Readings & Prayers for
1st Sunday after Trinity
14th June 2020
the strength of all those who put their trust in you,
mercifully accept our prayers
and, because through the weakness of our mortal nature
we can do no good thing without you,
grant us the help of your grace,
that in the keeping of your commandments
we may please you both in will and deed;
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.
10 How shall I repay the Lord
for all the benefits he has given to me?
11 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call upon the name of the Lord.
12 I will fulfil my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
13 Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his faithful servants.
14 O Lord, I am your servant,
your servant, the child of your handmaid;
you have freed me from my bonds.
15 I will offer to you a sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call upon the name of the Lord.
16 I will fulfil my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
17 In the courts of the house of the Lord,
in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
Romans 5 1 – 8
Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.
Matthew 9 v 35 – chapter 10 v 8
Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.”
Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for labourers deserve their food.
Thought for Trinity 1 by Father Jim
“Buy one get one free.” We may not need two bags of apples or two bottles of shampoo, but who can resist a free gift? We all like to think we are getting something for nothing, even when we know that it is all a ploy on the part of the shops to make us spend more than we intended.
But what about giving something for nothing? That’s a different matter. It is part of human nature to feel resentful when we think we are being taken advantage of. You know the kind of friend who is always asking for help but gives nothing in return? Resentment can quickly ruin the friendship. Or at work, we can become resentful and envious of those who seem to do less work for more money. The world we live in is one in which we expect to get what we pay for and to be rewarded for what we do.
The message of the Gospel is an outrageous one. It goes against human nature. And however hard we try, we find it very difficult to believe, and almost impossible to act on. And here it is. In Christ, God bestows on us love and forgiveness which is entirely free and unearned. And the response God looks for from us is love and forgiveness towards our brothers and sisters which is also entirely free and unearned.
“You received without payment; give without payment,” instructs Jesus as he sends his team on their mission trip. They are off to tell their own people that the long-awaited Messiah has come, and the kingdom of heaven is here. And they are also to demonstrate the presence of the kingdom by their actions, by healing the sick, cleansing lepers, raising the dead, casting out demons. These are things that are not only about individual well-being, but about the wholeness of the community. The sick, lepers, the dead, the demon-possessed – all are people who are set apart from the community to which they belong, in some cases because they are regarded as contagious or ritually unclean. Restoring them also restores the health and wholeness of the community to which they belong.
But healing? Raising the dead? These sound difficult things for the twelve to do, perhaps even impossible. Perhaps, though, the most difficult thing they are asked to do is not the most obviously miraculous, but the thing that most goes against human nature – to give without payment. They are not setting off to do a job for which they will earn a good salary, with a company car and a mobile phone to help them do the job. They are not to expect fame or even gratitude for the miracles they will perform. They are to heal people only because they know that they have themselves been healed, out of hearts overflowing with gratitude and joy.
There is no reward for doing the work of the kingdom. There may be hardship and danger. Matthew’s first readers may have known all too clearly the costs of discipleship in their day. Disciples are not to expect payment, recognition, fame and fortune. All that they do is done out of gratitude. The hope for the future, the vision of present possibilities, the knowledge of love and forgiveness, all these are things that they have been given, unpaid for and unearned. The only possible response is to tell and show this hope and this love to others, as freely as it has been received.
“Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.” If we interpret the task for ourselves, we perhaps want to focus on things we can do to bring communities into wholeness, to include those whom society can easily exclude.
But we are also encouraged to give without payment. We are so used to concepts of fair play and just deserts that we can easily turn the Church into another place where you have to earn what you get. But that isn’t what the Gospel is about. We do not have to earn God’s love. It is ours whatever we do. If we really know, deep inside us, that we have been saved from sin and death however little we deserve it, then we will want other people to know about it. And if we really know this, deep inside us, then our lives will shine with love for God and for one another expressed in deeds of service, without thought of payment.
Intercessions led by Chris Plummer
O most Holy Trinity, we give you praise and thanks for your unconditional love, for your grace and compassion and for the gifts of the Spirit that you so freely give to us. May we in return, love you and love all whom you have made to the very best of our ability. May we in return try our very best to be gracious and compassionate and may we, by the power of your Holy Spirit, live our lives to Your praise and glory. Lord hear us – Lord graciously hear us.
We pray for your Church and for those who are responsible over all for the decisions of how and when we can return to our places of worship. May they prayerfully seek wise judgement as to when it will be safe to return and how it will be managed. We also continue to pray for the priest who is being considered for the vacancy at St Johns. We pray that he will prayerfully seek your assurance that this is your will for both him and the family at St Johns. Lord hear us – Lord graciously hear us.
A prayer of Spiritual Communion: My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Holy sacrament of the altar. I love you above all things and I passionately desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come spiritually into my soul so that I may unite myself wholly to you now and forever. Amen
Dear Father we pray today for all those people working in our community at this time; we thank you for and we lift up to you those working in the NHS, Carers in Nursing Homes and in the community and those maintaining essential services, please look after them Lord and keep them safe.
We pray for all those businesses who will be reopening, asking that they be diligent in their preparations and work to keep both their staff and customers as safe as is possible.
We also ask that you speak to the hearts of those people who are selfishly disobeying the government guidelines and help them to understand the consequences of their actions. Lord hear us – Lord graciously hear us
We commend to you all those who live in this parish and in the surrounding villages; and we especially think this week of those residing in Charlton Park, Grange End and Boundary Close and we ask that you will bless them through your love, support and healing. Lord hear us – Lord graciously hear us
Father we give thanks that we can now meet and spend time with our families again; but we are aware also that for some people there will be someone missing in their lives because of Covid-19 and their meetings will be bitter sweet. Pour your love upon them and send your comfort to give them strength and peace. Lord hear us – Lord graciously hear us
Lord, may your healing love be with all who are suffering at this time: those with the Covid-19, those whose treatment for other illnesses is being delayed because of it, people suffering from anxiety or depression; and at this time we pray for Rachael Macfarlane, Judy Flook, Miranda Cooper, Rose Stenner, Paul & Margaret Knott, Irene Leet, Faye McDermott, Anne Hatton, Rob & Glyn Gilliland, Gerrard Monks, Trevor & Elizabeth Bell, Fr Roy Boots, Nicholas Hambleton, Mary Hickmott, Helen Plummer, Daniel Plummer, Betty Chiplin, Ethan Horwood, John Lewis and Sue Hutchings. Lord hear us – Lord graciously hear us
We pray for the departed, especially our dear friend Mary Cheshire whose funeral was Friday; and for those whose anniversary is this week. Robert Purnell, Penelope Vass, Edward Morris, Edmund Kossowski (M) Helena Edwards, James Cartwright, Donald Dack, Lena Scott (T) Agness Burgess, Frederick Dyke, Gladys Stokes (W) Percy Barnett (T) William Turner (F) Kenneth Evans (S) Dorothy Knight. May they rest in Peace! Lord hear us – Lord graciously hear us
God of mercy, you know us and love us and hear our prayers: keep us in the eternal fellowship of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.