Trinity 2 Morning Worship at St Laurence

Hymn Lord Jesus Christ, You Have Come to Me

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 – God has spoken – by His prophets

Collect for the Second Sunday of Trinity

Lord, you have taught us

that all our doings without love are nothing worth:

send your Holy Spirit

and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love,

the true bond of peace and of all virtues,

without which whoever lives is counted dead before you.

Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ’s sake,

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 – Thy Kingdom Come , O God

  1. Thy kingdom come, O God,
    thy rule, O Christ, begin;
    break with thine iron rod
    the tyrannies of sin.
     
  1. Where is thy reign of peace
    and purity and love?
    When shall all hatred cease,
    as in the realms above?
     
  1. When comes the promised time
    that war shall be no more,
    and lust, oppression, crime
    shall flee thy face before?
     
  1. We pray thee, Lord, arise,
    and come in thy great might;
    revive our longing eyes,
    which languish for thy sight.
     
  1. Men scorn thy sacred name,
    and wolves devour thy fold;
    by many deeds of shame
    we learn that love grows cold.
     
  1. O’er lands both near and far
    thick darkness broodeth yet:
    arise, O Morning Star,
    arise, and never set!
    (by Lewis Hensley b1824) 

Our First Reading is taken from – 1 Samuel Chap: 8

4 Then all the leaders of Israel met together, went to Samuel in Ramah,

5 and said to him, “Look, you are getting old and your sons don’t follow your example. So then, appoint a king to rule over us, so that we will have a king, as other countries have.”

6 Samuel was displeased with their request for a king; so he prayed to the Lord,

7 and the Lord said, “Listen to everything the people say to you. You are not the one they have rejected; I am the one they have rejected as their king.

8 Ever since I brought them out of Egypt, they have turned away from me and worshiped other gods; and now they are doing to you what they have always done to me.

9 So then, listen to them, but give them strict warnings and explain how their kings will treat them.”

10 Samuel told the people who were asking him for a king everything that the Lord had said to him.

11 “This is how your king will treat you,” Samuel explained. “He will make soldiers of your sons; some of them will serve in his war chariots, others in his cavalry, and others will run before his chariots. 

16 He will take your servants and your best cattle and donkeys, and make them work for him.

17 He will take a tenth of your flocks. And you yourselves will become his slaves.

18 When that time comes, you will complain bitterly because of your king, whom you yourselves chose, but the Lord will not listen to your complaints.”

19 The people paid no attention to Samuel, but said, “No! We want a king,

20 so that we will be like other nations, with our own king to rule us and to lead us out to war and to fight our battles.”

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. 

Hear the Gospel our Lord Jesus Christ According to Mark Chap: 3

20 Then Jesus went home. Again such a large crowd gathered that Jesus and his disciples had no time to eat.

21 When his family heard about it, they set out to take charge of him, because people were saying, “He’s gone mad!”

22 Some teachers of the Law who had come from Jerusalem were saying, “He has Beelzebul in him! It is the chief of the demons who gives him the power to drive them out.”

23 So Jesus called them to him and spoke to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan?

24 If a country divides itself into groups which fight each other, that country will fall apart.

25 If a family divides itself into groups which fight each other, that family will fall apart.

26 So if Satan’s kingdom divides into groups, it cannot last, but will fall apart and come to an end.

27 “No one can break into a strong man’s house and take away his belongings unless he first ties up the strong man; then he can plunder his house.

28 “I assure you that people can be forgiven all their sins and all the evil things they may say.

29 But whoever says evil things against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, because he has committed an eternal sin.”

30 (Jesus said this because some people were saying, “He has an evil spirit in him.”)

31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. They stood outside the house and sent in a message, asking for him.

32 A crowd was sitting around Jesus, and they said to him, “Look, your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, and they want you.”

33 Jesus answered, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”

34 He looked at the people sitting around him and said, “Look! Here are my mother and my brothers!

This is the word of Christ

All: Thank be to God 

Sermon 

Reflections on Mark 3

Have you ever done something that made other people wonder if you’d lost your mind?

If so, you can probably understand what is going on in our second reading today from Mark Chap: 3.

This takes place early in Jesus’ ministry when word of his teachings and miracles is starting to spread. This was a homecoming – Jesus’ homecoming. Our instincts and associations of home and family shape our expectations about how this event will unfold.

