Virtual Services

9th Sunday after Trinity – 9th August 2020

Welcome

Good morning and welcome to this time when we have chosen to join together to worship God. Our worship this morning is slightly different from the normal virtual service in that we will be looking at two readings from the New Testament. Our first reading is from Pauls letter to the Romans and our Gospel reading comes from Matthew and tells of Jesus walking on water.

We begin our worship by saying together this prayer of preparation

Prayer

Almighty God, you pour out your spirit of grace and of prayer on those who desire it. As we come near to you, deliver us from cold hearts and wandering minds, that with steady thoughts and devoted hearts we may worship you in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Based on the book of common prayer

Worship

We continue with some words from psalm 105

Psalm 105

 Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
Let the whole world know what he has done.
 Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
 Exult in his holy name;
rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
 Search for the Lord and for his strength;
continually seek him.
 Remember the wonders he has performed,
his miracles, and the rulings he has given
 

And so we confirm what it is we believe as we sing the worship song

We believe in God the Father
Maker of the universe
And in Christ, His Son, our Saviour
Come to us by virgin birth
We believe he died to save us
Bore our sins, was crucified
Then from death he rose victorious
Ascended to the Father’s side

We believe He sends His Spirit
On His church with gifts of power
God, His word of truth affirming
Sends us to the nations now
He will come again in glory
Judge the living and the dead
Every knee shall bow before Him
Then must every tongue confess

Name above all names
(Jesus, Lord of all, Lord of all) You are the Lord of all
(Jesus, Lord of all, Lord of all) Jesus Lord of all
(Jesus, Lord of all, Lord of all) King of all Kings
(Jesus, Lord of all, Lord of all) Jesus Lord of all
(Jesus, Lord of all, Lord of all)Name above all names
Name above all names
Name above all names
Name above all names

Graham Kendrick

We Believe lyrics © Thank You Music Ltd.

Word

In recent weeks through Paul’s letter to the Romans we have heard how God values us for who we are regardless of race gender or social standing. It is our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that makes us right with God. Although we were not born Christians we have chosen to become followers of Christ. As such we are expected to adopt a new way of living and behaving. From the moment we confess that Jesus is the Lord of our life the Holy Spirit helps us to overcome our human failings. It is Our relationship with the Holy Spirit that encourages and assists us to live this different life. Whenever we call out to God the Father it is the Holy Spirit that testifies that as God’s children we are truly His heirs. The Holy Spirit takes the struggles that we have living in this imperfect world and addresses them to God. Nothing no disease, famine, hardship, calamity not even death can separate us from the love of God. We might not always be able to rest easy during this earthly life but we can always rest assured in the hope and promise of our future glory in the company of God.


This mornings first reading continues with Romans 10:5-15

Paul’s letter is filled with references to the OT. In today’s reading Paul begins by adapting Deuteronomy30:11-14. Moses farewell comments addressed to those who thought that the required obedience to God was too difficult. Indeed, many people today have the same notion. However, Obeying God’s commands is both reasonable and beneficial. The most difficult part is simply deciding to start now. God’s salvation is freely waiting for us. Wherever we are God will come to us when we respond to His gracious invitation and accept his gift of salvation. All anyone has to do to be saved is confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in their heart that God raised him from the dead. Paul is saying Salvation is as close as your own heart and lips. It is Believing with our heart that makes us right with God and calling on the name of the Lord that saves us. Turning to Christ and becoming a Christian is as simple as that. From that moment on we are not on our own The Holy Spirit guides us. But Paul asks the question how can anyone call on the Lord to be saved if they do not believe in him and how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him. Faith comes from hearing the Good news of Christ. Christians are called to tell others about Christ. Our witness for Christ must involve more than just being a good example. Modelling the Christian life as best we are able is important but at some point, we must engage with an unbeliever in discussing the message of the Gospels. Many Christians find it very hard to talk about the hope we have in Christ with people who are not members of a Christian fellowship. yet this is the key thing we have been called to do. Several people more enlightened than I have written books using literature , philosophy , real life conversations and reasoning to explain how a faith in Christ is a rational belief and to describe the relevance of Christianity in the contemporary world. However, we cannot simply pass on or recommend a book to someone if we have been unable to tell them our story. The way being a Christian has personally affected us. This is especially true during a period when our communities are suffering from the impacts of a pandemic. It is easy to feel that God doing something incredible only happen to other people .Even though we understand that God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things we seem to believe that he will always pick someone else. But there is absolutely no chance that God is not interested in your life. He is at work in our everyday lives even if we haven’t noticed it yet. Sometimes we are unable to see God’s fingerprints in our lives until we look back. What are the little things that have happened to you recently that you are grateful to God for? Our gratitude opens up our eyes to seeing our lives from God’s perspective and in tough difficult times gratitude opens up a door to hope. We realise God has not abandoned us and He will not abandon us. Our everyday experiences of God acting in our life are not always spectacular, if they were we would not hesitate to tell other people about them.

