St James, Gatley,

Holy Communion

The Fourth Sunday after Trinity – 27 June 2021

 

 

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

 

          O God, the protector of all who trust in you,

          without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:

          increase and multiply upon us your mercy;

          that with you as our ruler and guide

          we may so pass through things temporal

          that we lose not our hold on things eternal;

          grant this, heavenly Father,

          for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake,

          who is alive and reigns with you,

          in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

          one God, now and for ever.

All      Amen.

        

Readings

 

Wisdom of Solomon 1.13-15, 2.23-24

 

God did not make death,

and he does not delight in the death of the living.

For he created all things so that they might exist;

the generative forces of the world are wholesome,

and there is no destructive poison in them,

and the dominion of Hades is not on earth.

For righteousness is immortal.

 

God created us for incorruption,

and made us in the image of his own eternity,

but through the devil’s envy death entered the world,

and those who belong to his company experience it.

 

          This is the word of the Lord.

All      Thanks be to God.

 

 

2 Corinthians 8.7-end

Now as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you—so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.

I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. And in this matter I am giving my advice: it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something— now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means. For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has—not according to what one does not have. I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. As it is written,

‘The one who had much did not have too much,

   and the one who had little did not have too little.’

 

But thanks be to God who put in the heart of Titus the same eagerness for you that I myself have. For he not only accepted our appeal, but since he is more eager than ever, he is going to you of his own accord. With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his proclaiming of the good news; and not only that, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us while we are administering this generous undertaking for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our goodwill. We intend that no one should blame us about this generous gift that we are administering, for we intend to do what is right not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of others. And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found eager in many matters, but who is now more eager than ever because of his great confidence in you. As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker in your service; as for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ. Therefore, openly before the churches, show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you.

 

This is the word of the Lord.

All      Thanks be to God.

 

Gospel Reading

 

Mark 5.21-end

 

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

All      Glory to you, O Lord.

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered round him; and he was by the lake. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, ‘My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.’ So he went with him.

And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, ‘If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.’ Immediately her haemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ And his disciples said to him, ‘You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, “Who touched me?” ’ He looked all round to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.’

While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?’ But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.’ He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, ‘Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.’ And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha cum’, which means, ‘Little girl, get up!’ And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

 

This is the gospel of the Lord.

All      Thanks be to God.

 

 

Reflection

 

Last weekend I met a relative I haven’t seen for a while and she was talking about a group she has joined which reads plays together. She was saying that the person who leads the group helps them to understand the meaning of the plays, why the playwright might have structured the play in the way they did, the meaning of certain words in the context of the play and so on. The Bible is much the same; like plays, passages of scripture can come to life for us when we are given the means to engage with them in new ways. This morning, as we engage with the gospel reading, there are insights at our disposal to hear the passage with fresh ears and to say at the end ‘I never realized…I never saw Jesus quite like this before’.

 

On the face of it, the passage is about a woman and a young girl whom Jesus heals. But there’s so much more going on. The first thing to notice is that twice in the passage 12 years is mentioned. The woman had been unwell for 12 years and Jairus’s daughter is 12 years old. Why does Mark include these details? He could have left them out but he chooses to include them. The number 12 had a big significance in Israel: Jacob had 12 sons who became the 12 tribes of Israel. Similarly, when Jesus begins his ministry he chooses 12 disciples to represent the newly constituted people of Israel. This passage, with two references to 12, is asking us to think about this new Israel that Jesus is forming and who will be a part of it. Will the new Israel be exactly like the old one, or will it be different, and how will it be different?

 

In Israel as it was, a woman suffering haemorrhaging was ritually unclean and if anyone touched her or touched what she had touched would also be considered ritually unclean until they had gone through a purification ceremony. It was as if she was contagious, and so she would have lived on the edge of society, probably trying to keep her condition hidden, aware that she was not part of the main. Yet, in the passage it is through touch that she is healed. When she touches Jesus, she does not make him ritually unclean, rather she is healed of the illness that was making her an outsider. So, we see that two healings take place at once, first of all her haemorrhage stops, she is physically healed, and at the same time her social isolation and exclusion also come to an end as she is gathered into the life of the community once again. She becomes a part of the 12 tribes again but the point is that she is becoming a part of the new Israel that Jesus is bringing about, a new Israel that Jesus is forming through his healing and his teaching, a Kingdom where faith or trust in Jesus is gateway into the new people he is forming. Notice how Jesus calls her daughter in the passage. Jesus doesn’t call anyone else daughter in the gospels and yet this former ‘outsider’ in the life of the nation becomes a precious daughter who is an integral part of the family that Jesus is creating. It was her trust in Jesus, her faith in him that made her well; she didn’t make him unclean, but found healing and new life.

