St James, Gatley,
8th Sunday after Trinity – 2 August 2020
In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Almighty Lord and everlasting God,
we beseech you to direct, sanctify and govern
both our hearts and bodies
in the ways of your laws
and the works of your commandments;
that through your most mighty protection, both here and ever,
we may be preserved in body and soul;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Ho, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labour for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
See, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples.
See, you shall call nations that you do not know,
and nations that do not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.
This is the word of the Lord.
All Thanks be to God.
I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
This is the word of the Lord.
All Thanks be to God.
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.
All Glory to you, O Lord.
Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.’ Jesus said to them, ‘They need not go away; you give them something to eat.’ They replied, ‘We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.’ And he said, ‘Bring them here to me.’ Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
All Praise to you, O Christ.
The readings from Isaiah and Matthew today are all about abundance. Isaiah announces to God’s people, ‘Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.’ Those who have nothing, those who have no means of paying are invited to buy and eat, ‘without money and without price.’ That theme of overflowing abundance also comes through in the second reading where Jesus feeds the crowd whom the disciples were ready to send away. Jesus takes the five loaves and two fish that the disciples have and he blesses them, breaks them and then distributes them to the crowd. And after everyone has had more than enough to eat the disciples go round to collect the leftovers and there are twelve baskets full of the broken pieces of food that nobody could eat. In both readings there’s an abundance of food which points to abundance of God. God doesn’t run out and Jesus throughout the gospels reveals the abundance of God, even on the cross God’s abundant forgiveness and undying love are present in Jesus.
A few years ago the Mothers’ Union at St James made a visit to the Jewish Museum in Manchester. As part of the visit we made our own bread and we were asked to reflect on our happy memories of food. I can’t remember whether we shared them, but for many of us, we have memories of family picnics on holiday, fish and chips at the seaside, a special meal at Christmas or on our Birthday, or a meal with a friend. As we look back on those memories, they help us reflect on the nature of what Jesus calls the Kingdom of God where everything fits together and coalesces in such a way everything is enriched and enhanced. Why is it that fish and chips taste better at the seaside, is not the context in which we eat them, is it not the people we eat them with?
In the gospel reading the crowd share a meal in the presence of Jesus, it’s a meal that the disciples have helped to prepare and share, and we can imagine it was a meal that involved much joy and laughter. A meal that would become a happy memory for those who were there. And at the heart of it is God’s abundance working through Jesus, bringing people together, feeding, nourishing and creating companionship and joy. Just compare this with the other meal that’s recorded in the same chapter of Matthew’s gospel – the birthday banquet that Herod holds in his palace. A birthday meal in Herod’s company is one that unravels and disintegrates very quickly. It ends with Herod making a boastful promise that leads to John the Baptist being beheaded. It’s perhaps no coincidence that Matthew puts Herod’s banquet and the feeding of the crowd next to one another, as they couldn’t be more different. One flows out of God’s abundance and leads to joy, life and satisfaction, the other stems from scarcity and fear and leads to boasting, revenge and violence. Just imagine how Herod’s guests would have remembered that particular meal.
So, we can see how Jesus’s presence at the feeding of the crowd generates fulfilment, joy and companionship, whereas Herod’s presence leads to fear, revenge and violence. Jesus is the one who brings God’s abundant life to the world, overcoming all the ways in which human relationships fragment by providing a new context in which we can relate to one another. Again, it’s no coincidence that we are told that the twelve disciples collect up all the fragments of food into baskets, as they join in with the work that Jesus has been doing through the feeding of the crowd. And, of course, we too are called to live our lives in the presence of Jesus, to allow him to be the context in which we live our lives, so that he can do his work of feeding and gathering, of healing and restoring, of creating fellowship and joy among us. The Church is called to be a community which gathers around Jesus, and as we gather and are fed in word and sacrament we are nourished, we are called to be companions of Jesus who can play our part in doing the work that Jesus does: generating fellowship and gathering what’s fragmented. In these days of uncertainty we can rely on the abundance of God, an abundance which is creative and generative, and gathers us together around Jesus who feeds us with the bread of the Kingdom. Amen.
Let us pray
God our Father, we pray for the needs of the world. We pray for those who are hungry, for those all over the world who lack the basic necessities of life. We pray Lord that your Kingdom would come, that the hungry would be fed and all people would know the fullness that you give unceasingly. We pray for the work of Christian Aid and the projects they share in which mean that communities in need of a helping hand can live more securely. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Lord Jesus, we pray for your Church. We pray that your Church may always look to you as the source of its life. We pray that you would bless your Church may be a source of blessing in the world. Out of the abundance of the Father pour out the fulness of your life upon your Church through the Spirit. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Holy Spirit, we pray for our local community. We pray for initiatives and projects in our community which bring people together in creative ways. We pray that your Spirit would bless and multiply those acts of neighbourliness and common concern that have been present in recent months. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
God of love, we pray for all who are unwell. Help them to know your faithful and loving presence. We pray, Lord, for Millie, Sue, Andrew, Alexis, Iris, Anne, Kath, Mary, Ceri, 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 Harold Dixon and for his children, Richard and Janet. We give thanks for the many ways in which Harold brought people together and manifested your love in his life. We pray too for those whose year’s mind fall this week, praying by name for Sidney Bracegirdle, Shirley Norbury, Joyce Scott, Harry Fallas and Anne Burrows. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
You may want to make some personal prayers of your own here
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.
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.
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.
If you are following online you could now pray the ‘Spiritual Communion’ prayer below.
Prayer after Communion
Strengthen for service, Lord,
the hands that have taken holy things;
may the ears which have heard your word
be deaf to clamour and dispute;
may the tongues which have sung your praise be free from deceit;
may the eyes which have seen the tokens of your love
shine with the light of hope;
and may the bodies which have been fed with your body
be refreshed with the fullness of your life;
glory to you for ever.
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.
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.
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.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. All In the name of Christ. Amen.