St Laurence Day Sunday 13th August

Hymn I the Lord of Sea and Sky

Preparation

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us; let us pray with one heart and mind.

Grace mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

All: And also with you.

This is the day that the Lord has made.

All:  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

We have come together in the name of Christ to offer our praise and thanksgiving  to hear and receive God’s holy word, to pray for the needs of the world, and to seek the forgiveness of our sins, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, we may give ourselves to the service of God.

All: We say Sorry

Jesus says, ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.’

So let us turn away from our sins and turn to Christ, confessing our sins in penitence and faith.

 

All: 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 to us the joy of your salvation;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

May the Father of all mercies cleanse us from our sins, and restore us in His image to the praise and glory of His name through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

All: Amen.

Blessed is the Lord,

All: For He has heard the voice of our prayer;

Therefore shall our hearts dance for joy

All: And in our song will we praise our God. 

Blessed are you, Lord our God, creator and redeemer of all;

to you be glory and praise for ever.

From the waters of chaos you drew forth the world, and in your great love fashioned us in your image. Now, through the deep waters of death, you have brought your people to new birth by raising your Son to life in triumph.

May Christ your light ever dawn in our hearts as we offer you our sacrifice of thanks and praise.

Blessed be God, Father Son and Holy Spirit.

All: Blessed be God for ever. 

Hymn – O Jesus I Have Promised

  1. O Jesus, I have promised
    to serve thee to the end:
    be thou ever near me,
    my Master and my friend;
    I shall not fear the battle
    if thou art by my side,
    nor wander from the pathway
    if thou wilt be my guide.
     
  1. O let me feel thee near me!
    The world is ever near;
    I see the sights that dazzle,
    the tempting sounds I hear;
    my foes are ever near me,
    around me and within;
    but Jesus, draw thou nearer,
    and shield my soul from sin.
     
  1. O let me hear thee speaking
    in accents clear and still,
    above the storms of passion,
    the murmurs of self-will;
    O speak to reassure me,
    to hasten or control;
    O speak, and make me listen,
    thou guardian of my soul.
     
  1. O let me see thy features,
    the look that once could make
    so many a true disciple
    leave all things for thy sake:
    the look that beamed on Peter
    when he thy name denied;
    the look that draws thy lovers
    close to thy piercèd side.
     
  1. O Jesus, thou hast promised
    to all who follow thee,
    that where thou art in glory
    there shall thy servant be;
    and, Jesus I have promised
    to serve thee to the end;
    O give me grace to follow,
    my Master and my friend
     
  1. O let me see thy footmarks,
    and in them plant mine own;
    My hope to follow duly
    is in thy strength alone.
    O guide me, call me, draw me,
    uphold me to the end;
    and then in heaven receive me,
    my Saviour and my Friend.
    (by John Ernest Bode – 1819 to 1874) 

Collect for the Tenth Sunday after Trinity

Let your merciful ears, O Lord,

be open to the prayers of your humble servants;

and that they may obtain their petitions

make them to ask such things as shall please you;

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..

All: Amen 

.Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead.

All: And Christ shall give you light.

You have died and your life is hid with Christ in God.

All: Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead.

Set your minds on things that are above,

not on things that are on the earth.

All: And Christ shall give you light.

When Christ our life appears

you will appear with him in glory.

All: Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light. 

Hymn – Longing for light, we wait in darkness 

 Our First Reading is taken from 2 Corinthians Chap: 6

6 By our purity, knowledge, patience, and kindness we have shown ourselves to be God’s servants – by the Holy Spirit, by our true love,

7 by our message of truth, and by the power of God. We have righteousness as our weapon, both to attack and to defend ourselves.

8 We are honored and disgraced; we are insulted and praised. We are treated as liars, yet we speak the truth;

9 as unknown, yet we are known by all; as though we were dead, but, as you see, we live on. Although punished, we are not killed;

10 although saddened, we are always glad; we seem poor, but we make many people rich; we seem to have nothing, yet we really possess everything. 

This is the Word of the Lord

All: Thanks be to God

Here the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to – Matthew Chap: 16

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you want to come with me, you must forget yourself, carry your cross, and follow me.

25 For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for my sake, you will find it.

26 Will you gain anything if you win the whole world but lose your life? Of course not! There is nothing you can give to regain your life. 

This is the Word of the Lord

All: Thanks be to God 

Benedicitus

Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel,

All: who has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour,

All: born of the house of his servant David. 

Through his holy prophets God promised of old  

All: to save us from our enemies, from the hands of all that hate us, 

To show mercy to our ancestors,

All: and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham:

All: to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

Free to worship him without fear,

All: holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. 

And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,

All: for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

To give his people knowledge of salvation

All: by the forgiveness of all their sins. 

