St James, Gatley,

Holy Communion

13th Sunday after Trinity – 6 September 2020

 

 

Preparation

 

          In the name of the Father,

          and of the Son,

          and of the Holy Spirit.

All      Amen.

 

          Grace, mercy and peace

          from God our Father

          and the Lord Jesus Christ

          be with you.

All      and also with you.

 

All      Almighty God,

          to whom all hearts are open,

          all desires known,

          and from whom no secrets are hidden:

          cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

          by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

          that we may perfectly love you,

          and worthily magnify your holy name;

          through Christ our Lord.

          Amen.

 

 

Prayers of Penitence

         

          My brothers and sisters, as we prepare to celebrate the presence of Christ

          in word and sacrament, let us call to mind and confess our sins.

 

All      Almighty God, our heavenly Father,

          we have sinned against you

          and against our neighbour

          in thought and word and deed,

          through negligence, through weakness,

          through our own deliberate fault.

          We are truly sorry

          and repent of all our sins.

          For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,

          who died for us,

          forgive us all that is past

          and grant that we may serve you in newness of life

          to the glory of your name. Amen.

 

All      Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy.                          

          Christ, have mercy, Christ, have mercy, Christ, have mercy.         

          Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy.  

 

          Almighty God,

          who forgives all who truly repent,

          have mercy upon you,

          pardon and deliver you from all your sins,

          confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,

          and keep you in life eternal;

          through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All      Amen.

Gloria in Excelsis

         

All      Glory to God in the highest,

          and peace to his people on earth.

          Lord God, heavenly King,

          almighty God and Father,

          we worship you, we give you thanks,

          we praise you for your glory.

          Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

          Lord God, Lamb of God,

          you take away the sin of the world:

          have mercy on us;

          you are seated at the right hand of the Father:

          receive our prayer.

          For you alone are the Holy One,

          you alone are the Lord,

          you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,

          with the Holy Spirit,

          in the glory of God the Father.

          Amen.

 

The Collect

 

          Almighty God,

          who called your Church to bear witness

          that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself:

          help us to proclaim the good news of your love,

          that all who hear it may be drawn to you;

          through him who was lifted up on the cross,

          and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

          one God, now and for ever.

All      Amen.

        

Readings

 

Ezekiel 33.7-11

So you, mortal, I have made a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked ones, you shall surely die’, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but their blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from their ways, and they do not turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but you will have saved your life.

Now you, mortal, say to the house of Israel, Thus you have said: ‘Our transgressions and our sins weigh upon us, and we waste away because of them; how then can we live?’ Say to them, As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?      

 

This is the word of the Lord.

All      Thanks be to God.

 

 

Romans 13.8-end

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet’; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; let us live honourably as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

 

          This is the word of the Lord.

All      Thanks be to God.

 

Gospel Reading

 

Matthew 18.15-20

         

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.

All      Glory to you, O Lord.

 

Jesus said to the disciples, ‘If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax-collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.’

         

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All      Praise to you, O Christ.

 

 

 

Reflection

 

I’d like to think with you this morning about some ways in which we can think about the Bible, how it enlarges our vision of God and some practical ways we can read it. One way into reading a passage from the scriptures is to look out for words that are repeated a number of times. So, for example, in the first reading, when God addresses Ezekiel the word ‘wicked’ appears eight times and the word ‘turn’ appears six times. God wants Ezekiel to tell those who are acting wickedly in Israel to turn from their ways and live. In the second reading Paul uses the word ‘love’ five times, and that is the most prevalent word, and it’s used each time within the context of loving our neighbour or as a way of fulfilling the Jewish law. In the same passage the word ‘day’ appears twice, as Paul underlines the sense that the Christian community is to live in the day, to leave behind their old life and to live a life of love in action. Finally, in the gospel reading, the word ‘listen’ appears four times in the context of Jesus’ teaching about how the Church community can mend relationships that have been damaged by sin and maintain right order within the Church community.

