Good morning everyone and welcome to our Worship at Home service. Last week we had lots of celebrations for the Queen’s Jubilee and of course Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was given to the disciples. This act of course completes the Trinity which is celebrated today.
It was lovely to reinstate the coffee after the service last Sunday and many of you commented that, you felt so much happier now being able to chat and catch up with everyone. It really does feel that we have turned a corner.
Today’s reflection is by Rev Peter and Intercessions by Arthur Greaves, thank you to them both.
PRAYER OF PREPARATION
Eternal God, source of all blessing, help us to worship you with all our heart and mind and strength; for you alone are God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.
PRAYER OF PENITENCE
The Spirit of the Lord fills the world and knows our every word and deed. Let us then open ourselves to the Lord and confess our sins in penitence and faith.
Lord God, we have sinned against you; we have done evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent. Have mercy on us according to your love.
Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from sin.
Renew a right spirit within us and restore us to the joy of your salvation.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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.
Almighty and everlasting God, you have given us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity and in the power of the divine majesty to worship the Unity: keep us steadfast in this faith, that we may evermore be defended from all adversities; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
THE OLD TESTAMENT READING
Proverbs 8: 22-31
The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago.
Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth— when he had not yet made earth and fields, or the world’s first bits of soil.
When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master worker; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.
This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John. Glory to you O Lord.
JOHN 16. 12-15
‘I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you O Christ
Trinity Sunday is supposedly the Sunday when most clergy don’t want to preach – how do you explain “Trinity”, or “Triune” or “Three in One and One in Three”.
If God Almighty created number as well as space and time and gender, then God is beyond time, number and space and gender.
At its simplest I can understand that God was fully present in Jesus (without being absent from heaven as it were!); Jesus is the full embodiment of God – I can understand it but it blows my mind. As the embodiment, incarnation of God, Jesus was present in particular time and space – Galilee and Judea 2000 years ago. But God is also present with us here and with people everywhere by his Spirit (I can comprehend it but it blows my mind that God knows the hairs on my head, diminishing as they are, as well as those on every other head. Worship is our response because God is Almighty
And then I also have to wrestle with the holiness of God before which I am doomed, burnt up as if to a frazzle, if it were not for God’s love and mercy; again worship is our response for there is no reason why a holy God would continue to love creatures that are so disrespectful and rebellious.
It was the early theologians who wrestled with how to speak of God and who came up with the language of Trinity or Triune (which means Three-One). They did quite a good job, but if they thought they had it sorted they were somewhat wrong because God is beyond comprehension. And in our Scriptures we find this wonderful hymn to Wisdom (Proverbs 8); she gate-crashes the Trinity Party as (apparently) a fourth person, present before Creation, involved in Creation like a fellow master-crafts-worker, a woman who seems to be both Jesus (compare this to John 1) and maybe also the Spirit of God. And the language is one of delight and joy and creativity. Some call her Sophia, the Greek word for Wisdom.
Jesus says the Spirit will lead us into all truth, but this is a journey not an end-point. We are granted sufficient truth so that we can believe and trust in God and God’s promises, but when our understanding is reaching its limits we continue in worship, with wonder and awe at what we cannot fully understand, and we continue together with one another, because we are called into a unity, a togetherness in God, and it is all exemplified by the mystery, wonder and gift of the Eucharist, Christ present in bread and wine, God present by his Spirit, the foretaste of his promised Kingdom.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.
During the intercessions, we pray for the church, our country, our government, people in difficulty and those who have died. You can use your own prayers or if you prefer here are some on today’s theme
The unique nature of God is celebrated today, as we reflect on truth that God is creator, redeemer and life giver.
Let us pray to the Father, in the power of the Holy Spirit, through Jesus, the Son.
We struggle for phrases, pictures and words but you are too large, too full of wonder for the mouth or pen. Yet in Jesus Christ you became a word made flesh, a person to be touched and seen. In human weakness you shed your power to tread the path of life and death. We are shamed and torn to see you carrying our grief. Crucified you draw from us a new and deeper worship. But you have more to show us, living God. By your holy spirit you lead us into new discoveries. In a miracle of love you make us your children and call us to suffer and serve in all the world, making visible your grace in Jesus Christ.
Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.
Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen; give wisdom to all in authority; and direct this and every nation in the ways of justice and peace; that we may honour one another and seek the common good.
Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.
Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body mind and spirit, those know to us or unknown; give them courage and hope in their troubles and bring them to the joy of your salvation. We remember those who told us of you through their words and lives;
We think of those who have died in faith and ask that we may share with them
in the joy of your presence for ever. Here we remember from our book of remembrance, Margaret Elizabeth Foster.
Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever; first and last, we worship you.
In times of change that confuse and unsettle help us to build on the foundation that is eternal. In all things, sustain us by your word, inspire us by your Spirit and draw us closer to you.
Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us this day 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 forever. Amen.
May God keep us in all our days.
May Christ shield us in all our ways.
May the Spirit bring us healing and peace.
May God the Holy Trinity drive all darkness from us and pour upon us blessing and light.