 

There’s something similar happening with Jairus’s daughter. Jairus, unlike the woman in the crowd, was an insider in Israel. He was the leader of the local synagogue, part of the establishment we might say. But his 12 year old daughter is unwell and at the point of death, and he turns to Jesus for help. Notice how he approaches Jesus directly, his approach is very different to the woman in the crowd who keeps herself hidden. Jairus doesn’t have to do that, as an insider he can ask Jesus directly, he says to him: ‘My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.’ Jairus is an insider, and yet he up against the same problem as the woman in the crowd, in the face of sickness and death, he has come to the end of his resources, and so he turns to Jesus in faith and hope.

 

The healing of Jairus’s daughter is perhaps the most touching healing in the whole of the gospels, in it we glimpse both the tenderness and authority of Jesus. In the passage we learn that Jairus’s daughter dies. Messengers give Jairus the bad news and tell him to trouble Jesus no further, but Jesus turns to Jairus and says, ‘don’t be afraid, only believe’, and so they make their way to Jairus’s house with Peter, James and John. When they get there, the mourning has started, people are weeping and wailing in shock and grief at the tragedy, but Jesus says to them, ‘Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.’ The people laugh at him, they can see for themselves that the child is dead, and this is where something really significant happens, Jesus puts everyone outside except himself, Peter, James and John, the child’s parents and the child herself, then we read that he took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha cum’, which means, ‘Little girl, get up!’ We could translate this is ‘Come on pet, time to get up, time to rise’. This is a moment where Jesus defeats the power of death, and in the room with him is the new Israel that he bringing to birth: himself, Peter, James and John, the girl’s parents and the girl. Here is the beginning of a new community, a new family, Israel was not dead but had fallen asleep and Jesus had come to wake her to new life.

 

The passage ends with the amazement of Peter, James and John and the child’s parents. In Mark’s gospel the word amazed only appears twice, at this point and at the end of the gospel when Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome go to the tomb of Jesus to be greeted with the news that he has been raised from the dead. The healing of Jairus’s daughter points to the final and complete healing/salvation that Jesus will perform through his death and resurrection.

 

The gospel reading this morning is all about the new life and the new community that Jesus brings into being. The woman in the crowd, a ritually unclean outsider becomes a beloved daughter through her faith and trust in him. Jairus’s family experience salvation, a foretaste of resurrection, as they reach out to Jesus in faith and are amazed by his tenderness and sovereignty, his power, even over death. In the gospel Mark sandwiches the two healings together to make the point that the woman, the outsider, and Jairus the insider, belong together in the new Israel that Jesus is forming, and that through their faith in him they receive all that he has to give to the world: healing, new life, hope, salvation and ultimately resurrection. We too are called by Jesus to be part of this beautiful gospel story of receiving the new life that Jesus brings to the world. We also are called to become daughters and sons, and to help others to know the new life that Jesus brings to the world. The word Eucharist means to ‘thanks’, we give thanks for all that Jesus gives us, the new life he brings, that we are welcomed into fellowship with him and one another by receiving all that he shares, which is everything. Amen.

 

Prayers

If you are praying at home you could use the following pattern your prayers…

 

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 by name for John, Millie, Sue, Anne, Kath, Mary , Mike, Christine, Malcolm, Norman, Sharon, Mick, Catherine, Gordon, Roger, Jace, and all others known to us. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

God of peace, we commend to you all have died in recent day, praying for Richard Preece…

We pray for those whose year’s mind fall this week, from this parish we pray for Jean Dixon, Eileen Chandley, Elaine Thorpe, Edward Thorpe, Frank Mitchell, George Chivers, Irene Raper.

 

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

         

          Eternal God,

          comfort of the afflicted and healer of the broken,

          you have fed us at the table of life and hope:

          teach us the ways of gentleness and peace,

          that all the world may acknowledge

          the kingdom of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

All      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.

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