In the tender compassion of our God

All: the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,

All: and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

All: Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever.

Amen. 

Reflections for St Laurence Day

As I’m sure you all know, last Thursday was the Saints Day of Saint Laurence. Let’s remind ourselves of who he was.

St Laurence was born in Spain around the year 225, and as a youth he was taught by the future Pope Sixtus II. When Sixtus was made pope in 257, he invited Laurence to go with him to Rome to be his archdeacon. This was a position of great trust which included the care of the Church’s treasury and the distribution of alms among the poor.

However, the following year the Roman emperor, Valerian, issued an edict commanding that all bishops, priests and deacons should immediately be put to death. Pope Sixtus himself was captured and executed on the 6th August 258, and the Roman prefect then demanded that Laurence be given three days to turn over all the riches of the Church for which he was responsible.

St Laurence’s response was to quickly distribute as much Church property to the poor as was possible, and on the third day, he presented himself to the Roman prefect with a small delegation. When Laurence was ordered by the prefect to give up the treasures of the Church, he presented to him the poor, the crippled, the blind and the suffering, and said

 “these are the true treasures of the Church.”

The prefect was so angry at this that instead of having Laurence beheaded, he ordered that he should have a slow and painful death by being roasted to death.

But Laurence was unfazed by his sentence, and as he was being tortured, he joked ‘I’m well done on this side. Please turn me over!’ 

It is because of this that St Laurence is not only the patron saint of cooks, but is also the patron saint of comedians.

That comedians have a patron saint is surely a reminder of the universal call to holiness. Humour is an important part of human life, and whilst it can sometimes be used in a destructive and vulgar fashion, it can also help to ease tensions and build community. Pride is the deadliest of all sins, and above all, it is pride that separates us from God and from each other, so if a humorous remark can help us to let go of some of our pride and pretensions, then this is surely a very good thing. Indeed, sometimes it can be right to ridicule someone’s pomposity and prejudices, but having said that, it does take a very pure heart to do this in charity and with a genuine concern for a person’s soul. St. Laurence therefore provides us with something of a role model.

When used well, humour can enable us to see ordinary everyday things and events from a new and unusual perspective. Things are turned on their head, so that what was once seen as serious is suddenly seen as trivial, and what was seen as trivial suddenly becomes serious. This very much seems to be the manner in which St Laurence used humour.

The different and unusual perspective he took was of course the perspective of Faith in Jesus Christ. With the eyes of Christian faith, St Laurence was able to poke fun at those who wanted to seize the material wealth of the Church.

For it was the poor, the crippled, the blind and the suffering who where the true wealth of the church was to be found.

Clearly the Roman prefect didn’t get the joke, but throughout Christian history, those with the gift of faith have been able to laugh alongside St Laurence, knowing that Christ in His death on the Cross has conquered our sinful pride, and that all the pain and loss that may be suffered in this life is incomparable to the eternal joy of sharing in the life of the Trinity.

But, what relevance does St. Laurence have on us today, here in Ansley?

John says in his first letter:

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God”;

and so we are.

All of us here today, and those who can’t make it for whatever reason, we are all treasures in the eyes of God. Not the building, not the silver, but us, the people.

Of course, the building and the furnishings help, they can be visual aids, and can help us grow closer to our Lord. But in an hour’s time, this building will be empty, no further prayers and praises will be forthcoming from within these walls.

But wherever we are, cooking the Sunday joint, going to visit family, friends, interesting places, simply being at home, perhaps in the bath or shower, wherever we are, whatever we are doing, we take Jesus with us, and feel his presence with us. Not in a cold, empty church building, but in the warmth of our hearts. That’s why we are his treasure, because we offer him our love and our lives.

As John writes, we are the children of God.

Let’s just contemplate what this means. We are the children of God. But hang on, Jesus is a child of God, and so are we. Don’t take my word for it, listen to what Paul wrote to the Romans:

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

We are heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.

So Laurence recognised that it’s people who matter, people who are God’s treasure.

I know that you do too, as I see that the proceeds of your flower festival are to go to Nuneaton Hospital and Acorns Hospice. The flowers will be beautiful, and a wonderful focal point, but the great hospitality that you will give to God’s treasure, the people who come to look round, is what God will focus on.

So leave here today knowing, as Laurence does, that you are a treasure in God’s eyes, whether young or senior, male or female, rich or finding it hard to make ends meet, whether your first visit here, or you’re part of the furniture, God loves you and treasures you. What a wonderful promise we have been given.

Amen

Hymn – Who Is on the Lord’s Side?

