Sunday Service at home
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord be with you
All: and also with you.
Prayer of Preparation
All: 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.
Prayer of Penitence
God shows his love for us in that when we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Let us show our love for him by confessing our sins in penitence and faith.
All: Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
who died for us, forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name.
May Almighty God have mercy on us,
forgive us our sins and bring us to everlasting life.
A short, general prayer - see below
THE GOSPEL READINGS - see below
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - see below
Please pray for the church and the world, and let us bring to mind
those who are ill, those who are troubled and those who have died.
Concluding with The Lord’s Prayer
Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught 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.
The God of peace, who brought again from the dead
our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep,
make you perfect in every good work to do his will,
And the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always. Amen
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Alleluia! Alleluia!
All: In the name of Christ. Alleluia! Alleluia!
Almighty God, you have broken the tyranny of sin and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts whereby we call you Father: give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service, that we and all creation may be brought to the glorious liberty of the children of God; 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
FIRST READING - Jeremiah 28 v 5 – 9
The prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the LORD; and the prophet Jeremiah said, ‘Amen! May the LORD do so; may the LORD fulfil the words that you have prophesied, and bring back to this place from Babylon the vessels of the house of the LORD, and all the exiles. But listen now to this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people. The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, famine, and pestilence against many countries and great kingdoms. As for the prophet who prophesies peace, when the word of that prophet comes true, then it will be known that the LORD has truly sent the prophet.’
SECOND READING - Romans 6 v 12 – 23
Do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.
When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
GOSPEL Matthew 10 v 40 – 42
Jesus said to the twelve: ‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple - truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’
Fr.Andrew’s Thought for the Week
If you are looking for an item to buy, the right person to do a job, or a good place to go on holiday, it is good to have someone else’s recommendation. Personal recommendation is best, of course: if you know someone who has had this electrician or read that book. Otherwise reviews can be a good way forward. You can look on the book’s cover comments or maybe look up Trustpilot or Trip Advisor. Five stars, and hopefully you have completed your quest. One star? Maybe look elsewhere!
Today’s readings are about being good representatives for the faith. Jeremiah tells of the true prophet who is proved as God’s messenger when what they prophesy comes true: a 5-Star Prophet! Paul tells the Christians at Rome to be ruled by God’s grace not by sin, then they will be able to accept Christ’s free gift of eternal life with a clear conscience: a 5-Star Christian! Jesus says a true disciple’s integrity will lead them to discern the truth of God, of their fellow believers’ talents and goodness, and of the needs of the poorest sisters and brothers: a 5-Star Disciple!
So, what would your rating be? How would a review of your life go? Well? Ok? Badly? Fortunately, whatever your own estimate, our Heavenly Father sees us all through the prism of his Son’s Cross with only beautiful colours coming through! We are uniquely loved and forgiven. But, as Paul explored in the second reading, we are not to take God’s love for granted, we must respond to his 5-Star service by our 5-Star service: in our prayer, worship, faithfulness, support of our fellow Christians, and care of those in need.
As we tentatively emerge from ‘lockdown’, many have commented about our need for a new, thoughtful, more caring world. We Christians can be in the vanguard with the rationale and example for this: telling the world of our experience of God’s amazing love for all shown in his Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To build a new 5-Star world, all of us need to be 5-Star Christians as 5-Star witnesses to our 5-Star God!!
(With thanks to Fr.Andrew Bullock - Area Dean)