 

In all three readings these words that crop up again and again help us to understand what the passage is about. So, a good way to read any passage of scripture, either in Church or at home is to take note of the words that occur more frequently. It’s almost as if these words are like a tune that keeps recurring through a piece of music. I like the image of an orchestra playing a piece of music. When an orchestra plays there are times when one section is more prominent, and they express the music in a certain way. At other times another section plays, and they may echo something that has been played already. When we read the scriptures there’s a sense that in certain passages certain things come to the fore, like living righteously, or loving our neighbour, at other times, there’s an emphasis on how to live together as a Christian community when one person sins against another. In all these passages we pick up different themes, yet, we also have a sense of how they fit together as well. To live righteously is to love our neighbour, and to love our neighbour is to be sorry for the ways we have sinned against others and may need to admit that we need to make a fresh start, and so on.

 

As we listen to the scriptures we begin to recognize themes that recur again and again and how they fit with other aspects of our faith, and how they broaden and deepen our sense of who God is. Take the first reading again, taken on its own it sounds quite harsh – poor old Ezekiel, it sounds like a really tough job being a prophet of God in Israel in those days. And yet, through the passage its clear that God is holy and that he called Israel to be holy, and so for them to be holy they needed to turn from wickedness and live righteously. We then begin to think about how God calls us to live holy lives that reflect the love and goodness of God.

 

People can be reticent about reading the Bible, and so a good way in is to choose a gospel or a book and just break it down into small chunks. And as you read notice which words recur again and again. Ask yourself, what’s the tune that’s playing here? You can then think, are there other passages that might help me interpret this passage? Can I remember other passages in scripture that help? How does all this fit together? Don’t worry if you don’t understand a passage, you’re in good company! But listen to the words, pick up the tune, and maybe get some Bible reading notes to help along the way. Reading the Bible is really rewarding but it is like most things in life, it needs a bit of practice and patience. We wouldn’t expect to run a marathon if we hadn’t run for ten years, we would work up slowly, walking and running, running and walking perhaps until we could run 5K. It’s the same with the scriptures, we start gently, and slowly over time we come to see the value of returning to the scriptures to listen to what they have to say, to be consoled, to be challenged, and to grow. Amen.

 

Prayers

Let us pray

 

God our Father, we pray for the needs of the world…

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Lord Jesus, we pray for your Church throughout the world…

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Holy Spirit, we pray for our local community…

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

God of love, we pray for all who are unwell…

We pray, Lord, for Iris, Millie, Sue, Andrew, Alexis, Anne, Kath, Mary, Martina, Christine, Malcolm and Tilly…

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

God of peace, we commend to you all have died in recent days…

We pray for Arnold Dean…

We pray too for those whose year’s mind fall this week, from this parish we pray for Leslie Goodwin, Harriet Davies and Fred Mepham...

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

You may want to make some personal prayers of your own here

 

 

The Peace

          The peace of the Lord be always with you

All      and also with you.

 

The Eucharistic Prayer

 

          If you are praying at home and not following the service online, you can now continue your prayers at the heading ‘Spiritual Communion’ near the end of the service.

         

          The Lord is here.

All      His Spirit is with us.

          Lift up your hearts.

All      We lift them to the Lord.

          Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

All      It is right to give thanks and praise.     

         

          Father, we give you thanks and praise

          through your beloved Son Jesus Christ, your living Word,

          through whom you have created all things;

          who was sent by you in your great goodness to be our Saviour.

          By the power of the Holy Spirit he took flesh;

          as your Son, born of the blessed Virgin,

          he lived on earth and went about among us;

          he opened wide his arms for us on the cross;

          he put an end to death by dying for us;

          and revealed the resurrection by rising to new life;

          so he fulfilled your will and won for you a holy people.

         

          Therefore with angels and archangels,

          and with all the company of heaven,

          we proclaim your great and glorious name,

          for ever praising you and saying:

All      Holy, holy, holy Lord,

          God of power and might,

          heaven and earth are full of your glory.

