their loved ones.

May they feel the love of God embracing them and his peace enfolding them.We ask for God's guidance in the weeks and months ahead we ask in Jesus name   Amen .

 

 

Hymn                MP No. 156 May God's blessing surround you each day. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaUPL_znO6Y

Sixth Sunday of Easter 17th May 2020

Collect

Risen Christ,

by the lakeside you renewed your call to your disciples:

help your Church to obey your command

and draw the nations to the fire of your love,

to the glory of God the Father.

 

Hymn MP 45  Father I place into your hands

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbLjp4-8NdY

 

Bible readings Acts 17:22-31,1 Peter 3:13-22, John 14:15-21

 

Reflection    Written By Bruce Pennie

Those who have received “shielding letters’ must feel as if they are under house arrest for 12 weeks. Even for those of us who are not shielding, our freedom of movement has been restricted. The younger and fitter you are, the more this has to do with protecting others than yourself. Yet as a consequence, many are facing economic hardship, even redundancy or, in the worst cases, loss of their business or bankruptcy. 

No doubt this is not the scenario Peter had in mind, but certainly many today are suffering for doing what is right. We do not feel it, yet Peter tells us we are blessed. Further he tells us that we are not to fear what others fear. ‘Why not?’ we ask. The threats are very real and most of us now will know someone who has been ill or even died, from Covid19. If not, you will probably know someone suffering economically or under mental stress from the social isolation. 

Where, we ask, is the Father who loves us? If “In him we live and move and have our being”, why is all this happening? Even Jesus, on the cross cried “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”. But we do not face troubles alone or ‘orphaned’; we have the Holy Spirit with us.

 Whatever happens, God has not, and will not, abandon us. If through this we can cling onto our loving relationship with Christ, then when non-believers challenge us to explain why and how we can still place our hope in a loving God, we will be ready to make our defence.

 

Prayer

Creator of the universe, you made the world in beauty,

and restore all things in glory through the victory of Jesus Christ.

We pray that, wherever your image is still disfigured by poverty, sickness, selfishness, war and greed, the new creation in Jesus Christ may appear in justice, love, and peace,

to the glory of your name. Amen.

Hymn          MP No. 156 May God's blessing surround you each day. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaUPL_znO6Y

 

                    Ascension Day      21st May 2020

Collect

Risen Christ,

you have raised our human nature to the throne of heaven:

help us to seek and serve you,

that we may join you at the Father’s side,

where you reign with the Spirit in glory,

now and for ever.

Readings Acts 1:1-11, Ephesians 1:15-23, Luke 24:44-53

 

Seventh Sunday of Easter      25th May 2020

Collect

Risen, ascended Lord,

as we rejoice at your triumph,

fill your Church on earth with power and compassion,

that all who are estranged by sin

may find forgiveness and know your peace,

to the glory of God the Father.

 

Hymn MP9  Alleluia, alleluia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2U1MuOCHon4

 

Bible readings 

Acts 1:6-14,1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11, John 17:1-11

 

Reflection By Revd Michael Freeman

The Book of Acts begins by telling how “after his suffering Jesus presented himself alive to the disciples by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.”    This was a time of instruction and preparation to turn disciples (= followers) into apostles (= people sent out).

Like those we read about in Acts – the men and women, the acknowledged leaders and the rank-and-file – we should devote ourselves to prayer, looking for the gift of the Spirit to empower us for the various tasks to which we have been called and knowing that Jesus himself prays for us (as in the reading from John).

As our society gradually emerges from lockdown with a mixture of relief and apprehension, we need the strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit for our individual callings within our families and neighbourhoods.   We need it too for our shared responsibilities to make God’s kingdom a reality for all who live in our parish.

Seeking to be open to the Spirit and ready to see the signs of God’s coming kingdom is the focus of the Church’s prayer this week as we prepare to celebrate Pentecost.

Let us wait eagerly for Christ’s promised gift.

Let us use the gift to fulfil the commission he gives us.

 

 

 

Prayer Written by Jean Hynes

Father God we lift to your unfailing love our families, our friends and our community, and though separated  from them by distance but ever present in our hearts and prayers. We pray for all who work in our shops and drivers who unselfishly put their health at risk to provide for us. We ask for the love of God to uphold and protect them.Father guide us this week,and may your Holy Spirit fill our hearts and minds,and may your peace surround us,our families, our homes and our community.We ask in Jesus name  Amen.

 

 

 

 

Hymn      MP No. 156 May God's blessing surround you each day. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaUPL_znO6Y

Pentecost          31st May 2020 

 

Collect

Risen, ascended Lord,

as we rejoice at your triumph,

fill your Church on earth with power and compassion,

that all who are estranged by sin

may find forgiveness and know your peace,

to the glory of God the Father.

