Here below we have an outline of our service for you to follow at home if you can’t be with us. Choose a quiet reflective space and to make it more meaningful have a cross, bible and candle to make your sacred space.
Good morning everyone, hope you’ve all recovered from the Team Christian Aid walk, what a wonderful way to get to know others in our team, a great success and congratulations to all the organisers for their hard work. If you still want to contribute to Christian Aid you can do so through your church in one of the Christian Aid envelopes or just in a clearly marked envelope, let’s hope we can support as many people as we can.
We are still in Trinity until the end of October but we are in Creation season, so it’s a time as the children get back to school to think about our carbon footprint, recycling and looking at ways we can boost our gardens and wildlife for the coming autumn.
Many thanks for today’s reflection by Rev Peter and intercessions from Arthur Greaves.
PRAYER OF PREPARATION
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.
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 our 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 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.
Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray and to give more than either we desire or deserve: pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask but through the merits and mediation of 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.
THEOLD TESTAMENT READING
The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens— wakens my ear
to listen as those who are taught. The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backwards. I gave my back to those who struck me,
and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.
The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me. It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty? All of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.
This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God
THE NEW TESTAMENT READING
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.
This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
This is the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark. Glory to you O Lord.
MARK 8, 27-38
Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’ And they answered him, ‘John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’ He asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.’ And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’
This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
Reflection Mark 8: 27-38
At this roughly mid-point in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus begins teaching about what will happen to him. This passage is the first occasion and is introduced by the discussion about who Jesus is; Jesus eases the disciples into the discussion by asking first what others are saying.
Who is Jesus?
The disciples say what others think, then Peter speaks boldly of what he thinks. What do we answer, 2000 years later? He was a great teacher – Yes, except he made extraordinary claims about himself! He seems to have had the power to heal; even to raise the dead at times, and to multiply food and walk on water – or do we think those are the legends?
He was a leader who spoke of a Kingdom and here it gets challenging; the disciples and others wanted that leader to win through military might and by destroying the Romans. Jesus who has accepted the title of Messiah from Peter rebukes him strongly when Peter challenges what Jesus says will happen. Jesus will be the Suffering Messiah, the crucified Saviour, the sacrificed Lamb for our sakes.
Who is Jesus?
Is he really the Messiah, the chosen one of God, the “son of God”, the Word made Flesh as John puts it? What then does that mean for us? If I am honest, like my name-sake, the disciple Peter, I am not comfortable with a suffering Messiah, and I want to be swept up in a triumphant successful Messiah’s entourage (because it is better for me!). I am excited by the Jesus who feeds the crowds, who heals the sick, who welcomes the needy; I like that Jesus, but I am less keen on taking up my cross.
And in the final verses of our passage today the challenge gets clearer. This mortal life ultimately, however successful we may be, is finite – we cannot cheat death or buy our way out. We know that, yet our instinct is to cling on and accumulate in this world. And -if I am honest – I am sometimes ashamed, or embarrassed about standing up as a Christian – I would prefer to keep quiet, keep anonymous, keep in the shadows. We would like an alternative!
Who is this Jesus? He is the one who invites freely, but the invitation is a challenge. He invites us to see his gift as the deepest meaning of true living, as the Way the Truth, the Life. Yet too often or too much, we still cling to what we have, and we find the challenge too fearsome. Peter the “lead” disciple, he finds it a challenge, so we should not be too surprised if we do, but the question still needs answering by each of us:
Who is Jesus?
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; 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.
Here we pray for the church, for the world, those in need and those who have died, you can follow your own prayers or these below on today’s theme.
Heavenly Father mindful of the words of the prophet Isaiah to be strong and fearless, we gather our thoughts and prayers with hope and call on you to help us in our needs.
Faithful God, we thank you that your wisdom not only enlightens us but transforms us and guides us in our daily work through life with you,. Help us, as James advises, to always accompany our words of faith with deeds of action.
Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.
We thank you Lord for the exuberance of young people. Help us to guide and encourage them, allowing them the freedom to explore while providing care to keep them safe. We also pray for those young people who have to take responsibilities beyond their years; may they receive the help they need to cope with circumstances and still experience a good quality of life.
Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.
We commend to your merciful care, O Lord, those known to us or unknown who are suffering or in distress especially at this time of the Pandemic. Grant them, according to their need, peace of heart, strength of body and healing of mind.
Merciful God, we pray for all who are coming to the end of their journey here on earth and pray that they may come into your presence and Kingdom. We pray for all those who have come before your face and now rejoice in the fullness of life eternal. And from our book of remembrance Elizabeth Kay and Eric Smith.
Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.
I sit down, Lord, to watch television, to write a letter, to rest my feet, to listen to music, to read a paper, to shut my eyes and forget.
You sit down, Lord, to wait for me, to be ready for you. Help me, among other things for which I sit, to remember you waiting for me.
Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of you 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 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.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give us peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with us all, and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with us and those who we love for evermore. Amen.