          Hosanna in the highest.

          Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

          Hosanna in the highest.

 

          Lord, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness;

          grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit,

          and according to your holy will,

          these gifts of bread and wine

          may be to us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ;

          who, in the same night that he was betrayed,

          took bread and gave you thanks;

          he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying:

          Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;

          do this in remembrance of me.

          In the same way, after supper

          he took the cup and gave you thanks;

          he gave it to them, saying:

          Drink this, all of you;

          this is my blood of the new covenant,

          which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

          Do this, as often as you drink it,

          in remembrance of me.

 

          Great is the mystery of faith:

All      Christ has died:

          Christ is risen:

          Christ will come again.

 

          And so, Father, calling to mind his death on the cross,

          his perfect sacrifice made once for the sins of the whole world;

          rejoicing in his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension,

          and looking for his coming in glory,

          we celebrate this memorial of our redemption.

          As we offer you this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving,

          we bring before you this bread and this cup

          and we thank you for counting us worthy

          to stand in your presence and serve you.

 

          Send the Holy Spirit on your people

          and gather into one in your kingdom

          all who share this one bread and one cup,

          so that we, in the company of St. James and all the saints,

          may praise and glorify you for ever,

          through Jesus Christ our Lord;

          by whom, and with whom, and in whom,

          in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

          all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father,

          for ever and ever.

All      Amen.

 

          As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

 

All      Our Father in heaven,

          hallowed be your name,     
          your kingdom come,

          your will be done,

          on earth as in heaven.
          Give us today our daily bread.
          Forgive us our sins

          as we forgive those who sin against us.
          Lead us not into temptation

          but deliver us from evil.
          For the kingdom, the power,

          and the glory are yours now and for ever.
          Amen.

 

Breaking of the Bread

           

          We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.                                                              

All      Though we are many, we are one body,

          because we all share in one bread.

 

All      Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us.                                               

          Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us.                              

          Jesus, redeemer of the world, grant us peace.

 

 

Giving of Communion

         

          God’s holy gifts

          for God’s holy people.

All      Jesus Christ is holy,

          Jesus Christ is Lord,

          to the glory of God the Father.

 

All      We do not presume

          to come to this your table, merciful Lord,

          trusting in our own righteousness,

          but in your manifold and great mercies.

          We are not worthy

          so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table.             

          But you are the same Lord

          whose nature is always to have mercy.

          Grant us therefore, gracious Lord,

          so to eat the flesh of your dear Son Jesus Christ

          and to drink his blood,

          that we may evermore dwell in him and he in us.

          Amen.

 

          If you are following online you could now pray the ‘Spiritual Communion’ prayer below.

 

Prayer after Communion

         

          God our creator,

          you feed your children with the true manna,

          the living bread from heaven:

          let this holy food sustain us through our earthly pilgrimage

          until we come to that place

          where hunger and thirst are no more;

          through Jesus Christ our Lord.

fAll     Amen.

 

All      Almighty God,

          we thank you for feeding us

          with the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ.

          Through him we offer you our souls and bodies

          to be a living sacrifice.

          Send us out

          in the power of your Spirit

          to live and work

          to your praise and glory.

          Amen.

 

 

Spiritual Communion

 

For those praying at home

 

Lord Jesus, it is not possible for me to share in the sacrament of Holy Communion today, but I want to be united with you and so I receive you into my heart and share in communion with you through the gift of your Holy Spirit. I pray for spiritual nourishment and give thanks that nothing can separate me from your love. Amen.

 

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever.
Amen.

 

Blessing

         

          The peace of God,

          which passes all understanding,

          keep your hearts and minds

          in the knowledge and love of God,

          and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;

          and the blessing of God almighty,

          the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

          be among you and remain with you always.

All      Amen.

 

          Go in peace to love and serve the

Lord.                                                                      

All      In the name of Christ. Amen.

Gatley VP
St James
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