St Maxentius Worship at Home -Sunday – 29th October 2023 – Trinity 21

This service can be used at home if you are unable to get to church. As you pray and reflect, we trust you will feel part of the wider church community.


As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,

so may the light of your presence,

O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you; 

now and forever. Amen.


Almighty God our heavenly Father

we have sinned against you

and against our neighbour

in thought 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.


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 sins of the world: 

have mercy upon 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.


Grant, we beseech you, merciful Lord,

to your faithful people pardon and peace,

that they may be cleansed from all their sins

and serve you with a quiet mind;

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


1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

Paul’s Ministry in Thessalonica

You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, but though we had already suffered and been shamefully maltreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.

Matthew 22:34-46

The Greatest Commandment

When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’

The Question about David’s Son

Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: ‘What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?’ They said to him, ‘The son of David.’ He said to them, ‘How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying,

“The Lord said to my Lord,

‘Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet’ “?

If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?’ No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

Three questions you might ask about the readings

What strikes you from the readings?

What puzzles you from the readings?

What excites you from the readings?


Have you ever watched two great tennis players in a match against each other? Over the summer months we are able to witness such things as Wimbledon graces our television screens, to see two greats playing an intense match, the ball bouncing back and forth. I can see why people find tennis interesting, even if I don’t particularly understand it myself. The skill and talent of the players as they each use tactics to strategically outwit their opponent, seeking to gain points and ultimately win the match. As we reach the end of chapter 22 in Matthew Gospel this week, it might feel as if we have been witness to a great tennis tournament; the bouncing back and forth of knowledge, debate about laws, the gathering of groups to watch as each Jewish sect takes their turn to debate with this man Jesus over the way they should interpret law, scripture and indeed, live their lives.

The challenge today is this: what is the greatest commandment?

As we gather in worship each week, we are reminded, the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, the second is to love your neighbour as yourself.

And that is it. All other laws, commandments and instructions from scripture fall into those categories. Love of God and love of neighbour. If we were to run a quick check through every decision and action we take each day, it should be these two things that we start with: does this demonstrate love of God? does it demonstrate love for my neighbour?

I wonder, in reality, how often we actually take the time to check ourselves in this way? Do we consider if our actions, choices and decisions are in line with these commandments? You might think I’m mad to suggest this, but actually taking just some time on occasions to do just such a thing might surprise you in how you start to shape your thinking going forwards. For example, if we’re out shopping and we spot something that might be an impulse buy-consider, how does this demonstrate love of God? Or love of neighbour? If you find yourself thinking “actually, I already own one and I would end up creating unnecessary waste by buying another” then you’ve concluded that to demonstrate love of God and neighbour, you’re not going to add to what is already a colossal waste problem on our planet thus showing love of the world that God created, and that we occupy alongside our neighbours.

These commandments aren’t complicated, and this is what Jesus teaches in the passage today. There are other commandments, yes, but the greatest of these is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and a second is you shall love your neighbour as yourself. No matter which side of the debate you stand on here, as long as they are followed.

Rev Hanna


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,

and is seated at the right hand of the Father;

he will come again in glory

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.


Please include your own prayers as well

In our prayers we pray for our church, our communities and our world.

Everlasting God, you made a covenant with our ancestors and pledged them descendants more numerous than the stars. Grant that all people may share in the blessings of your covenant, accomplished through the death and resurrection of your Son and sealed by the gift of your Spirit.

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Loving God, we hold the needs of our sisters and brothers as dearly as our own needs. Help us to love you with all our hearts and with all our souls and with all our minds and to love our neighbours as ourselves. With these commandments before us we offer our thanksgivings and our petitions on behalf of the church both here and throughout the world.

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Creator God, we pray for the peoples of the world that they may enjoy un-perverted justice whether they be poor or rich, great or small. We pray that those who use violence and terror to bring about their desires and those who then seek revenge may instead pursue all that makes for peace.

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Father God, we thank you for our families and friends. We thank you for modern technology which enables us to hear and see them so easily and to keep in touch even though separated by great distances. We especially pray at this time for those friends and family members in the UK as they enjoy a half-term break from schools and colleges.

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

 Holy God, friend of those in need, your Son Jesus has loosened our burdens and healed our spirits. We lift before you for those still burdened, those seeking healing, those in need within the church and the world:

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

 Loving God of all consolation, your Son Jesus was moved to tears at the grave of Lazarus his friend. Look with compassion on those bereaved and grieving at the loss of a loved one; give to their troubled hearts the light of hope and strengthen in all of us the gift of faith, in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Gracious God, at the start of this new week, recognising your trust in us to live and preach the Gospel, make us always more ready to please you rather than to seek the praise of the secular world Merciful Father:

Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, 

our Saviour Jesus Christ. 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 i

now and forever. Amen.

Keep a moment of quiet as you allow God to speak to you, as you let your spirit rest in God’s Spirit.


May the Lord 

bless us and watch over us, 

make his face shine upon us 

and be gracious to us. 

May the Lord look kindly on us 

and give us peace, 

and may the blessing of God Almighty, 

our Creator, our Redeemer, 

the one who gives us Life 

be among us and with us all always. Amen.

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