Virtual Church‎ > ‎

Sunday 21st June 2020- Second Sunday after Trinity

posted 18 Jun 2020, 06:16 by Church Office   [ updated 21 Jun 2020, 09:31 by CHS Info ]

You can download the order of service here, and a printable version of the readings, sermon and prayers can be downloaded here.

Sunday 21st June 2020

Second Sunday after Trinity

Pram Service (8am) We will be celebrating Windrush Day.  Looking at stories of people travelling to make a new home in a far-away land.Click here to find out all about the Windrush generation and to download your printable arts and activity packs for this week (they start on p6). Story, prayer and song for our littlest members. Head over to the Children and Youth tab to see this week’s service.

Sunday School (9:30am) we will be tackling the first line of the Lord’s Prayer “Our Father, who art in heaven”. Thinking about all the good stuff that fathers/ step-fathers/ uncles/ grandfathers/ cousins do. We must remember that God is our mother too, we are ALL God’s children- sometimes we may not get on with our siblings but we are all God’s children and we are all equal in His eyes. Different but equal. We will be making a cut out chain of people to spread across the kitchen table all over Clapham. Each one important, each one with valued views and feelings, each one who has to say sorry sometimes. You will need to bring paper, scissors and colouring pens/pencils. Join us here: https://zoom.us/j/578055716, you’ll need the password which can be found in our newsletter. To subscribe please go to our homepage to subscribe.

Readings

Jeremiah 20: 7-13

O Lord, you have enticed me,
    and I was enticed;
you have overpowered me,
    and you have prevailed.
I have become a laughingstock all day long;
    everyone mocks me.
For whenever I speak, I must cry out,
    I must shout, “Violence and destruction!”
For the word of the Lord has become for me
    a reproach and derision all day long.
If I say, “I will not mention him,
    or speak any more in his name,”
then within me there is something like a burning fire
    shut up in my bones;
I am weary with holding it in,
    and I cannot.
10 For I hear many whispering:
    “Terror is all around!
Denounce him! Let us denounce him!”
    All my close friends
    are watching for me to stumble.
“Perhaps he can be enticed,
    and we can prevail against him,
    and take our revenge on him.”
11 But the Lord is with me like a dread warrior;
    therefore my persecutors will stumble,
    and they will not prevail.
They will be greatly shamed,
    for they will not succeed.
Their eternal dishonor
    will never be forgotten.
12 O Lord of hosts, you test the righteous,
    you see the heart and the mind;
let me see your retribution upon them,
    for to you I have committed my cause.

13 Sing to the Lord;
    praise the Lord!
For he has delivered the life of the needy
    from the hands of evildoers.

 

Matthew 10:24-39 

24 “A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; 25 it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!

26 “So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 27 What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

32 “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; 33 but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

35 For I have come to set a man against his father,
and a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36 and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.

37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

Sermon

Jeremiah was a prophet in a time of turmoil in Israel.  He was called by God to speak out about the dangers the nation faced.  He said they would be defeated and taken into exile, and he was proved right.  In today’s reading he describes how at times he tries not to speak God’s word, but it’s “like a burning fire shut up in my bones”, and he is compelled to, even though it brings derision and persecution from those who don’t want to hear his warnings.  The word from God is all about ‘violence and destruction’ he says, and he hates the way he’s forced to speak the truth, knowing how the people will react.  Confronting injustice is costly, but he doesn’t give up.

In his misery, he cries out in despair to God, but he knows that God is with him (verse 11), and verse 13 shows us that he can hold on to the hope and trust that justice will be done.

In the Gospel we hear Jesus preparing his disciples for the resistance they will face when they go out in his name. By the time these words were written down the early Christians were already facing persecution.  He tells them, “what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops”.  Like Jeremiah, they have to speak out, even if it leads to suffering.

Often in the Gospels, we hear Jesus saying ‘Peace be with you’, and earlier in this chapter he has told his disciples to take a greeting of peace to each house they enter. Yet here he says that he comes to bring not “peace to the earth”, but “a sword”.  I am grateful to Angus Ritchie, in this week’s commentary in the Church Times.  He quotes St John Chrysostom who wrote that true peace comes only when sin is confronted: “This more than anything else is peace: when the disease is removed. . . Only with such radical surgery is it possible for heaven to be reunited with earth.”

As Angus Ritchie says, true peace involves facing the truth about what is wrong in our own ‘interior’ lives, and in our common life.  We need to acknowledge, and repent of, the injustices and evasions we have consciously or unconsciously assumed.  He quotes another commentator who writes, “A great deal needs to be transformed, purified, put to death and brought to life again, before the peace that comes from God can reign supreme.” (Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis, Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word: Meditations on the Gospel according to St Matthew). 

If we want the peace in our hearts, and peace in our world, which we so often pray for, we have to address issues of inequality and injustice by which we humans obstruct the coming of the kingdom of God. 