 

Hymn      MP 209 Spirit of the living God

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYfzcYohWZg

 

Bible readings 

Acts 2:1-21, Numbers 11:24-30, 1 Cor 12:3b-13, John 20:19-23 

 

Reflection Written Bruce Pennie

St Peter is one of my favourite characters in the Bible. Clearly his heart was in the right place, but throughout the Gospels, he hardly seems to open his mouth without putting his foot in it; almost every time he picks up a stick, he gets the wrong end. Even at the end of the 3 years he spent learning from Jesus, his boastful claim that he would die for Jesus, was swiftly followed by him denying him 3 times. His is a very ordinary man – full of ordinary faults and failings. Yet he is the ‘rock’ on which Christ was to build the church. On the morning of Pentecost, dramatically invigorated by the Holy Spirit, he is able to address a large crowd and, ‘off-the-cuff ‘ quote at length from the Book of Joel, as he proclaims the Gospel. Were it not for his previous history, he would seem an impossible act to follow. 

Yet that is what we are called to do. Because we too have the Spirit of God within us, we can - and are instructed to - proclaim that “Jesus is Lord”. Like Eldad and Medad, you don’t have to be specially commissioned or ordained. You don’t have to be able to quote chunks of the Bible from memory like Peter. You don’t have to be able to understand complex theology or understand the long words that academic theologians use. You just have to tell people, in your own way and using ordinary words – what Luke calls people’s ‘native language’, that ‘Jesus is Lord’.  

 

 

 

Prayer

Holy Spirit, come upon us.  Breathe new life into us.  

Help us to share this new life in what we do and say.  

You are our Creator.  Help us to be creative.  You inspire us.  Help us to inspire others.  

Help us to build up rather than to break down.  

Help us to be renewed and refreshed when we are torn down and tired.  

Call us by your Spirit into the way of New Life, through the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

 

Hymn

MP No. 156 May God's blessing surround you each day. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaUPL_znO6Y

Trinity Sunday      7th June 2020

Collect  Holy God, faithful and unchanging:

               enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth,

               and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love,

               that we may truly worship you,

               Father, Son and Holy Spirit,one God, now and for ever. Amen

 

Hymn  MP 46 Father we love you,

 

Bible readings  Genesis 1:1 to 2:4,2 Corinthians 13:11-13, Matthew 28:16-20

 

Reflection written by Revd Fiona Pennie

Our bible passages today are found at the very beginning of the Bible. The creation story tells of a wondrous ‘week’. As I read it, at home in the garden on a sunny Bank Holiday Monday in May, I was struck by the rhythm that the passage has. Days and weeks have begun to merge for me as lockdown, though easing continues. This passage reminds us that, although God works ‘outside time’ in that He is eternal, he is also engaged in our time limited world.

The news was filled last winter with floods and extreme weather events, warning signs that creation and the world was spinning out of control and climate change would spell the end of our environment. Our children of warned us our planet was on a seemingly irreversible path to destruction. And then Covid19 hit. And we stopped. 

Many of us have noticed the louder birdsong, cities are reporting clear air, the canals in Venice are clean again, is our world healing?

A friend of mine noticed a huge number of birds flocking in her garden this week. They are starlings, her mum reported that the starlings used to flock in Dovecot years ago. Well this year they are back.

Have you ever seen a cloud of starlings flying together? It is called a murmuration. They have been studied at length and it appears that they don’t have one leader, as a flock of geese might have, They seem to move together in harmony, sensing together when they need to swoop and dive, no one bird more important than the next.

Trinity Sunday brings to mind the relationship that is between God; the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit. One God in three persons, Grace, love and fellowship as we often pray. All three equally important in our walk of faith. Rublev’s Icon, called the Trinity, is a picture of God’s invitation to join Him in this relationship of love. An open side at the table, a chance to be in harmony with him. I wonder, as we begin to come out of lockdown, will we return to our old frenetic ways, or will we, the human race, have learned to live another way? We will continue to have a new rhythm of life that will benefit the whole of Creation. Please God. 

 

We share the Peace The Peace of the Lord be always with you; and also with you.