  1. Who is on the Lord’s side? Who will serve the King?
    Who will be His helpers, other lives to bring?
    Who will leave the world’s side? Who will face the foe?
    Who is on the Lord’s side? Who for Him will go?
    By Thy call of mercy, by Thy grace divine,
    We are on the Lord’s side—Saviour, we are Thine!
  2. Not for weight of glory, nor for crown and palm,
    Enter we the army, raise the warrior psalm;
    But for love that claimeth lives for whom He died:
    He whom Jesus saveth marches on His side.
    By Thy love constraining, by Thy grace divine,
    We are on the Lord’s side—Saviour, we are Thine!
  3. Jesus, Thou hast bought us, not with gold or gem,
    But with Thine own lifeblood, for Thy diadem;
    With Thy blessing filling each who comes to Thee,
    Thou hast made us willing, Thou hast made us free.
    By Thy grand redemption, by Thy grace divine,
    We are on the Lord’s side—Saviour, we are Thine!
  4. Fierce may be the conflict, strong may be the foe,
    But the King’s own army none can overthrow;
    ’Round His standard ranging, victory is secure,
    For His truth unchanging makes the triumph sure.
    Joyfully enlisting, by Thy grace divine,
    We are on the Lord’s side—Saviour, we are Thine!
  5. Chosen to be soldiers, in an alien land,
    Chosen, called, and faithful, for our Captain’s band;
    In the service royal, let us not grow cold,
    Let us be right loyal, noble, true and bold.
    Master, wilt Thou keep us, by Thy grace divine,
    Always on the Lord’s side—Saviour, always Thine!
    (by Frances R. Havergal – 1836 to 1879)

Time of Silence ….. 

We Say Together:

The Creed.

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. 

All: Amen.

Prayers and Intercessions

Prayers for King Charles III

Through this tritium of prayer we ask God’s continuing blessing on our new King Charles 111

Prayer

O God, to whom every human power is subject,
grant to your servant our sovereign Charles 111
success in the exercise of his high office,
so that, always revering you and striving to please you,
he may constantly secure and preserve
for the people entrusted to his care
the freedom that comes from civil peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

All: Amen

Prayer for the Royal Family

Almighty God, the fountain of all goodness,

we humbly beseech thee to bless

Queen Camilla, William Prince of Wales, the Princess of Wales, and all the

Royal Family:

Endue them with thy Holy Spirit; enrich them with thy heavenly

grace; prosper them with all happiness;

and bring them to thine everlasting

kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

We pray for God to fill us with his Spirit.

Generous God,

we thank you for the power of your Holy Spirit.

We ask that we may be strengthened to serve you better.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the wisdom of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to make us wise to understand your will.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the peace of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to keep us confident of your love wherever you call us.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the healing of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to bring reconciliation and wholeness

where there is division, sickness and sorrow.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the gifts of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to equip us for the work which you have given us.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the fruit of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to reveal in our lives the love of Jesus.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the breath of your Holy Spirit,

given us by the risen Lord.

We ask you to keep the whole Church, living and departed,

in the joy of eternal life.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit. 

All: Generous God,

hear our prayer,

and make us one in heart and mind

to serve you with joy for ever.

Amen.

We gather our thoughts and prayers in the words our Saviour gave us 

All: Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen. 

Hymn – For all the saints

1 For all the saints who from their labours rest,
who Thee by faith before the world confessed;
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

2 Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

3 O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

4 And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
and hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

5 But then there breaks a still more glorious day:
the saints triumphant rise in bright array;
the King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

6 From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
in praise of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Alleluia, Alleluia!
(by William Walsham How – 1823 to 1897) 

Closing Blessings

May God give to you and to all those you love

his comfort and his peace,

his light and his joy,

in this world and the next;

and the blessing of our Lord Jesus Christ

and the Love of God

and the fellowship  of the Holy Sprit

be with us all evermore. 

All: Amen.

Hymn – Soldiers of Christ Arise

  1. Soldiers of Christ, arise,
    And put your armour on,
    Strong in the strength which God supplies
    Through His eternal Son.
    Strong in the Lord of hosts,
    And in His mighty power,
    Who in the strength of Jesus trusts
    Is more than conqueror.
     
  1. Stand then in His great might,
    With all His strength endued,
    And take, to arm you for the fight,
    The panoply of God;
    That, having all things done,
    And all your conflicts passed,
    Ye may overcome through Christ alone,
    And stand entire at last.
     
  1. Leave no unguarded place,
    No weakness of the soul,
    Take every virtue, every grace,
    And fortify the whole.
    From strength to strength go on,
    Wrestle and fight and pray,
    Tread all the powers of darkness down
    And win the well-fought day.
    (by Charles Wesley – 1707 to 1789)

The Grace 

All: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

And the love of God,

And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

Be with us all evermore.

Amen

Go in joy and peace to love and serve the Lord

All: In the name of Christ Amen.

© 702211