Often people are more interested and encouraged by what God has been doing in ordinary things of our lives. Consider what God has been doing over time in your life and be bold enough to share it with others. These personal stories can be the key to opening the eyes and hearts of someone who does not know our Lord. Telling personal stories does require 2 things. firstly, we must believe that the Lord will give us the words to say and secondly, we must have the faith to say those words to others. Unfortunately, all too often we can be like Peter when he stepped out of the boat to walk towards Jesus, although we start with good intentions we focus on the difficulty of the situation and take our eyes of Jesus. Our faith begins to falter and we doubt the help of the holy Spirit and we retreat from the situation. So here is an example of something I am grateful to God for. Recently I had an accident whilst doing some DIY and nearly severed a finger on my right hand. I know that several people prayed for my finger to be healed as did I , all the way to the hospital . Of course, the surgeons and physios played an important part but I have been told that considering the extent of the injury the amount of movement and rate of healing of my finger has been exceptional, quite remarkable. I am certain that that is due to God acting in my life and I am thankful to him for it.

How has God been active in your life over the last 4 months and who have you told or will you tell about it?

You may wish to say this prayer

O God, whose holiness is not limited to grand cathedrals or saintly persons, or charismatic leaders; O God, whose holiness is often discovered in simple everyday places and simple everyday people, plant Your holiness in us where we are now.
Provide for each of us in Your way, a situation we can use for Your glory, so that others will hear the Gospel message. Gracious Lord, help us to be aware of you acting in these situations and how they may be used. Grow us, that we might bear fruit for you, right where we are, knowing that we are each and all blessed by You with something special to share.
Through Jesus we pray. 

Amen.

Our second reading comes from Matthew 14:22-32 and is followed by a video sermon by the Revd Canon Geoffrey Harbord. The text of which can be found here.

And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

Jesus Heals Many

Jesus went on from there and walked beside the Sea of Galilee. And he went up on the mountain and sat down there.  And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them, so that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel.

Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand

Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”

Matthew
14:22-34

Witness

Prayers of Intercession

Oh God our Heavenly Father

We thank you for your unconditional love for us and the many blessings we are fortunate to enjoy. We thank you that you will never abandon us. We are all too aware that the world is suffering because of human’s failure to follow good stewardship and your ways of living.

We pray that you will guide the leaders of the nations in the ways of peace and justice, honesty and truth. Show them how to work together to bring relief to the suffering and fight the global pandemic. Give them along with us the will to use the fruits of the earth for the good of all your creation.

At this very difficult time Lord we lift to you the lonely, the sick in mind and body and the bereaved, and ask that you will comfort them.

We ask Lord that you will provide for the homeless, the hungry, and the destitute.

Father we especially pray for the people of Beirut and the Lebanon. Lord in your mercy provide for all their needs in the aftermath of the devastating explosion.

We pray Lord for all those in this country who are facing unemployment and an uncertain future. Show them your pity and give them hope in their troubles

Lord we pray for your Church. We ask for your forgiveness for the times we have failed to love our neighbour as ourselves. Fill us with love and truth. Help us to shine Your light in the communities where we live. Give us boldness to proclaim by our words and actions Your Gospel to unbelievers

Heavenly Father
Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son our saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen

 

The Lord’s prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.

Amen.

Community

The community of S17 has drawn together during these unusual times in a very special way. This is reflected in the great work of the S17 COVID-19 Community Support group.

The group aims to support those in the community who may be in need and to provide a support network to the S17 community at this time.

“If there are needy people in our community let’s ensure we help them out with things like bringing shopping to their door.”

The Wardens of All Saints Totley have been producing regular newsletters with helpful links, thoughts and resources. The latest of these is here.

We have also started to add resources for the younger members of our church, to add to this virtual service. They can be found here, and here.

Blessing and Dismissal

The Grace

May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ , the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all , evermore

Amen

Reminder

If you have any feedback on this service or any other ideas, suggestions or contributions, for future services please do send these to comments@allsaintstotley.church

There are also the sermons available from the Bishop’s senior staff here: https://www.sheffield.anglican.org/video-sermons.