 

Prayer Written by Jean Hynes

As we approach our service today and prepare to celebrate Trinity Sunday, we give thanks and praise for our Saviours sacrifice and for sending his Holy Spirit to be with us always. We ask for his guidance as we seek ways to reach out to those in any kind of need. May we be aware that whatever we face we are never alone, that your Holy Spirit is always walking alongside us. So we ask with confidence that you will be with us, our families, friends and all who feel alone in these difficult times. Father be with all who are ill in mind or body whether at home or in hospital. We ask for your love and protection for all our care workers, nurses, Doctors and all who work in our NHS services. May they feel God's blessings and his peace be with them Amen .

 

Hymn MP No. 156 May God's blessing surround you each day. 

First Sunday after Trinity      14th June 2020

Collect God of truth,

help us to keep your law of love

and to walk in ways of wisdom,

that we may find true life

in Jesus Christ your Son. Amen

 

Hymn MP 137 Let there be love,

 

Bible readings Exodus 19.2–8a,Romans 5.1–8, Matthew 9.35 – 10.8

 

Reflection                                                           Written By Bruce Pennie

Having made the promise ‘Everything that the LORD has spoken we will do’, almost the next thing the people of Israel do, once Moses’s back is turned, is build the Golden Calf and worship that, instead of God. Without their shepherd, they quickly became lost. Words, as they say, are cheap. How easy it often is to make a promise or agree to something, only to find it proves much harder to follow through than we had anticipated. The promise made in Exodus 19 has a very hollow ring to it when you know how the story subsequently unfolds. Yet, despite the broken promise, God did not abandon them. To a greater or lesser extent, they got back on track with observance of the rules and regulations that were set down. Yet something was missing. The Pharisees, the religious elite of the time, might bully and harass the people into line, but for all the religious observance in the world, they remained helpless. What the leaders failed to do was look after the people and lead them into a knowledge and love of God. We can fall into the same trap – of thinking religious observance is what God wants. As the Covid rules have closed our churches, have you felt lost – harassed and helpless? At baptism and confirmation we promise not to go to church regularly, but to believe and trust in God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The antidote to being harassed and helpless is set out by Paul. He talks of boasting “in our hope of sharing the glory of God.” And that comes not through religious observance but “because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit”. Throughout his writings, Paul makes it clear that we should not expect an easy path through life. But if we try and fully live out our baptismal vows, to believe and trust in God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we are rewarded with God’s love living in our hearts.

 

We share the Peace The Peace of the Lord be always with you; and also with you.

 

Prayer

Father quieten our anxious minds in these troubling times, Guide us with your Holy Spirit  as we live through these days of  uncertainty and fear. Help us hear your still small voice above the clamour of the media and our own uncertainties whisper ‘Be Still and Know that I am God’. Thank you Father for all random acts of kindness we witness daily, for families although apart united in love, for friendships forged through shared hardships and old friendships distanced but still in our hearts. Father we pray your love will surround and protect them and those we love We ask in Jesus Name  Amen 

 

Hymn MP No. 156 May God's blessing surround you each day. 

Second Sunday after Trinity    21st June 2020

Collect

Faithful Creator, whose mercy never fails:

deepen our faithfulness to you and to your living Word,

Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

 

Hymn MP 25 All to Jesus I surrender

 

 

Bible readings

Jeremiah 20.7–13, Romans 6.1b–11, Matthew 10.24–39

 

Reflection By Revd Michael Freeman

St Augustine, the great early Christian writer, admitted that as a young man sowing his wild oats he had prayed, “O God, grant me chastity – but not yet.”   It is a prayer of which we are all tempted to offer some variation, yet Paul tells us that as baptized Christians we must have died to sin so that we can walk in newness of life.   Jesus himself teaches, “Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.”

There is much discussion of what the “new normal” after the pandemic has subsided will be like.   This includes how it may help or hinder attempts to tackle the climate change emergency.   The temptation is for me to hope that everything will be better while I can carry on in the way I used to.   “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, as long as I can still do what I like!”

Today’s readings challenge us to really think about how each of our lives should change and the hard choices that may involve.   But it should not be change imposed from outside.   It should be willingly embraced, for the Father whose kingdom we seek watches over us and his Son tells us, “Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

 

 

Prayer Written by Jean Hynes

United in your love Father we pray for all who are anxious or who are in physical or mental pain.We ask for your gentle healing presence to enfold them and your Holy Spirit reassure them. As we lift them to you Father we name them in the quietness of our minds ———

We pray for all who are alone in these uncertain times  and for any one who has no one to pray for them. Loving Father help them know you are near Amen 

 

 

 

Hymn MP No. 115 Do not be afraid for I have redeemed you

                       

Walton Team Ministry
 

0151 525 3130

 

waltonparishteam@hotmail.co.uk

Walton Team Ministry

Walton Cornerstone

2 Liston Street,

Liverpool L4 5RJ