This is particularly relevant right now as we consider how we are all responsible for allowing social, economic, and racial injustice. Like Jeremiah and the prophets before us, we have to speak out and confront wrongdoing. Angus Ritchie warns us against the danger of “an illusory peace” which comes from complacency and anxious self-justification.  We can be tempted to think that we are not to blame for these injustices, but we are all complicit and we need to examine our hearts and our minds in a real sense of shame and sorrow searching for the ways in which we ourselves need to change. We cannot and must not remain silent.  We cannot and must not do nothing if we are to remain true to our Christian faith which proclaims freedom to the oppressed. To be silent is to allow sin to triumph over love.

So what can we do? 

1. One practical way to repair some of the damage that has been done to our shared humanity over hundreds of years is to create a better balance in the teaching of history: we would not need an annual “Black History Month” if black and white history were taught equally in a balanced way throughout the year. We can fight for that, and educate ourselves by reading more to balance the history we’ve been taught in the past.

2. Tomorrow is Windrush Day.  Bishop Christopher has invited us to hold a two-minute silence at 11am ‘to  contemplate the lives lost in the slave trade; lament the racism and racial inequality built into our national systems and structures since that time; and consider what action we can take to confront racial injustice today.’*

3. Pray for wisdom and insight as we examine our own inner prejudices.

4. Take time to listen to those who have experienced racism, talk about these things and speak out when we hear comments or see actions which reveal racist attitudes, whether those are conscious or unconscious.

Jesus rejects a false peace in favour of the interior and social conflict we must face if we are to confront sin. Angus Ritchie again: “There is an interior disturbance, because we must face up to our own entanglement in sin. And there is a social disturbance because, as Jesus explains, an honest reckoning with sin will divide families and communities.

Jeremiah confronted his society with the uncomfortable truths it didn’t want to hear, but his lament ends with a song of praise to the Lord: “he has delivered the life of the needy from the hands of evildoers”.

Jesus’s teaching on the cost of faithful witness has the same assurance: the disciples will suffer, but “those who lose their life for my sake will find it”: the true and lasting peace of eternal life that flows from his triumph on the cross.

Prayers

A prayer written by the Dean of Southwark:

God of all, who loves each of us for who we are, to whom each life matters,

who counts the hairs on our head, who knows when a sparrow falls;

teach us to love as you love,

to respect, to honour, to care and to protect each of our sisters and brothers,

that your embracing, including kingdom may come now and your love be known.

Amen


God of power,
you uphold us in times of persecution
and strengthen us to meet the trials of faithful witness.
As you delivered us from death
through our baptism in Christ
and the victory of his resurrection
send us forth to proclaim that glorious redemption,
so that the world may claim
the freedom of forgiveness
and new life in you. Amen.


Prayers of Intercession

Lord, grant us the stillness and calm of your Spirit that we might concentrate on these few minutes of prayer together.

Lord, we have seen how fragile the world can be.  Look with your love and compassion on the needs and suffering of all nations. We ask you to give guidance to the leaders of all countries, who have the heavy responsibility of shaping policies for their people.  May they make wise decisions and now more than ever be prepared to work together for the greater good.

Lord, in your mercy – Hear our prayer

 

We pray for your Church that it may shine as a light in the world, that it may be strengthened in its testimony of justice, truth and freedom in every land and continue to proclaim that all lives matter.  We ask for your blessing on all the clergy who are working tirelessly to maintain the ministry of your word and pastoral care in difficult circumstances.  We think particularly of our own parish and pray that we shall soon be able to be back in church.  Give us courage, Lord, that we might each do what we can to help those in need and comfort those in distress.

Lord, in your mercy – Hear our prayer

 

We pray for doctors, nurses and medical staff who are caring for the sick and all those working in care homes.  Lord, keep them safe and give them skill, sympathy and the resilience to carry on.  Guide all those throughout the world who are searching for a vaccine and cure for Coronavirus.

Lord, in your mercy – Hear our prayer

 

We pray for our local community in Clapham, our families, our friends, our neighbours, the elderly, the isolated, the anxious, those who are struggling financially, the hungry and the homeless.  We bring before you the sick and the suffering and entrust them to your tender care.  Comfort them that they might be restored to health and strength.  We ask in particular for your blessing on Jane, Heidi and Albert Bell, Sara Carter, Ruby Mitchell, Monika and Bernard Maciejko, Jane Taylor, Linda Parker, Christine Harris,  Jane Roberts, Damien Harte and Jonathan Aubrey, and in a moment of silence let us think of any others close to us or known to us ………..

Lord, in your mercy – Hear our prayer

 

We remember loved ones and friends who have died and we think of all those who are mourning a recent bereavement.  May they find the strength, with your support, to meet each day with steadfastness and patience and may they know that you are with them in their loneliness.

Lord, in your mercy – Hear our prayer

 

And, finally, Bishop Christopher’s prayer:

God of faith, deepen our faith

So we may bear witness to Christ in the world;

God of hope, strengthen our hope

So we may be signposts to your transforming presence;

God of love, kindle our love

So that, in a fragile and divided world,

We may be signs of the faith, hope and love

Which we share in Jesus Christ.

 

Merciful Father –

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

Ċ
Church Office,
18 Jun 2020, 07:27
Ċ
Church Office,
20 Jun 2020, 07:56
Ċ
Church Office,
19 Jun 2020, 10:51