St Maxentius Worship at Home – Trinity 11 – 20th August 2023


Good morning everyone, I hope you are all well. Today’s gospel reading is from Matthew and is about the faith of the Canaanite woman. Rev Hannah has done the reflection today. The intercessions are by Arthur Greaves. Next week I am on holiday so I have attached the readings at the end of this service as I am back too late in the week to get a service out to you. Normal service will be resumed the week after. Perhaps you could use this weeks service again and just substitute the readings.  – God bless – Jan B.


Faithful one, whose word is life; come with saving power to free our praise, inspire our prayer and shape our lives for the kingdom of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Holy Spirit 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.

Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed. We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. In your mercy forgive what we have been help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be; that we may do justly; love mercy and walk humbly with you, our God. Amen.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who in his great mercy has promised forgiveness of sins to all those who with heartfelt repentance and true faith turn to him; have mercy on us and deliver us from our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness and bring us to everlasting life, 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.

O God, you declare your almighty power most chiefly in showing mercy and pity: mercifully grant to us such a measure of your grace, that we, running the way of your commandments, may receive your gracious promises, and be made partakers of your heavenly treasure; 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.


ROMANS 11.1-2a, 29-32

I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.

This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.


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

MATTHEW 15. 21-28

But Peter said to him, ‘Explain this parable to us.’

 Jesus went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, ‘Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.’ But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, ‘Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.’ He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ But she came and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, help me.’ He answered, ‘It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.’ She said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Jesus answered her, ‘Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed instantly.

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you O Christ.


Do you remember some of the instructions we were given during the pandemic? If we particularly remember those instructions that centred around hand washing and making sure we limited contact with others who weren’t in our ‘bubble’ then we are able to start making some modern sense of what is going on in our reading today. In fact, it is probably because of this pandemic experience that we now have a better understanding of some of the attitudes we are presented with here today.

What motivated you to stick to those recommendations? Presumably you wanted to make sure you didn’t catch anything and get sick. Well, this is the attitude that the disciples display today, except their understanding about what they could ‘catch’ wasn’t quite as well informed as ours is today with modern understandings of germs and viral transmission.

What if we put ourselves in the place of the disciples today, and actually our motivations and understandings about cleanliness are wrong, or lead us to do the wrong thing? Jesus identifies this as an opportunity to teach his disciples about inner, toxic attitudes that lead to bad actions. Jesus lived and died a Jew, people who believed they had a special covenant relationship with God that governed all their community and inter-community relationships – including who was ‘in’ and who wasn’t. But Jesus himself had an even deeper and more intimate relationship with God. He was able to hear God tell him that he was a beloved Son, and to receive the fullness of God’s love for him – and to put no blocks in the way of that same love flowing out to all around him.

This is what happened in Jesus’ encounter with the Canaanite woman. Canaanites were people who lived in the ‘promised land’ when the Israelites arrived. From a Jewish point of view, given their understanding of their special relationship with God, this meant she was an outsider, unclean. Jesus’ initial rebuff of her reflected the views typical of religious elders of the time. However, because Jesus was so at home in himself, in his own inner relationship with God, he was able to recognise her inner self – her courage and faith motivated by love of her child. He realised that God’s healing love included her. He recognised the wideness of God’s mercy – something that would have been uncomfortable to any ‘ordinary’ Jew of that time. It challenged their belief that they were an exclusive, chosen people.

The big challenge Jesus gives us all is to understand that loving him is not about conforming but loving him in our hearts in such a way that our whole inner being is transformed, and transformed inner attitudes flow into our outer actions.

Rev Hannah.


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 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 on 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.


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

Loving God, we recognise our responsibility to encourage and uphold one another and to live together in peace and love. We also recognise our needs and our human weaknesses and come to you now with our prayers and petitions.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We thank you, Lord for the church of which we are members and pray for your blessing on all who share with us in its life and worship. Save us as a congregation from being inward looking and over -occupied with our own little affairs. Help us to take our eyes off ourselves  and turn them on outside, always remembering that the Church of Christ exists not for itself but for the sake of others.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Loving Lord, empower us by your Spirit and lead us in your ways that we may reach out in love and  service to families and communities  across your world. So we commit ourselves to fulfilling the challenge to reach out across the world in love and service to the poor, the illiterate, the lonely and the oppressed. We ask for your continual blessing on our endeavours – in Christ’s name.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Faithful God, forgive us when we only turn to you when things trouble us and when we forget to thank you for your blessings. Help us to recognise all the wonderful things in your world for which we should be grateful and send us out into the coming week ready to  show our gratitude in all that we say and do.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Gracious God ,we pray for the ill, the lonely and distressed especially those tormented by mental illness like the poor girl in the gospel. We pray for healing and wholeness in their lives and we pray for ourselves. Help us to bring life and love, joy and hope to those who live in despair. We remember those in our own congregation, Rev. Peter Reiss, Thomas Causton, Stanley Schofield, Sue Roberts, Colin Robert and Stephen Haslam.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Merciful God, remember the souls of your servants now fallen asleep and for those who are saddened by their passing. Be with the bereaved in their loneliness and give them the faith to look beyond their present troubles to your Son Jesus Christ who died and rose again and lives for evermore. From our book of remembrance Alice Annie Fisher, Jack Stables and Dorothy Taylor.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

A prayer of Henry Newman:

Teach us dear Lord, frequently and attentively to consider this truth:

That if I gain the whole world and lose you, in the end I have lost everything;

Whereas, if I lose the world and gain you, in the end I have lost nothing.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of St. Maxentius and all your saints, we commend ourselves and the whole of your creation to your unfailing love.

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 now and forever. Amen.


The Lord bless us and watch over us, the Lord make his face shine upon us and be gracious to us, the Lord look kindly on us and give us peace; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit be with us now and always. Amen.

ROMANS 12. 1-8

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.


MATTHEW 16. 13-20

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’ Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

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