Jesus’ earthly family and friends didn’t understand his ministry. They didn’t understand that He was the Son of God. To the people of Nazareth, he was just the son of Mary and Joseph – his earthly parents. And aren’t we the same?

Sometimes we can’t understand Jesus and his ministry. Sometimes it’s hard for us to understand who Jesus is, what he does and why he does what he does. Often, we make a rash judgment about Jesus. We need to ask God what his will is for our lives. We need to ask God why he is doing what he is doing in our lives.

At this stage of His ministry, not even Jesus’ own people – His own family – believed He was the Messiah, the Chosen One of God. He also faced opposition from His own disciples, not just from the religious teachers and His political enemies. Still, He never wavered from His mission.

Because the Pharisees didn’t understand what Jesus was doing, they accused him of being possessed by the devil. They wanted to discredit Jesus in the eyes of the people, but their claim had one big flaw.

How could the devil defeat the devil?

Jesus challenged the way the religious leaders were calling God’s work the work of the devil. The devil and his angels are of equal strength, so evil can’t defeat evil. A strong man can only be defeated by someone who is stronger. Since good is always stronger than evil, good will always defeat evil. Jesus is the champion of everything that is good, so he will always defeat evil.

By labelling His healings and exorcisms as works of the devil, Jesus’ opponents tried to portray His miracles as counterfeit wonders designed to lead people away from God. His miracles commonly led people to praise God rather than blaspheme Him – further proving that Jesus’ kingdom is a heavenly one.

People who tell the truth can sometimes make us uncomfortable. They disturb our creeds, customs and stubborn peculiarities. The apostle Paul said not to get weary in doing good deeds. Truth and doing good deeds are not always appreciated. We can’t handle them. Those who challenge the status quo are dangerous. They threaten to upset everything. Jesus was dangerous in the eyes of both the Pharisees and His family. We as Christians are in the same situation today. If we challenge the way things are or the way things are done, we may be seen as insane or dangerous, and we may be persecuted.

So what’s going on?

How has Jesus’ ministry of preaching and teaching and healing created such controversy and accusation?

The answer is actually fairly simple: Jesus is so totally what the religious authorities didn’t expect that they have absolutely no idea what to make of him. He doesn’t fit their categories, and what doesn’t fit our categories society today labels abnormal, or deviant, or crazy, or possessed. We assume that what we know, have experienced, and hold to be true is normal, natural, and God-ordained, and that becomes the standard by which we measure — and judge — the thoughts and actions of others. And that’s what going on here.

Jesus’ whole ministry thus far has been about announcing both a new vision of God and a new way of relating to God. And at the heart of that vision is the conviction that God is love, that God desires the health and healing of all God’s creation, that God stands both with us and for us, that God is determined to love and redeem us no matter what the cost, and that this God chooses to be accessible to us, to all of us — indeed, to anyone and everyone.

This is why Jesus sets himself against all the powers that would rob humanity and creation of the abundant life God intends — whether those powers be unclean spirits; disease that ravages the mind, body or spirit; illness that isolates and separates those who suffer from community; or whatever.

Jesus introduces a new vision of God and a new way to relate to God…and it’s not what many of us would expect.

Jesus frequently prefaced His parables with either a thought-provoking question or straightforward teaching points in order to frame His stories properly. These were effective ways to help people see their faulty reasoning and their need for a Saviour. If Satan really was behind Jesus’ miracles, then the devil would be defeating himself, which doesn’t make any sense.  But Jesus defeated Satan because He is more powerful than Satan.

Normally, when there is a champion of any type – sports, politics, etc. – most people will follow the champion. In other words, many people will “jump on the bandwagon”, but there will still be some opponents. There is a similar situation in this passage. By accusing Jesus of using the devil’s power to cast out demons, the Pharisees rejected the work of the Holy Spirit. They willingly rejected Christ as their Saviour because they did not want to give up their power, prestige, and authority.  Because they chose not to believe, they refused to accept forgiveness for their sins. Remember, refusing to accept the Holy Spirit is the only sin that cannot be forgiven.

How many people in our modern world have refused to accept Christ because it would mean giving up an earthly way of life that is more important to them?

Jesus’ family wanted to charge him with insanity. The Pharisees wanted to charge Him with working for Satan. Jesus answered these charges with riddles, and they make sense to us. They call on us to consider how Jesus might have to do with how we imagine our world and the ways of God and His creation. So we ask: What is God calling us to see and hear in Jesus?

Jesus’ earthly family was concerned about his physical and mental health, but Jesus was more concerned about the spiritual health of the people he dealt with. True “family” is not a matter of biological relationship, but of kinship in obedience to God, and that kinship begins when God through his grace adopts us into his family. God wants to have a family, and to join His family.

Jesus defied the norms about who’s in and who’s out. People possessed by demons and those who were maimed or born with a physical limitation or defect were often assumed to be cursed, to be not natural, or to have sinned or to be suffering from the sins of their parents. Jesus forgives and heals all who are in need – with no exceptions. If people weren’t sure about this before, Jesus pushed his point unbelievably and quite literally home when he says that anyone and everyone who does the work of God is his true brother and sister and mother. He redefined what constitutes a family at a time when family was everything.

Although Jesus honoured His mother as the law commanded when he asked John to look after her after his crucifixion, (in John’s Gospel Chap: 19 Vers:26-27), Jesus did not allow even His own flesh and blood to prevent Him from doing the will of God.

For Jesus, action in response to the call of God marks what it means to be a member of God’s family. Relationships in God’s family are couched in terms of doing God’s will. At this point in the story, the will of God is not defined. Jesus offers another invitation of hospitality that is about meeting people where they are, accepting anyone who is interested in God’s kingdom and responding to need no matter who is asking or when or how they ask. We have to trust Jesus and the invitation to join him and believe that together we will take part in spreading the Good News of God’s kingdom.

Instead of asking why Jesus got so much flack, we should ask ourselves why we aren’t getting more flack. Why aren’t we pushing the boundaries of what is socially and religiously acceptable in order to reach more folks with the always surprising, unimaginably gracious and ridiculous love of Jesus?

If that’s the kind of love we want to offer, we must ask ourselves if we are communicating that message in our words and our deeds loudly and clearly, both in the church and in the community.

Those who accept the Holy Spirit will do the will of God and thereby become part of the new concept of family that Jesus creates. That is, they will become part of the family of God. When we allow the Holy Spirit in our lives, nothing can stop us. We have a power that can overcome everything the devil throws in our way. That power is the awesome power of God! When we unite with fellow believers, that power is even greater. So let’s be united!

Amen 

Hymn – We Are Marching In the Light of God

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

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

Prayer

O God, to whom every human power is subject,
grant to your servant our sovereign Charles
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

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 – Take My Life and Let It Be

  1. Take my life and let it be
    consecrated, Lord, to thee.
    Take my moments and my days;
    let them flow in endless praise.
     
  1. Take my hands and let them move
    at the impulse of thy love.
    Take my feet and let them be
    swift and beautiful for thee.
     
  1. Take my voice and let me sing
    always, only, for my King.
    Take my lips and let them be
    filled with messages from thee.
     
  1. Take my silver and my gold;
    not a mite would I withhold.
    Take my intellect and use
    every power as thou shalt choose,
    Take my will and make it thine;
    it shall be no longer mine.
    Take my heart it is thine own;
    it shall be thy royal throne.
     
  1. Take my love; my Lord, I pour
    at thy feet its treasure store.
    Take myself, and I will be
    ever, only, all for thee.
    (by Frances R. Havergal – 1838 to 1870) 

Closing Blessings

O God the King of glory,

who hast exalted thine only Son Jesus Christ

with great triumph unto thy kingdom in heaven:

We beseech thee, leave us not comfortless;

but send to us thine Holy Ghost to comfort us,

and exalt us unto the same place whither our Saviour Christ

is gone before, who liveth and reigneth with thee and

May almighty God bless you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
now and for ever 

All: Amen.

Hymn – Lead Us Heavenly Father Lead Us

  1. Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us
    o’er the world’s tempestuous sea;
    guard us, guide us, keep us, feed us,
    for we have no help but thee;
    yet possessing every blessing,
    if our God our Father be.
     
  1. Saviour, breathe forgiveness o’er us:
    all our weakness thou dost know;
    thou didst tread this earth before us,
    thou didst feel its keenest woe;
    lone and dreary, faint and weary,
    through the desert thou didst go.
     
  1. Spirit of our God, descending,
    fill our hearts with heavenly joy,
    love with every passion blending,
    pleasure that can never cloy:
    thus provided, pardoned, guided,
    nothing can our peace destroy.
    (by James Edmeston – 1791 to 1867)

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